#WomenHeroMonthly: KeKe Palmer

KeKe PalmerThe last Woman Hero Monthly to close out this school year goes to my Queen and inspiration, Keke Palmer. I have been obsessed with her since “Akeelah and the Bee”, following her career in both music and acting appearances throughout the years. I admire her because she’s never seen on blogs magazines for anything other than her new movies, music, or her great sense of fashion!

Using her platform to help inspire young women to be anything we want to be and need to be for ourselves is a message that rings to the true intent of feminism. She’s constantly at the forefront of her own dreams and decisions, taking all of her fans along with her everywhere she goes via snapchat (@keekthasneak). Her talk show “Just Keke”, made her the the youngest talk show host in television history and shortly after that she became the first black Cinderella on Broadway. “Ideas in my mind, I’m always thinking about different things. I just want to put all that out into the world and use my gift”, said Keke in a recent Breakfast Club Interview.

KeKe PalmerMost recently, she starred in “Grease: Live” playing Marty Maraschino, is a regular on “Scream Queens”, and is writing a book entitled “I don’t belong to you” after one of her latest singles. The song picked up a lot of heat for the surprise twist ending where a super sensual Palmer ended up with a woman. “The video was to represent the young woman today – it’s not the traditional woman anymore – and not the specifics of ‘Am I gay? Am I straight? Am I bi?'” the actress-singer, 22, says in the new issue of PEOPLE. “I’m making the rules for myself, and I don’t have to be stuck down to one label.” Using your purpose to guide your dreams, never taking you position in the world for granted, and remembering to smile through it all are a few of the reasons Keke Palmer is the hero we can all learn more than a few lessons from.


Alexandria Bailey

Women’s Center Volunteer

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What I Love About My School

The path I’ve taken in my higher education was by no means planned out. I graduated high school not knowing at all what I wanted to do, and put off the decision to come to Ohio University until the last minute. I chose this university simply because I wanted to go somewhere away from home. I had no idea how much I would truly come to love it here, or that I would study communications.

Here I am outside of the art building, Seigfried Hall, on East Green.

Here I am outside of the art building, Seigfried Hall, on East Green.

I love my school, but the biggest reasons aren’t ones that you would typically think of. While I’m sure numerous Bobcats would list partying, great academic programs, professors, and activities, I have my reasons for loving it here so much.

1. There’s a place here for everyone.

No matter where you come from, who and what you like, what your gender identity is, there’s a place for everyone. The LGBT Center, the Women’s Center, the Multicultural Center and the Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention are amazing, offering a wide variety of events, programs, and resources that anyone can utilize.

2. There are a vast amount of opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.

My beliefs and outlooks have changed tremendously since I began here, and I credit it to everything offered outside of the classroom (like the programs and events I was talking about in #1). I was given the chance to learn and discuss various issues such as social justice, something that never would have happened back home. Learning outside the classroom helped me discover my passion and interest in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Attending performances, listening to speakers and panels, as well as a variety of other university events, gave me exciting and engaging opportunities for personal development and education.

3. There will always be someone who can help you.

It was shocking to me at first how nice everyone here is! On campus and in the community, I always find myself talking to strangers everywhere I go. Not only that, but I think most people here truly care about others and want to see others learn, grow, and be the best they can be. There’s great resources here too, like the Allen Student Help Center, the Career Development and Leadership Center, and Psychological Services to name a few. The best part is that I could walk into most buildings on campus with any question and they would help me find where I need to go and who to ask.

Maybe not everyone feels the same way about this school, as I’m sure it’s not right for everyone. But it was right to me, and the places that I have found within the university have helped shape me. I never could have ever imagined my undergraduate experience would be as great as this.

-Anna Neawedde

Women’s Center Staff

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Congratulations Ann Brown! Our Empowering Women Award Recipient!

WBB vs. Buffalo

A shot of our 2015 Women Leaders  (Michael Pronzato | Ohio Athletics)

This past Saturday, February 6, the Women’s Center, Bobcat Athletics, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program celebrated our 6th annual celebration of OHIO Women Leaders. The event took place at the OU Women’s basketball game against Northern Illinois University, which they won, 95-70, making their MAC record 10-1! We received over 200 nominations for outstanding women leaders on campus, and over 120 students were recognized for their work at the game during half time this year.


Ann Brown pictured with (top) President McDavis and the First Lady, Mrs. McDavis, and (bottom) with Women’s Center Director, Dr. M. Geneva Murray.

Congratulations again to Ann Brown, who was presented with the Women’s Center’s Empowering Women Award during half time. Prior to her recent retirement, Ann Brown assumed the role of “Assistant Director of Special Initiatives” within the Division of University Advancement. She played an integral role in the successful transition of “Women in Philanthropy” to “ohiowomen.” She had a vision for the program that was inclusive and broad-thinking, and was able to forge strong connections with OHIO alumnae. Thanks to her work with the marketing team, ohiowomen now has a recognizable “brand,”and she has helped to broaden the base of support for ohiowomen by providing programming that is substantive and of interest.

In short, the ohiowomen program would not be where it is today had it not been for Ann’s vision and her ability to help women form strong connections with each other. The Women’s Center was more than happy to honor her and her vision at Saturday’s game!

I first attended and was recognized at this event in two years ago, and it was definitely a highlight of my freshman year at OU. I felt I was honored as an individual OHIO woman as well as a crucial piece of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, a community of women I am so very lucky to be a member of who were recognized as a whole at the game.


Some of the Margaret Boyd Scholars with the program’s director, Dr. Patti McSteen, at the OHIO Women Leaders Reception

We were just one group of so many clubs, teams, and organizations to be recognized at the event. Because of this, I felt I was part of an even larger community of women here at Ohio University. Being out on the court with so many inspiring women was a moment I cherish, and was so fortunate to get to experience it again this year with many familiar and new faces!

-Anna Bekavac Women’s Center Staff

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This month’s #WomenHeroMonthly highlights Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha ( known as Dr.


Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha (Google Images)

Mona to her patients), a pediatrician and professor from  Michigan that traced the complaints of hair loss and rashes from her patient’s parents to the high concentration of lead found in the Flint river. The Flint river had been the city’s source of water since 2014, switching from Lake Huron in an effort to save money.

Although the state attempted to discredit her accusations of a tainted water supply, her findings were undeniable . By testing the blood levels of her patients and comparing them to a near county, it was revealed that the lead levels were doubled, and at times even tripled for the kids in Flint. “When (my research team and I) saw that it was getting into children and when we knew the consequences, that’s when I think we began not to sleep,” Hanna-Attisha told CNN.com. Looking even further into the city’s involvement in this crisis, she realized that multiple city officials had been aware of the toxins in the water,but since the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) said there was nothing wrong with the water the consumer’s complaints were ignored.


Protesters in Flint, Michigan 2015 (Google Images)

Often times as women, we have to yell in order to be heard, but that’s not a reason to be silenced. Dr. Mona, didn’t accept the answers that she was given and sought more information for herself, and now Flint is getting water from Lake Huron again. As women, we are the best multitaskers in the world because we realized a long time ago that the world won’t stop for us. Dr. Mona is our #WHM because she became the hero that she and all of the people of Flint needed! She is a wife,  mother of two daughters, responds to multiple  interviews and emails daily, meets with health officials weekly, and finds the time to still see her patients!  The biggest takeaway from Dr. Mona is that  you can always be the one person to take a stand make a difference in someone else’s world (or even save an entire city)!

-Alex Bailey, Women’s Center Staff


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Finish January with the Women’s Center!

Welcome back, Bobcats!

How was your winter break? I enjoyed a trip to New York City where I saw Dames at Sea on Broadway and ate way too much fabulous food with very good friends. I also spent a LOT of time with my family, which was especially meaningful this year since my little sister (who I love more than words!!) was returning home from her first semester away at college and we all got to be together again.

Spring 2016 is going to be jam packed at the Women’s Center! You can check out our full spring semester calendar here and our Facebook page here, but for now I have listed our major events and programs for the last week of January:

Jan. 26 5- 6pm (Women’s Center) Women in STEM Coffee Hour in the Women’s Center Co-sponsored by Russ College of Engineering and Technology, AAUW OHIO, and Women in Information & Telecommunication Systems.  At the beginning of this coffee hour, we’ll show “The Myth of the Scientist”, presented by Crystal Dilworth at TEDxYouth@Caltech (4.18 minutes). We’ll discuss our role models (invite your role model, bring a picture, or share a story) and who has helped disrupt the notion that a scientist can only look or act one way.

Jan. 28 12-1pm (Women’s Center) Brown Bag Lunch and Learn:  “Engaging Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)” with Jody Markley, M.Ed. Director of Multicultural Experiences, Russ College. Brown Bag Lunch and Learns are a casual way of learning about gender issues. Typically, they are facilitated by one speaker, and we encourage Q&A at the end of a presentation. Bring your lunch or snacks!

Jan. 27 4:40-6:30pm (Living Learning Center 130) “Changing the Face of Power: Empowering Young Women to Create Lasting Change on Campus and Beyond” Presented by Rebecca M. Thompson  Co-sponsored with the Margaret Boyd Scholars. The voices of young women (especially those of color and LGBT women) are often left out of the conversations that create and change policies for our communities. Despite that, young women across the country are stepping up to lead and are at the forefront of social justice movements on campus and beyond. In this interactive workshop session participants will explore innovative strategies to develop and strengthen their own leadership skills; how to build strong organizations; and how to create lasting change through civic engagement and grassroots organizing.

Jan. 28 5:30-7pm (Tupper 107) Mentoring Women: A Toolkit for Success and Support This interactive workshop will focus on ways to effectively mentor undergraduate and graduate women. This interactive workshop will focus on ways to effectively mentor undergraduate and graduate women. Mentorship can be a crucial element to women’s successes, and can be a personally rewarding activity for those who function as their mentors. We’ll begin the workshop by renewing our dedication to mentoring, discuss what some of the common pitfalls are for ourselves and our mentees, and detail the gendered issues that many of our mentees will face (like salary negotiation or feeling torn between family and paid employment). Additionally, we’ll evaluate our own mentoring skills and assess what we can do to improve as mentors.


We hope to see you at the Women’s Center a lot this semester!

Hope you enjoyed your (very snowy) weekend,

Anna Bekavac and the staff of the Women’s Center at OU



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Leadership Awards Gala

The Ohio University Women’s Center is proud to support the Annual Leadership Awards Gala hosted by the Career and Leadership Development Center. As part of the Gala, the Women’s Center awards the Women’s Issues Leadership Award.

This award recognizes a student or student organization that has shown outstanding leadership and/or community involvement on women’s and gender issues, or has raised consciousness about those issues.


Women’s Issues Leadership Award recipient Laura Hyde at the 2013 Leadership Awards Gala. Photo by Chris Franz.

Nominee Criteria
  1. Nominee must be a full-time OHIO student, at a junior or senior level standing.
  2. Nominee must demonstrate a commitment to creating a campus climate in which all women and girls can be full and equal participants at OHIO or in the larger society.
  3. Nominee must be a proponent for gender equity.
  4. Nominee must be a “student leader”, which can be broadly defined to include someone who has an elected role in a student organization or more generally mobilizes others to act.

Students can be nominated, or apply themselves. All questions must be answered for nominations and self-nominations.

Recipient will be recognized at the 33nd Annual Leadership Awards Gala on April 6, 2016 in Baker University Ballroom.

leadership award

The OUSAP Student Organization received the award at last year’s Leadership Awards Gala.

In order for the nominee to be considered, the nominee must fill out the online application and submit their resume to womenscenter@ohio.edu. Application deadline is Friday, February 12th. 


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The International Women’s Day Festival

Save the Date!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Time: 2-6pm

Location: Baker Ballroom

Over 600 members of the campus and community gather together every year to celebrate


Members of the Chinese Learners Association perform at International Women’s Day festivities at Ohio University March 15, 2015.

International Women’s Day at Ohio University. The International Women’s Day Festival provides an opportunity for the campus community to highlight women’s and girl’s achievements, to reflect on women’s status today, and to imagine a future where all women are valued as local, national, and global citizens.

We encourage all members of our community – domestic and international, students, faculty, staff, and community and family members – to participate in this event.


How You Can Get Involved
  1. Perform – further information, including suggestions and the application, are available here – Application Due February 17th 2016.

  2. Volunteer – a two-hour shift assists us in ensuring that the International Women’s Day Festival is a success. Click here to sign up – Application Due February 17th 2016.

  3. Table at the event with your research, artwork, or items to sell. Click here for an application – Application Due February 17th 2016.

  4. Enter the competition to design our International Women’s Day Festival poster. Past IWD posters can be viewed in the Women’s Center. Everyone is welcome to submit a poster for consideration; entries will be accepted through Friday, January 29th at 5pm. You may send a digital submission to jenkins1@ohio.edu or drop off a physical copy at the Women’s Center, in Baker 403. Submissions must include the artist’s full name, OU status (student, faculty, community member, etc.), email address and phone number as well a short 150 word biography about the artist. The winner will have their design used for the International Women’s Day Festival advertising materials, have their name included on the poster, and receive a goodie bag from the Women’s Center. Posters should include festival name, date, time and location. Other information will be added to the winning poster. Posters should be sized to fit on 11×17 paper.

  5. MC the event – open auditions for our Festival Master of Ceremonies will be held from 10-12pm and 1-3pm on Thursday and Friday, January 28th and 29th. Auditions require that an applicant present a five-minute presentation about the importance of International Women’s Day. The International Women’s Day Festival MC is in charge of introducing each performer and providing information throughout the program. Winner will receive a certificate and a gift bag full of goodies!

Students from Athens High School model clothes designed by classmate Rebecca Stretton during International Women’s Day festivities at Ohio University March 15, 2015.

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