Written by Tiff Kim, Transfer Jacks Peer Mentor
In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month! The month is meant to shine a light on the women who have contributed to our society and to encourage others to continue doing so. Without a doubt, we have many women to give thanks to as they have played a vital part in the nation that we have today. President Jimmy Carter first declared the week of March 8 to be National Women’s History Week. This movement strived to show the political support for honoring, recognizing, and celebrating American women. Led by the national Women’s History Alliance and their efforts, Congress finally declared March as National Women’s History Month in 1987.
NAU proudly celebrates Women’s History Month with a myriad of events. The Office of Inclusion facilitated many events in collaboration with other clubs/organizations. Some events included the Women’s History Month Panel, Self-Defense Class with Campus Rec, Paint N’ Sip and more! One of my mentees attended the panel and enjoyed learning more about the experiences of women. He discussed that he attended because he wanted to feel more connected to the women around him. By attending, he learned more about the struggles that some women face and hopes to bridge that gap. It’s nice to see our students participate in these activities to become more knowledgeable!
As always, a month is never enough to dedicate our focus to the accomplishments of women in history. It’s important to keep celebrating and acknowledging women each day. From historical figures to our everyday heroes like our mothers, sisters, and peers, we should celebrate them daily. We would also like to highlight those on our team who identify as women as well!
Jeanine Horio is a senior majoring in Business Management and minoring in Public Relations. She is known as madam president of Tau Sigma Honor Society and committee leader of the Transfer Talks Podcast!
What special traits do the women in your family share? How has this affected your perspective of women? The women in my family share the traits of being supportive and encouraging of each other. I think it’s important to be supportive and encouraging to show that you can do anything you set your mind to and that there is always someone on the sidelines cheering you on.
Who is an influential woman who has left the most impact on you? How do they inspire you? My mom. When I was in high school, she decided she wanted to go back to school while raising myself and my younger sister. Watching her do that made me realize that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She showed me that it’s okay to change your plan and it’s okay to realize later what you really want to do with your life. I changed my major a few times since being in college and doing so pushed me back one year. If it wasn’t for the realization of what my mom was able to accomplish, I don’t think I would’ve changed my major as many times as I did to figure out what I really want to do with my life.
Lily Skinner is a junior majoring in Social Work. She is a part of Blue Key Honor Society and dedicates lots of her time volunteering. She is also a cat clock fanatic!
How do you empower yourself and the women around you? By staying in the know through policies and pop culture. Promoting those conversations with friends/family!
What special traits do the women in your family share? How has this affected your perspective on women? We are all so resilient and caring individuals. Family is important for all of us.
Who is an influential woman who has left the most impact on you? To be honest, I believe that every woman I have ever met has taught me so much. Every woman in my life has been influential in one way or another!
What’s a helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten from the women in your life? Don’t ever give up on yourself, even when something tough comes up. You deserve all the happiness you wish for.
Leilei Renaud is a senior majoring in Exercise Physiology. She dabbles in photography and is always there to capture a special moment!
How do you empower yourself and the women around you? To empower other women, I support them and make them feel strong and important. To empower myself, I often challenge men on things that they have historically gotten away with. I like to show that women don’t and shouldn’t ever tolerate that anymore.
What special traits do the women in your family share? How has this affected your perspective on women? Independent, competent, strong, go-getters, ambitious. I’ve learned that women can be just as successful as men. Despite society favoring and better accommodating men, women have demonstrated resilience and proved no obstacle to stand in our way.
Who is an influential woman who has left the most impact on you? My mom, she is the definition of a strong and independent woman.
What’s a helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten from the women in your life? Don’t ever let a man wrongfully manipulate and take advantage of you.
Jennifer Wadley is a senior majoring in Exercise Physiology. She is a weightlifter with an impressive squat deadlift weight of 500+!
How do you empower yourself and the women around you? By giving them words of encouragement and being there as support. I try to make women feel like they can achieve anything! motivate myself by thinking of my niece and how I can set an example for her. I also motivate myself by looking back to my past. I have faced so many obstacles, but it shows me how far I’ve come. Whenever I have a hard time, I remind myself that I am a strong independent lady, and I CAN DO IT!
What special traits do the women in your family share? How has this affected your perspective on women? There’s so many! My grandma was very empathic and caring. She would just listen to you talk, tell her stories, and give advice at the best times. My nana was an energizer bunny, no matter how tired she was she kept going for her family. She was very caring, would always greet everyone and made sure everyone ate (sometimes too much food). My sister is strong and puts up with nothing that is toxic to her. If something is bothering her, she will voice it. My momma is all of this and more. She’s supportive, strong willed, optimistic, and charismatic. There are too many words to describe her traits. This has shown me that women are caring and strong. We get our stuff done no matter what we face. We can do anything while also taking care of our loved ones.
Who is an influential woman who has left the most impact on you? My momma! For a woman small in stature, she is so mighty. She has faced so many obstacles, but she keeps going. She gave us a home and took care of us and my dad with all his medical issues. She is very inspirational because she never gives up. She is very caring and empathic. No matter who you are, she will treat you with respect. She always supported us, and I hope one day I could be half the women she is.
What’s a helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten from the women in your life? I was told once that men will always have an advantage. Things will seem to always come easier for them. We will sometimes have to fight harder, work harder and be better. But you do not let this stop you. You be better and you be stronger, because the only person putting a limit on yourself is you. Never stop fighting to be better.
Cora is a senior majoring in Business Economics! She loves exploring life and making mistakes along the way to learn from. She also enjoys anime and can finish a full a series in a day!
How do you empower yourself and the women around you? Always tell them to keep their head up and fight through every tough experience. Always remember that they can rely on me and other women in their life.
What special traits do the women in your family share? How has this affected your perspective on women? We are very strong wild females. We will not take no for an answer and will not stop trying until we are happy. We are also very dedicated people. We will put in a hundred and ten percent into everything that we are doing. My perspective on women is that we are very strong, and a lot of people think that we are very delicate creatures. But we are also very strong-willed human beings that will get done what needs to get done.
Who is an influential woman who has left the most impact on you? My mom has really influence and impact me the most. I feel like my mom is my best friend and I can talk to her about every little detail, and she will understand my concerns or struggles and will help. Me come up with solutions or just listen to me to make me feel better about the situation.
What’s a helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten from the women in your life? When you are getting mad and frustrated eat some chocolate or ice cream. Then come back to it later. When you have your head back on.
Katherine Lawlor is our Transfer Jacks Coordinator. Our team describes her as determined, outspoken and compassionate. She is a strong advocate for our transfer students, first-generation students, and other underrepresented populations as well.
How do you empower yourself and the women around you? I empower myself by having strong work friendships who are supportive of my personal and professional goals. I co-lead the Transfer Jacks Mentoring Program, the Tau Sigma Honor Society, and the Tri-Alpha Honor Society. Most of the positions are filled by students who are women. I try to empower them to be confident in their leadership styles and to encourage the students we serve.
What special traits do the women in your family share? How has this affected your perspective on women? Oh, my goodness, my momma is a kind-hearted woman. I grew up with a maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother as our grandfathers either died when we were toddlers or chose not to be a part of our life. My grandmothers loved taking us on walks or to the mall with them. My grandmothers cared deeply about how we were doing in our lives and were proud of us for the adventures we would take. They helped us financially when they could. They’ve supported me as it took time to understand my disability and how it can be managed.
Who is an influential woman who has left the most impact on you? So many of my supervisors in the workplace! Christina Tineo was the first while I worked with college student interns in Texas. I cannot match her kindness, fun spirit, professionalism, and care for people. Debbie Lawlor (my sister-in-law) helped me find a well-paying job when I needed it the most. Lori Beyer, I worked with at a small college in Minnesota, and I didn’t give her enough credit at the time for all the hard work she did to let us be who we are as leaders. Traci Gleason, the Director of Inclusion, at NAU has written several references on my behalf and trusted my vision on how to serve first-generation college students. Right now, Traci is the person who has an impact on me during my time in Flagstaff.
What’s a helpful piece of advice that you’ve gotten from the women in your life? I’ve worked with many student employees who refer to me as boss lady as a term of endearment. Many of my colleagues have encouraged me to be the bold leader that I am because they know I care about college students as I want them to have a better experience than my educational journey.
We are thankful to have a team of such strong women! Thank you to those who have shared their piece!