Celebrating our May 2020 Returning Women Student Scholar Graduates!

A post curated by Women’s Center director, Jess Myers.

Last week, the Women’s Center celebrated our Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates graduating this semester at our pinning ceremony. While distance learning in a pandemic has disrupted and cancelled many things over the past semester, we weren’t going to let this tradition get cancelled! So, as with most things these days, we took to our computers and phones to celebrate virtually!

InkedRWS Celebration 20 CLAP (1)_LI

A “group photo” via a screen shot during our Webex Graduation Celebration! 

This event has become a tradition in the Women’s Center as a means to celebrate our continuing and graduating returning women students who are UMBC students 25 years and older seeking their first undergraduate degree. These students are called “returning” because they often have various circumstances that have kept them from what our popular culture deems as a traditional college path and they are now “returning” to college to pursue their degree. Student scholars in this program not only receive scholarships to help financial supplement their tuition, but also benefit from tailored support and programming from Women’s Center staff through individualized meetings, programs, and events that meet the specific needs of older students on campus. Each year we have between 20-25 scholars and affiliates participate in this unique program.

In usual times at this special “pinning” ceremony, graduating seniors receive their Women’s Center Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates pin to wear at graduation along with a yellow rose. This year, we sent their pins to them via snail mail and they pinned themselves!

Upon their pinning, each scholar says a few words. Despite being in their own homes and not sharing physical space with each other, graduates still invited us to share in their joy, excitement, gratitude, and sheer exhaustion. “I finally made it!” rang through the Women’s Center lounge walls along with laughter and tears.

Anyone who has spent time in the Women’s Center knows that working with this special group of students is one of my favorite experiences in my role as director of the Women’s Center. At a University which celebrates, grit and greatness (even during non-pandemic times), no other student cohort exhibits both with such deep grace and humility. As individuals and as a community, they are brave and unstoppable.

So, it is with great joy that I invite you to join me in celebrating these fantastic students and their accomplishments. Below are some of our graduating students who in their own words* share what they were involved in at UMBC, what’s next for them after UMBC, and some sage advice for other adult learners.

I also invite you to read a UMBC graduation news story I had the privilege of writing that  features a more in depth view of 4 of our students’ experiences at UMBC and their quest to graduation.

Happy Graduation!!!

Shanice Bramwell, Newcombe Scholar
Major: Health Administration and Policy (HAPP)

20200511_185525 - Shanice Bramwell

A self-submitted photo of Shanice. 

What was your experience like as an adult learner?
Adult learning is more complex than traditional learning. I loved that the Women’s Center gave me a place to belong.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
Realize that it will include many sacrifices in order to do well. We work twice as hard because of our family load and our school work load. Organization and creating realistic schedules will come in handy.

What are your plans after graduation?
More school, work, and family!

Karla Gonzalez, Newcombe Scholar
Major: Social Work

Karla G- self-submission.1

A self-submitted photo of Karla and her family. 

 

What you were involved in at UMBC and what was your experience like as an adult learner?
During my time at UMBC, I was involved with the Social Work Student Association (SWSA) and volunteered at many events as well as participated in the monthly meetings. I was the service event board member position through fall semester 2019. It was during spring semester 2019 that I became involved with the Women’s Center and I wish now that I had become involved as soon as I came to UMBC.
As an adult learner, I wanted to fit in, I wanted to have a college experience like traditional students and I wanted to take advantage of all the resources available on campus. Although I knew I could never really have a traditional college student experience, I met so many people that helped make my experience at UMBC, wonderful. These included professors that were helpful in me learning the material (like human biology), other adult students who could relate to my experiences as well as younger students who treated me as any other student, not caring that I was ten years older than them. I am grateful for the Social Work department, Women’s Center, the Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS), the Career Center and the Writing Center. These resources really helped me have a great experience at UMBC.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
My advice would be to allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone and participate in different activities. OCSS offers adult learners activities like family game nights and it was great to connect my two worlds, parenthood and “student-hood,” even if it was one night. I know it’s easier to come for class and leave right away, but take that time to make connections with other students, with professors, to get the best out of your learning experience.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be attending the University of Maryland School of Social Work as an advance standing student.

You can learn more about Karla’s story and experience at UMBC through this UMBC graduation news story featuring 4 returning women students. 

Josephine Gyasi-Baaye, Bryson-Neville and Aegon Scholar
Major: Social Work 

What was your experience like as an adult learner?
My experience as an adult learner was motivated by my set goals as and a determination of achieving a professional growth. At UMBC, I was a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
My advice to all adult learners is never to give up on themselves as a student… and take advantage of campus resources.

What are your plans after graduation?
As mother of three, I plan to work part time and continue with graduate school this Fall. I have been accepted into the University of Baltimore for their Master’s in Social Work.

Samantha Homa, Affiliate
Major: Geography and Environmental Studies

IMG_1943 - Samantha Homa

A self-submitted photo of Samantha. 

What you were involved in at UMBC and what was your experience like as an adult learner?
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in service learning as a Peer Facilitator for the Introductory to an Honors University (IHU) courses for four semesters. As an adult learner, I felt very grateful for my professors, UMBC staff, and classmates because I could appreciate their effort in my learning experience. This was something I definitely did not see my first semester. That is growth and the beauty of perspective.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
Try to understand what you need to be productive and satisfied in all areas of your life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it because you may be surprised to find out others are going through the same struggles as you.

What are your plans after graduation?
Enjoy more hikes with my handsome hound Harry! Work part time and continue to take a few more courses at UMBC to eventually apply to medical school!

Nia Latimer, Newcombe Scholar
Major: Social Work

What was your experience like as an adult learner?
Initially, I was nervous about being an adult learner, but when I saw the diversity on campus, I was very comfortable and never made to feel out of place in my classes.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
Be open and don’t be afraid. You have support! The Women’s Center helped me tremendously being my home away from home.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to attend and have been accepted to UMB’s School of Social Work’s Advanced Standing graduate school program.

You can learn more about Nia’s s story and experience at UMBC through this UMBC graduation news story featuring 4 returning women students. 

Joanna Riley, Newcombe Scholar
Major: Social Work 

IMG_9878

A self-submitted photo of Joanna and her son in their UMBC gear while out for a hike.

What you were involved in at UMBC?
I was a student in the Social Work program and during my free-time I visited the Women’s Center. I live an hour away from campus and a single parent to a 10 year old. It has been hard to be active with the other students on campus because I have to return home to take care of my son.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
I would tell people to utilize the Women’s Center as much as possible. I felt so out of place and the Women’s Center was the one place I felt at home. If I had more time I would have loved to attend more events and workshops.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be in Social Work Advanced Standing at University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.

Terece Young, Bryson-Neville 2018 Scholar
Major: American Studies and Sociology 

amst - Terece Young

Self-submitted photo of Terece

Whhat was your experience like as an adult learner?
My experience at UMBC as an adult learner was challenging and rewarding. When you look around your class and see you are the oldest one or get mistaken for a professor on the first day of the semester, it’s easy to get discouraged. However, as time went on, I began to see that me being older was a benefit, because I had life experience to rely on, which helped with discussions, writing papers, projects, etc. I don’t know if I would have done as well in school fifteen years ago, so in hindsight, I am glad that went for my degree when I did.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
My advice for current Returning Women Students is to use your age and life experience to your advantage, especially when in comes to writing papers, projects, discussions, and problem solving. No one else sees things from our point of view. Also, the Women’s Center is an amazing place, so use it. I would go there sometimes to study or relax. If you have a problem, they are there for you, and will always make you feel better and find a way to help. I don’t know if I would have made it without the Women’s Center and the people that work there.

What are your plans after graduation?
The plan I have for after graduation is to move to Florida where my dad and sister live. I want to work in the pro wrestling business, and luckily, wrestling is very popular in Florida, so I am going to find a way to get involved. I was accepted to Full Sail University for their MFA in Creative Writing Program. In the program, I plan to focus on writing for wrestling.

Lauren Hall, 2018 Newcombe Scholar
Master of Arts in Teaching 

What you were involved in at UMBC?
I was a Returning Women Student Scholar for my undergraduate career, a Graduate Assistant with the Education Department during my grad career. This year, I submitted a piece to the Bartleby Literary Magazine and I was the Creative Non-Fiction section winner. That piece also won me the Braly Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

Looking back on your experience, what is your advice for current Returning Women Students?
…Never give up. Even if you get bad marks on a project, keep trying. I got a D on the first paper I wrote as an adult learner but I’m graduating as a celebrated UMBC writer with a 4.0 🙂

What are your plans after graduation?
I’m taking the summer off (something I was never able to do as a single-mom going through school) to finish a book I started during my time at UMBC. In the fall I hope to be high school English full-time while I look into grad writing programs. My hope is to make a living writing or teaching at the college level.

You can learn more about Lauren’s s story and experience at UMBC through this UMBC graduation news story featuring 4 returning women students. 


Congratulations to our other Returning Women Students Scholars + Affiliates graduating this May:

Tatiana Pearson , Newcombe Scholar 
Vicky Hughes,
Aegon Scholar 

Jumina Ito,Newcombe Scholar
Tomiko Shine, 2015 Newcome Scholar
Aieda Solomon,
Newcombe Scholar 

Sheila Yeelon, Jodi Mister/Newcombe Scholar 

RWS Orientation Fall 2019 - group photo with Nia, Jumina, Karla PLUS Freeman

The 2019-20 cohort of Returning Women Student Scholars and Affiliates at August orientation. 

For more information about the Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates program, visit the Women’s Center website. Returning Women Students at UMBC are also encouraged to join the group’s Facebook group.

 

*Minor edits were made for clarification and tone. 

A Mother’s Day Shout Out (Plus Some Action Items)

This post was written by Women’s Center director, Jess Myers as a tribute to our UMBC moms. Special thanks to the moms who provided photos to help curate our Women’s Center moms collage. Wishing happy thoughts to all our UMBC moms in your first and hopefully last quarantined Mother’s Day! 


Self-Care Content Note: There’s lots of reasons why Mother’s Day can be hard for a lot of different people. We see you and your story and your pain and hurt matter to us too. Be kind to yourself. Create boundaries in ways that feel right for you. Reach out to someone who can validate your real emotions that don’t require censorship.

Image with 6 different flower bouquets to represent various challenges for people on Mother's Day. Text reads: Thinking of you: Mothers who have lost children; Those who have lost mothers; Those with strained mother relationships; Mothers with strained child relationships; Those who have chosen not to be mothers; Those yearning to be mothers.

To those who may be hurting. We see you.


Okay, so let’s just put this out there. My mom is my favorite human being. So much so, I just got teared up writing that last sentence.

How else can I explain it? I remember one Mother’s Day when I was in high school. My mom and I were in the car to go visit my Busia (that’s grandmother in Polish). We were listening to the radio and a caller request came in. The caller explained that the requested song for her mom was “their song.” And, as caller requests go – she shouted out her mom, said she loved her, probably gave a woooo!!!, and then the song came on.

It was Celion Dion’s Because You Loved Me.  

It took all of three seconds for my mom and I to look at each other with the biggest “wows” on our faces (also mom upside down is wow). A love song. A love song for a mother and daughter. By then we had pulled up to my Busia’s house, but we just sat in the car, listened to the lyrics, and cried. And, that was the moment we too had a love song.  I am everything I am because my mom loves me.

IMG_6610

Jess and her mom with True Grit at UMBC’s Faculty and Staff Awards celebration in 2018! 

I could go on and on, but the point of this blog post isn’t to gush about mom (well not exactly). It’s about gushing about you, Dear Moms of the Women’s Center at UMBC.

To the moms who serve or who have served on the Women’s Center Advisory Board

To the Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates Moms and all of our student moms

To the moms who have spent countless hours in our lactation room pumping away

 To the moms who have served as staff members over the decades

To our Friends of the Women’s Center Moms

To the moms who have donated their money, their time, their skills to support our mission

To those who aren’t moms but support and champion the work of the Women’s Center because of the space and meaning it holds for moms

Thank you for you. Thank you for being a part of the Women’s Center community. In the words of Celine Dion, we are everything we are because you love us… you make us a stronger and richer community because we get to learn from you, benefit from your skills, and call you our friends and allies.

 


So, in honor of all these brilliant moms we offer some suggestions and action items to take this Mother’s Day weekend:

Virtual ways to celebrate or honor a mom in your life:

  • Plan a virtual Mother’s Day celebration. I know, the Zoom burnout is real but how can you get creative so it doesn’t feel like another work or school meeting? Send invites, encourage people to dress up or bring some fancy snacks to the call, or make it a game/trivia call. 
  • Not up for organizing something? Watch something together that’s already planned like Un Dia Especial con Mamá (Special Day with Mama) hosted by Creative Alliance, Somos Baltimore Latino, Nuestras Raíces Inc., and Artesanas Mexicanas. The live stream begins at 11am on Mother’s Day. 
  • Zoom again but this time with the kiddos! Give a mom you love the chance to take a deep breath by offering to entertain their little ones via Zoom by reading them a story or leading an activity.
  • Send or drop off a care package or meal.
  • Create a grateful jar. What are the things you’re grateful for when it comes to a special mom in your life. Write it down and put it in a jar so that gratitude can be called upon in times of need. This can be an individual or collective effort.  
  • Send some snail mail (or a text!). ! If there are people in your life that could benefit from feeling seen and appreciated on Mother’s Day, consider writing them a thoughtful note, reminding them you’re here for them, or simply drawing something that words can’t quite capture. As we reminded folks in the content note above, there are lots of feelings people can experience on or close to Mother’s day. Acknowledge and validate those feelings.
  •  This list not working for you? That’s okay! Let Google be your friend or let this simply be the beginning of a creative brainstorm session.

To help advocate for a mom in your life:

For those of us who aren’t moms, we may have no idea what it’s like to be a mom in quarantine. Even moms in quarantine won’t know exactly what other moms are going through. What we do know, though, is that at home and on the front line of this pandemic, women are essential.

So how can you learn more? Here’s a few recommended readings and podcasts. After checking out those, consider ways you can advocate for mothers in your own life and spheres of influence. As always, we appreciate your own ideas and suggestions in the comments!

 

Virtual Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Centering the Margin: Bystander Intervention and Allyship (Week 5) Round-Up

In the absence of physical space to learn, create, and come together, the Women’s Center is taking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 2020 online. Each week during April, we will focus on a specific topic/theme as it relates to sexual violence awareness and prevention (see image below). Together, via out social media platforms like Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram, we can watch videos, read articles, and engage in other content for learning and skill-building.

SAAM 2020 Online

UMBC’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month online calendar includes weekly themes to help explore important concepts related to sexual violence awareness and prevention.

But, we get it… Maybe you’re not on Facebook. Maybe you needed to take a break from social media for the day because you’re practicing self-care. Or maybe, you’re still following us on all the things and still missed a pretty cool post. That’s okay! In addition to posting on social media throughout the month, at the end of each week, we’ll provide a round-up of all the content we shared along with some action items to consider doing.

This is the last SAAM round-up with April ending last week. To conclude this year’s SAAM, we focused on bystander intervention and allyship. We teamed up with our campus partners supporting the work on UMBC’s Green Dot Program to share helpful resources about bystander intervention and shifting cultural norms that encourage looking out for one another and speaking up when others may be in danger.

RetrieverCourage_Advocates-01 (2)

A Retriever Courage poster that reads “Culture Change Takes Advocates.”

It’s important to remember that ending sexual violence isn’t a survivor’s issue or even a women’s issue…. It’s an everybody issue and we all can play a role in changing our culture.

So what did we explore? 

  1. ““Don’t tell ME to Chill out”– Holding our Friends Accountable and saying NO to Rape Culture.” We shared a blog post from our archives written by former Women’s Center student staff member, Yoo-Jin. In this post,she shares an experience of sexual assault and the troubling aftermath when bystanders didn’t take it seriously. She goes on to share how later she received immense support and validation when she shared her experience online.  This is a great read to understand the various ways someone can support a survivor and the ways in which lack of support and believe can reinforce rape culture.
    “Looking back at what happened, I think what was most hurtful was the bystander behavior of the guy’s friends, who excused his perpetuation of rape culture behavior. Rather than holding their friend accountable for

    Excerpt from “Don’t Tell Me to Chill Out” blog post. 

    2. What is a Green Dot? Green Dot is a bystander intervention program that is built on the premise that in order to measurably reduce the perpetration of power-based personal violence, including sexual violence, partner violence, or stalking, a cultural shift is necessary. In order to create a cultural shift, a critical mass of people will need to engage in a new behavior or set of behaviors that will make violence less sustainable within any given community. The “new behavior” is a green dot.
    3. The Green Dot program empowers those who are trained to do the right thing for themselves, their neighbor, classmate, teammate or friend. The Green Dot slogan is “No one has to do everything, everyone has to do something.” Through the Green Dot training at UMBC, we learn that the 3 D’s (Distract, Delegate, or Direct!) are a helpful way to understand the various ways one can intervene. Watch this video to learn more.

pasted image 0

Image of a red dot and green dot that explains the difference between the two

To see everything posted on our accounts last week, check out the hashtag #UMBCsaam over at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Also, be sure to follow UMBC’s Green Dot program on Instagram an myUMBC. 

What We Didn’t Have Time to Discuss:

The root of sexual violence is power oppression and requires we take a power-conscious approach in our awareness, prevention, an response efforts. It’s important that we shift well-intended prevention efforts frequently focused on teaching potential victims how not to get raped and instead teach potential perpetrators not to rape. To develop a deeper understanding of a power-conscious framework, we recommend reading Dr. Chris Linder’s book Sexual Violence on Campus: Power-Conscious Approaches to Awareness, Prevention, and Response.

As we already shared, ending sexual violence is everyone’s responsibility but what is the unique role men can play in preventing sexual assault? Watch Jeffrey Bucholtz of We End Violence on Sexual Violence and Male Responsibility to learn more.


 

zine

Front cover of our SAAM Zine: Survivors to the Front: A Call to Witness

And, in case you missed it, we are beyond proud to share with you all our zine for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Made by survivors and for the entirety of our community, we hope you can read and share these amazing, powerful, beautiful stories from our very own UMBC community!
You can view Survivors to the Front: A Call to Witness here


Follow the Women’s Center on myUMBC,  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for SAAM updates and information throughout the month of April. You can also stay up-to-date by following #UMBCsaam 


 

Throughout this time of distance learning, campus staff are still here and available for support. Do not hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or care.

On-Campus Resources Available for Virtual Support: 

 

To report a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination, please submit this online form

Virtual Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Centering the Margin: Individual and Systemic Barriers (Week 4) Round-Up

In the absence of physical space to learn, create, and come together, the Women’s Center is taking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 2020 online. Each week during April, we will focus on a specific topic/theme as it relates to sexual violence awareness and prevention (see image below). Together, via out social media platforms like Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram, we can watch videos, read articles, and engage in other content for learning and skill-building.

SAAM 2020 Online

UMBC’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month online calendar includes weekly themes to help explore important concepts related to sexual violence awareness and prevention.

But, we get it… Maybe you’re not on Facebook. Maybe you needed to take a break from social media for the day because you’re practicing self-care. Or maybe, you’re still following us on all the things and still missed a pretty cool post. That’s okay! In addition to posting on social media throughout the month, at the end of each week, we’ll provide a round-up of all the content we shared along with some action items to consider doing.

We just wrapped up Week 4 of SAAM with lots of posts and content centered around the theme of “Centering the Margin: Individual and Systemic Barriers.” This meant the posts we shared took a deeper dive into how sexual assault prevention and response often pushes underrepresented and marginalized survivors to the margins. Through resource sharing and consciousness-raising, we hope that as individuals and communities we center these survivors and ensure prevention and response work that takes their specific needs into consideration.

So what did we explore? 

  1. What is cultural betrayal trauma theory? This theory by Dr. Jennifer Gomez is the result of her research focused on the effects of interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) in diverse populations. Cultural betrayal trauma theory is the idea that some minorities develop what Gomez calls “(intra)cultural trust” – love, loyalty, attachment, connection, responsibility and solidarity with each other to protect themselves from a hostile society. Within-group violence, such as a black perpetrator harming a black victim, is a violation of this (intra)cultural trust. This violation is called a cultural betrayal and it can lead to diverse outcomes, including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and internalized prejudice. You can learn more here.

    culturalbetrayal

    A visual representation of cultural betrayal trauma theory.

  2. Deepening Our Demands For Safety and Healing For Black Survivors of Sexual Violence: “For every Black woman who reports her rape, at least fifteen do not. Many cite a fear that they will not be believed by authorities, or, worse yet, subjected to further violence and criminalization” (Ritchie, Andrea 2017). Read more on Andrea Ritchie’s research and policy brief for “Deepening Our Demands For Safety and Healing For Black Survivors of Sexual Violence”

    expanding

    Image of the cover page for the “Deepening Our Demands For Safety and Healing For Black Survivors of Sexual Violence.”

  3. Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw: #MeToo and Black Women: From Hip Hop to Hollywood: Listen to this powerful conversation addressing the historical violence of Black women and what movement building looks like that center’s Black women’s experiences
  4. Transgender Sexual Violence Survivors: A Self Help Guide to Healing and Understanding : “50% or more of all transgender and gender non-conforming people have experienced some form of sexual abuse, sometimes from many different people over many years.” This helpful guide explores techniques and exercises for healing, descriptions for LGBT services and how to develop a safety plan.

To see everything posted on our accounts last week, check out the hashtag #UMBCsaam over at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Important Take-Aways:

Advocate for policies that combat inequality in education, health care, law enforcement and the judicial system that center the needs of underrepresented communities who experience trauma (to learn more, check out Nadia BenAissa’s URCAD Presentation)

→ Believe Survivors. No matter what identities they hold.

→ Challenge toxic and harmful cultural norms that impact survivors’ mental health. Learn how to support harm doers in being accountable by checking out this video on How to Support Harm Doers in Being Accountable.

Follow the Women’s Center on myUMBC,  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for SAAM updates and information throughout the month of April. You can also stay up-to-date by following #UMBCsaam 

 


 

Throughout this time of distance learning, campus staff are still here and available for support. Do not hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or care.

On-Campus Resources Available for Virtual Support: 

 

To report a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination, please submit this online form

Virtual Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Affirmative Consent (Week 1) Round-Up

In the absence of physical space to learn, create, and come together, the Women’s Center is taking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 2020 online. Each week during April, we will focus on a specific topic/theme as it relates to sexual violence awareness and prevention (see image below). Together, via out social media platforms like Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram, we can watch videos, read articles, and engage in other content for learning and skill-building.

SAAM 2020 Online

UMBC’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month online calendar includes weekly themes to help explore important concepts related to sexual violence awareness and prevention. 

But, we get it… Maybe you’re not on Facebook. Maybe you needed to take a break from social media for the day because you’re practicing self-care. Or maybe, you’re still following us on all the things and still missed a pretty cool post. That’s okay! In addition to posting on social media throughout the month, at the end of each week, we’ll provide a round-up of all the content we shared along with some action items to consider doing.

We just wrapped up week one of SAAM and spent the last several days exploring affirmative consent through the following content:

  1. “What is affirmative consent?”” brought to you by Retriever Courage and UMBC’s Policy on Prohibited Sexual Misconduct, Interpersonal Violence, and Other Related Misconduct.

    RetrieverCourage_Consent-01

    Image is part of the Retriever Courage poster campaign. This poster focuses on what consent is and includes a list of what consent is and isn’t. 

  2. Affirmative consent is all about saying or confirming an enthusiastic yes because YOU WANT TO… not because you feel like you have to say yes. And, being able to say yes means learning how to say no. We can learn how to create boundaries and say “no” way before we are even thinking about consent in terms of sex and it starts with educating little kids. Everyday Feminism has a great graphic to illustrate this point.

    kidsconsent

    Image Reads: Children are told that adults are owed their attention and affection. When that idea is internalized it can be difficult to accept that no one is owed physical contact or emotional safety.

  3. Knowing what you want and don’t want is a key part of being able to participate in affirmative consent. Reviewing and completing a sexual inventory can be a great way for you to identify what you want and don’t want as a first step in being able to communicate your needs. Check out this  Yes, No, Maybe list from Scarleteen.
  4. In this time of distance learning, Zoom meetings, and FaceTime as some of our only means of socially connecting with classmates, co-workers, family and friends, it’s even more important to be thinking about digital consent and practicing clear communication. Learn more here. 

Important Take-Away:

Affirmative consent is not just about the presence of a no… it is the presence of an enthusiastic yes!

Remember FRIES.… consent is: Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic and Specific.

13938080_1400410499974990_6396580459989856540_o

Now that you’ve got some good readings in your tool kit, what will you do with them? Here’s some Action Items:

  • Incorporate at least one way you can ask or give consent into your daily life, whether that’s asking to hug someone if you haven’t asked in the past, talking to your friends about tagging you on social media only after they’ve asked you, or offering an alternative way for a young person in your life to show gratitude that isn’t connected to physical touch or affection.
  • Share one of the articles above on your social media platforms. Ask your friends or family member if they’d be willing to engage in a conversation with you about one of the takeaways that stood out to you.
  • Like tea? Then here’s one more video on consent you can watch and share!

 

Follow the Women’s Center on myUMBC,  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for SAAM updates and information throughout the month of April. You can also stay up-to-date by following #UMBCsaam 

 


 

Throughout this time of distance learning, campus staff are still here and available for support. Do not hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or care.

On-Campus Resources Available for Virtual Support: 

 

To report a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination, please submit this online form

Celebrating our December 2019 Returning Women Student Scholar Graduates!

A post curated by Women’s Center director, Jess Myers.

Last week, the Women’s Center celebrated our Returning Women Student Scholars graduating this semester at our pinning ceremony. This event has become a tradition in the Women’s Center as a means to celebrate our continuing and graduating returning women students who are UMBC students 25 years and older seeking their first undergraduate degree. These students are called “returning” because they often have various circumstances that have kept them from what our popular culture deems as a traditional college path and they are now “returning” to college to pursue their degree. Student scholars in this program not only receive scholarships to help financial supplement their tuition, but also benefit from tailored support and programming from Women’s Center staff through individualized meetings, programs, and events that meet the specific needs of older students on campus. Each year we have between 20-25 scholars and affiliates participate in this unique program.

IMG_5963

December graduates from the Returning Women Students Scholars + Affiliates program at the graduating pinning ceremony.

At this special “pinning” ceremony, graduating seniors receive their Women’s Center Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates pin to wear at graduation. Each scholar was invited to share a short reflection, many of which included joy, excitement, gratitude, and sheer exhaustion. Graduating seniors spoke to the students who were still in the process of working towards their degree, Don’t worry, you can do it. You’ll be in my position soon enough.

Before the pinning ceremony began, graduating senior, Katrina Kelly, read a poem she read at a previous celebration that resonated deeply with students. As the poem was read aloud again, the group of students present became captivated by the reality this poem had in their own lives. For a non-traditional adult learner who often feels like they are taking on the weight of the world, this poem is a powerful testament to their strength and determination.

“…I’ve hated this woman. I’ve not loved her at full capacity. I’ve fed her lies & told her she wasn’t good enough and have allowed others to tell her she wasn’t good enough. I’ve allowed her to be broken. I’ve allowed others to treat her disrespectfully. I’ve allowed her to run through brick walls & battle for others who won’t even stand for her. I couldn’t stop individuals from abandoning her, yet I’ve seen her get up and stand to be a light to the world & love others despite all that. I have stood paralyzed by fear while she fought battles in her mind, heart and soul….She is who she is. Every mistake, failure, trial, disappointment, success, joy, and achievement has made her the woman she is today…. This Woman is a WARRIOR. She’s not perfect but God calls her WORTHY! She’s UNSTOPPABLE. Gracefully broken but beautifully standing. She is love. She is life. She is transformation. She is ME and She is BRAVE!”

Anyone who has spent time in the Women’s Center knows that working with this special group of students is one of my favorite experiences in my role as director of the Women’s Center. At a university which celebrates, grit and greatness, no other student cohort exhibits both with such deep grace and humility. As individuals and as a community, they are brave and unstoppable. So, it is with great joy that I invite you to join me in celebrating these fantastic students and their accomplishments. Below are some of our graduating students who in their own words share what they were involved in at UMBC, what’s next for them after UMBC, and some sage advice for other adult learners.

Happy Graduation!!!

Brandy Altice, Newcombe Scholar 

IMG_5916

Brandy and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration.

I transferred to UMBC in the fall of 2015. It had been seven years since I received my Associates degree in Sociology from the College of Southern Maryland. I was nervous to begin another journey into my college career especially with a husband and two year old daughter at home. At first I felt out of place, returning as an older student, but quickly made friends with fellow classmates. Although, it wasn’t until being accepted as a Returning Women Student Scholar that I really felt that I was part of a community at UMBC. I felt like I belonged.

Now that I’m graduating with honors, I plan to take a semester off to enjoy my family before moving on in my journey toward a Masters Degree. I am currently in the process of enrolling into a graduate program for social work or psychology. Although I look forward to having time off from my studies, I am excited to launch the next chapter of my college career. Thanks to UMBC and The Returning Women’s Scholarship Program, I strongly feel ready and capable.

My advice to current returning women students…  is to not let anything get in your way. Make your college experience your own. Take advantage of all that is offered at UMBC and the Women’s Center. Do as much as you can to enjoy your journey. Celebrate all your successes. Celebrate all your challenges. Above all, know that you WILL come out on the other side a stronger and a more confident person than before.

Josie Aquino, Newcombe Scholar 

IMG_5921

Josie and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration.

I transferred to UMBC from Harford Community College (HCC) in the fall of 2017 with plans to major in mechanical engineering. Earning my bachelor’s degree is a dream I’ve held close to my heart for as long as I can remember. As a first-generation college student with four younger sisters, my family is my greatest inspiration. Although I knew that attending a 4-year institution would bring me closer to reaching my goals, graduation still felt so unreachable and far away. I thought the next two or three years would feel like an eternity, especially because of being a returning student. Most of my friends had long graduated and were already well into their careers. Here I was just beginning.

During my first semester, I struggled to make connections on campus. Even though I was experiencing many of the same difficulties all new students face, I dealt with the added challenge of being a non-traditional student. Connecting with the Women’s Center and getting involved with the Returning Women Students Scholarship Program has had a huge impact on my UMBC experience. More than anything, it has provided me with a feeling of belonging. I have been so inspired by the women I have met through this program, and there are no words for how much it means to me to know that I am not alone. Hearing their stories of struggle and triumph have helped me to believe that I, too, will be able to achieve my dreams.

It is surreal to me that graduation is only days away. This day I’d thought would never come is finally here. Throughout my time at UMBC, I’ve been challenged in unexpected ways and pushed to the absolute limits of my abilities. I’ve failed more times than I can count. I’ve experienced suffocating self-doubt. I’ve cried silent tears as I walked alone across campus. The demands of higher education have strained my relationships and deprived me of sleep. Despite all of this, I wouldn’t change a thing about my UMBC journey. I am not the same person I was two years ago. I am infinitely stronger and more resilient. I know who I am, and I know what I have to offer. Every failure has been a lesson, as hard as it can be sometimes to view them that way. Every victory has brought me closer to achieving my goals.

When I graduate, I will be wearing a stole for being a Mechanical Engineering Department Teaching Fellow (TF), a cord for being involved in the M.O.D.E.L. M.E. peer mentoring program, a cord for being a first-generation college student, and—one of the most special of all—a purple paw print pin. My entire family will be in the audience cheering me on.

      If I can do it, you can do it.

My advice to current returning women students: Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Ask for help when you need it. Do things that scare you. Be kind to yourself.

Learn more about Josie’s experience featured in a UMBC news story celebrating December 2019 graduates! 

Katrina Kelly, Newcombe Scholar 

IMG_5934

Katrina and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration.

The first steps I took onto the beautiful campus of UMBC were from the #35 bus stop at Hilltop up the long walk to the Admissions office. I felt electrified and overwhelmed at the same time. Transferring from SUNY-Empire State College in New York, an institution crafted for working adults, into a traditional four-year university as a non-traditional student tapped into nearly every self-doubt I had and yet the necessity to complete my education left me (thankfully) with no choice but to press onward. I transferred into the Geography and Environmental Systems (GES) program in Fall 2016, having changed from my original major of Business Management and Economics because I had discovered a profound passion for many elements of this work.

In addition to being a full-time, independent student, I also worked part-time and full-time (when possible) to support myself. I participated in Federal Work Study in the Department of Music and worked as a research assistant for GES faculty, held a brief internship with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as an Oyster Restoration Intern, served as the Director of the Communications Department of the UMBC Student Government Association, and am currently participating in the University System of Maryland Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) undergraduate research internship program. Among the most important aspects of my experience here has been the Women’s Center and the Returning Women Students Scholarship program. The moral and financial support I have received through the center, through Jess (the RWS Angel), and the Newcombe Scholarship have been irreplaceable and invaluable.

I graduate this Fall with not only my Bachelor’s degree, but with a determination to enter graduate school in Fall 2020 to study sustainable urban planning and/or environmental engineering and an interest in international environmental research programs where I can apply the training (and Spanish language skills) I have acquired through my time here. I am so grateful. GO DAWGS!

My advice to current returning women students: Decide that you will create value from everything you experience here so that everything, even in the smallest of ways, fuels your determination and provides impetus for your ongoing success. Stubbornly refuse to quit until you feel that you have won.

For more information about the Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates program, visit the Women’s Center website. Returning Women Students at UMBC are also encouraged to join the group’s Facebook group.

Celebrating our May 2019 Returning Women Student Scholar Graduates!

A post curated by Women’s Center director, Jess Myers.

Last week, the Women’s Center celebrated our Returning Women Student Scholars graduating this semester at our pinning ceremony. This event has become a tradition in the Women’s Center as a means to celebrate our continuing and graduating returning women students who are UMBC students 25 years and older seeking their first undergraduate degree. These students are called “returning” because they often have various circumstances that have kept them from what our popular culture deems as a traditional college path and they are now “returning” to college to pursue their degree. Student scholars in this program not only receive scholarships to help financial supplement their tuition, but also benefit from tailored support and programming from Women’s Center staff through individualized meetings, programs, and events that meet the specific needs of older students on campus. Each year we have between 20-25 scholars and affiliates participate in this unique program.

full group

Many members of the 2018-19 Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates celebrate their accomplishments whether it’s finishing up another semester or making it to graduation day!

At this special “pinning” ceremony, graduating seniors receive their Women’s Center Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates pin to wear at graduation along with a yellow rose. Each scholar was invited to share a short reflection, many of which included joy, excitement, gratitude, and sheer exhaustion. “I finally made it!” rang through the Women’s Center lounge walls along with laughter and tears.

Students not graduating were also invited to share their reflections on the year and one scholar asked to read a poem her friend recently shared with her as a note of encouragement. As the poem was read aloud, the group of students present became captivated by the reality this poem had in their own lives. At its conclusion almost everyone said “you will you please share that?!” (we’ll share with you too… a condensed version is below). For a non-traditional adult learner who often feels like they are taking on the weight of the world, this poem is a powerful testament to their strength and determination.

“…I’ve hated this woman. I’ve not loved her at full capacity. I’ve fed her lies & told her she wasn’t good enough and have allowed others to tell her she wasn’t good enough. I’ve allowed her to be broken. I’ve allowed others to treat her disrespectfully. I’ve allowed her to run through brick walls & battle for others who won’t even stand for her. I couldn’t stop individuals from abandoning her, yet I’ve seen her get up and stand to be a light to the world & love others despite all that. I have stood paralyzed by fear while she fought battles in her mind, heart and soul….She is who she is. Every mistake, failure, trial, disappointment, success, joy, and achievement has made her the woman she is today…. This Woman is a WARRIOR. She’s not perfect but God calls her WORTHY! She’s UNSTOPPABLE. Gracefully broken but beautifully standing. She is love. She is life. She is transformation. She is ME and She is BRAVE!”

Anyone who has spent time in the Women’s Center knows that working with this special group of students is one of my favorite experiences in my role as director of the Women’s Center. At a University which celebrates, grit and greatness, no other student cohort exhibits both with such deep grace and humility. As individuals and as a community, they are brave and unstoppable. So, it is with great joy that I invite you to join me in celebrating these fantastic students and their accomplishments. Below are some of our graduating students who in their own words share what they were involved in at UMBC, what’s next for them after UMBC, and some sage advice for other adult learners.

Happy Graduation!!!

Lex Ashcroft, Newcombe Scholar 

IMG_5421

Lex and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration.

I started my journey at UMBC as a transfer student from AACC in the fall of 2016 as a psychology major. My first semester at UMBC was rough to say the least, being a single mom working full time in addition to taking evening classes. I didn’t have time to take part in any extracurricular activities or campus groups. I remember feeling very disconnected and discouraged at times. Thankfully, I came across the Parents Club in my second semester and connected with other student parents. Through them, I was introduced to the Women’s Center and the Returning Women Students (RWS) program. The RWS scholarship fully covered the rest of my tuition costs, and took such a burden off of my shoulders. Not only that, it allowed me to connect with other “nontraditional students” and women who had similar challenges as mine. The support that the RWS program (and the Women’s Center as a whole) offers is so important, especially for students who have competing responsibilities outside of school.

To say I am excited for graduation is an understatement, I’m eager to get started on the next lap of my educational journey. I will be applying to doctorate programs at the end of this year, and hope to enter a program in the Fall of 2020. I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing professors here at UMBC, and through them I further explored areas of study that I hadn’t considered before. I hope to combine my love of psychology and education into a career as a behavioral health policy analyst.

My advice to returning women students, don’t be afraid to explore. Your time here will pass much faster than you think. Join clubs, service based or professional orgs. Get familiar with our awesome resources like the Women’s Center, the Mosaic Center, and Off Campus Student Services. You will find your tribe within the UMBC community, and it will make your college experience so much more fulfilling.

You can also read more about Lex’s story which is featured in one of UMBC’s graduation news stories

Giovanna Carbonaro, Newcombe Scholar 

IMG_5391

Giovanna and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration

Graduation has been the front and the center of my ultimate goal since I began going to school. I still remember walking to my classes pregnant, postpartum and walking around the halls with my little guys. Yes, it was hard, difficult and exhausting; however every time I reminded myself all the reasons I am getting an education. My best gift of all! That has helped me to focus. There have been countless times where I felt despair and I didn’t know how to find school resources. Here is where Returning Women Students community has been the backbone to my success by not only offering me a safe place to rest, but also to connect with other students/adults like me. Their staff were always ready to help with a big smile which made me feel so welcome and put me at ease; for which I am SO thankful. Thank you!!!

As for my career path, I am looking into part time teaching positions so I can be around my young boys who are under 5 years old. The thought that I will be walking to receive my undergrad diploma in Multicultural Linguistics Communication has proved to me once more that if we set our minds to do it….anything is possible.

Jaime Engrum, Newcombe Scholar 

IMG_5404

Jaime and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration

I started my journey at UMBC 4 years ago after spending 4 years completing my associate’s degree. I knew that a career in social work was what I wanted and I was willing to do another 4 years of college to achieve my bachelors. Taking only 2 classes a semester, I felt it was going to take forever to finish. The time went by faster than I expected and I was 2 semesters away from graduating and an internship I felt I was prepared for was about to begin. My professors at UMBC prepared me with the knowledge I needed to enter by internship, however I was not financially prepared. I had met the limits to all my loans and I saved as much vacation time I could to help with the hours I would lose going from working full-time to part time, however it wasn’t enough. I feared all my hard work was not going to end with a degree. My advisor recommended I apply for the Newcombe Returning Women’s scholarship the semester before my internship. She said I have a story and it should be shared!

The short version to my story is I didn’t decide to go to college until 10 years after graduating high school. I was a teenage mother raising my son on my own. College to me was not an option at that time. Once he was older and I had more family support close by, I decided to go to college. It has taken a tremendous amount of time away from time spent with my family to have my degrees; however, I have shown my son the value of a college education. During my 8 years of college I have married and my son is preparing himself for college.

As my internship approached, I received a notification that I was a recipient of the Newcombe Returning Women’s scholarship. It brought tears of joy that I received an award that allowed me to finish my senior year at UMBC and earn my degree in social work. Not only did this scholarship help me financially, but it allowed me to connect with women, like myself, and have a support system to encourage me to keep going when I couldn’t find balance in my life.

I now am about to walk across the stage next week with thanks to the amazing professors at UMBC and the amazing support of the Returning Women’s Program. The following week I then get to sit and watch my son graduate from high school! It may have been a long 8 years, but the reward at the end is priceless. I plan to begin my Master’s in Social Work this fall!

Rachel Mansir, Newcombe Scholar 

IMG_5439

Rachel and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration

Sitting here, looking at the calendar, I am in utter disbelief. Thinking about graduating unleashes a torrent of mixed emotions. Chipping away one class at a time, this twenty-year endeavor has proven to be more than merely pursuing a piece of paper. This has become a personal journey. My diploma will contain the blood, sweat, and tears not only from me, but of my family. Returning to school as a non-traditional, older student is scary stuff. The college environment had become unfamiliar and was foreign ground for me. The Returning Women Students program created a place for me where I felt like I belonged. I connected with other single-mothers and found a brave, supportive place where I could spread my wings. Without the Women’s Center, their dedicated staff, and their financial support, I am not sure I would have been able to finish my degree. Of course, the support of my wonderful parents and daughters helped me persevere through the rough patches.

I am very much looking forward to the next stage of this grand adventure, graduate school. I have been accepted into the Advanced Standing Master’s program at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work where I will continue studying under the Title IV-E program, which is preparing me for a career as a public child welfare social worker.

I would love to tell you that going back to school was fun and has been a breeze. I can’t, because it is not easy. It’s just not. There are (many) days where you want to throw up your hands and quit. The late nights and bleary-eyed mornings can drive you to the brink of madness. The continual sacrifices and trying to balance work, raise children, juggle their activities and school is truly a struggle even on the best of days. Returning to school to finish my degree was the first thing I have ever really done for myself. But this has been, without a doubt, one of the best decisions I have made in my life. It’s worth it. My children are worth it. I am worth it.

Tenier Simms, AEGON Scholar 

IMG_5428

At the age of 39, my journey began in Fall 2015 at UMBC. Undecided on whether I wanted to do nursing or social work, I ask myself who was I fooling to think I had four long years in me to do it. Unbeknownst to me, it was going to be a lot harder than community college. It was a rough start. Throughout the semesters I contemplated quitting, but my passion was to help others so giving up wasn’t an option. I remember meeting with my social work advisor and she was a little concerned. I reassured her I was going to do better, and after that first semester, I maintained A’s and B’s. As the years went on it, seem to get easier, and now that I am just days away from graduation, I can say I’m glad I stayed the course. On May 23rd, 2019 I will walk across that stage in front of my friends, family,  but most importantly my kids. My journey will show them and others that no matter how old you are, no matter how many obstacles come up against you, KEEP PUSHING! Push through the tears, doubts, and frustration because, in the end, I promise you it will be all worth it!

Being a Returning Women Student Scholar has meant so much to me it has allowed me to connect with a group of women from all ages, races, and backgrounds. The last few semesters I have had a few hardships, but because of the support I have received from Jess and the staff at the Women’s Center, it has given me the encouragement and motivation to get through. We as women make so many sacrifices in our personal and professional lives and to have a support system here at UMBC has been amazing.
My plans after graduation are to work at a local hospital as a Medical Social Worker as well as attend grad school at Morgan State University.

My advice to returning women students is don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of your dreams. Take full advantage of the Women’s Center and all that it has to offer; you will thank yourself later. Remember you have what it takes to be a victorious, independent, fearless woman!

Congratulations to our other Returning Women Students Scholars + Affiliates graduating this May:

Briana Graves, Newcombe Scholar 
Kiona Hines,
Newcombe Scholar 

Laura Popp, Newcombe Scholar 
Estelle Ra, Affiliate
Jenny Sage, Newcombe Scholar 
Ellen Tippet, Newcombe Scholar 

group - 19 graduates

Graduating Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates pose together with their graduation pins.

For more information about the Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates program, visit the Women’s Center website. Returning Women Students at UMBC are also encouraged to join the group’s Facebook group.

Celebrating our Returning Women Student Scholar Graduates!

A post curated by Women’s Center director, Jess Myers.

Last week, the Women’s Center celebrated our Returning Women Student Scholars graduating this semester at our pinning ceremony. This event has become a tradition in the Women’s Center as a means to celebrate our continuing and graduating returning women students who are UMBC students 25 years and older seeking their first undergraduate degree. These students are called “returning” because they often have various circumstances that have kept them from what our popular culture deems as a traditional college path and they are now “returning” to college to pursue their degree. Student scholars in this program not only receive scholarships to help financial supplement their tuition, but also benefit from tailored support and programming from Women’s Center staff through individualized meetings, programs, and events that meet the specific needs of older students on campus. Each year we have between 20-25 scholars and affiliates participate in this unique program.

48361521_2000462466699218_2550312341543583744_o

Returning Women Student Scholars celebrating the end of the semester and our December graduates at the pinning celebration.

Anyone who has spent time in the Women’s Center knows that working with this special group of students is one of my favorite experiences in my role as director of the Women’s Center. It is with great joy that I invite you to join me in celebrating these fantastic students and their accomplishments. Below are some of our graduating students who in their own words share what they were involved in at UMBC, what’s next for them after UMBC, and some sage advice for other adult learners. Happy Graduation!!!

Ariel Poirier, Newcombe Scholar

48365841_2000462270032571_986518876533555200_o.jpg

Ariel and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration

I became a full-time student at UMBC in the fall of 2016. Before this I was working through my associates at AACC and completed that with a degree in general studies and photography. My major at UMBC and what I’ll be graduating with is environmental studies and geography! I’m so excited to finally end this long journey to my Bachelor’s degree.

My future plans are to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I had a great experience interning with them last summer in Jacksonville, Florida. I also plan on returning to school within the next few years to earn my Masters degree in ecology.

My advice to returning women students is to connect with your professors! I had such great relationships with my professors and that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been bold and introduced myself. This goes a long way with building a rapport and establishing trust. Another thing I would say is to try not to become discouraged! You’re here for a reason!

Laura Newman, Tydings Scholar

48372891_2000462360032562_8789946619064745984_o

Laura and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration

I was a UMBC dropout in 2004 when I could not continue as a student. I spent years struggling with mental health issues and my family has told me how they had thought I would never be capable of going to school again. A genetic test called GeneSight helped determine what medicine to take and I quickly began to recover. I went to communtiy college for a semester and got As and gained confidence to return to UMBC. My grades have been above 3.5 my whole time here. I am proud to be graduating and already employed full time. I hope to be an inspiration to anyone who has struggled with the balance of mental health and school.

My advice to returning women students is to connect with the Women’s Center which provided me amazing professional development support for me as I began to transition into a full career. Additionally, the scholarship program provided me additional financial support and helped me work an internship that led to an awesome job. The Women’s Center had helpful workshops, including salary negotiation and helpful tips on Google apps. I was surprised how much I learned!

Lauren Hall, Newcombe Scholar

48277554_2000462420032556_4139271415805247488_o

Lauren and Jess at the Returning Women Student Scholars pinning celebration

Stay tuned for more from Lauren in her own words. In the meantime, let’s celebrate Lauren who is graduating with a degree in English Literature. We’re excited that Lauren will be staying on campus as she pursues a Masters in the Art of Teaching for secondary education beginning this spring. Happiest of birthdays to her son who is very excited to be celebrating his birthday on Lauren’s graduation day!

 

For more information about the Returning Women Student Scholars + Affiliates program, visit the Women’s Center website. Returning Women Students at UMBC are also encouraged to join the group’s Facebook group.

Announcing the Women’s Center Scouts!

Girl Scouts. Radical Monarchs. Lumberjanes. Pawnee Goddess.
And now… Women’s Center Scouts!

giphy1

Time and time again, Women’s Center staff get the question, “How do you join the Women’s Center?”

Our response is “Easy! Come and hang out in our lounge! Come to events. You don’t have to join.”

To which we get an “Oh. Okay.”

We get it. Being a part of something is special. Showing your loyalty and commitment to a cause is empowering. Finding home and belonging in a space that means something to you, means something to us.

giphy

So, now, you can “join” the Women’s Center by being one of our fearless and loyal Scouts!

Here’s the deal. To become a Women’s Center Scout, first start by joining the Women’s Center myUMBC page and following at least one of our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram). If you’re already a member and following one of our pages, great! You’re one step closer.

Next, it’s time to save the dates! Each Scout must meet the challenge of attending at least 3 different Women’s Center events throughout the fall semester. The 3 different events must meet the following criteria:

From the above challenges, your duty as a Women’s Center Scout is to ensure that you attend 1 event during first 8 weeks of the semester and attend 1 event during second 8 weeks of semester. This will require planning and strategy, Scouts!

WC Scounts

Okay…. you don’t need to keep swiping, but do keep reading! 

Over the course of the semester, we may also announce bonus Scout challenges to enhance the experience so do stay tuned to our social media pages!

Any UMBC community member who completes the challenge by December 1st gets a Women’s Center T-shirt and a shout-out on our social media pages (any maybe some badges – we’re still working on those details).

WCshirtfront

This is the front of the cool Women’s Center shirt you’ll get after you complete your Scout Challenges!

 

All UMBC students, faculty, and staff are welcome to participate!

giphy2

For questions, stop by the Women’s Center or email us at womenscenter@umbc.edu.