Milan Marietti, graphic design major from Marquette
Who do you look up to as an empowering female in your life or on campus and why? An empowering woman in my life is my mother. I admire her selflessness, her generosity and how hardworking she is, to name a few. She's owned her own salon for over 25 years and has created a little community there. I honestly can't think of a time she put herself before another person. She taught me from as early as I can remember how to be a strong, independent woman and she's the perfect example of one.
How can women support women on NMU's campus? Women can support other women on campus in many ways, big or small. Go to women's athletic events, not just men's; buy art from a female art student; help proofread your friend's essay; join a female-led club; go to female-led events like the Women's March; take the time to learn and listen about other women's experiences on campus, and so much more.
How would you describe your future in 3 words? “Exciting” because I have a lot of fun things planned for this next year, “mysterious” because while I have fun things planned, I also have aspects of my life that are a complete mystery as to where I'll be in the future, and “open” because I'm ready for whatever life throws at me!
Makayla Kyre, construction management major from Lake Orion, Mich.
What empowers you? I #riseU.P. to challenges. I feel empowered when I'm able to encourage others and see growth, and when I see communities come together and support one another. When we #riseU.P. to reach our goals and observe the reciprocal effect of our hard work. Breaking stereotypes and encouraging the younger generation to do the same. I'm exceedingly grateful to all the strong women who have empowered me and I hope to do the same for others.
When you close your eyes and imagine an empowering woman what do you see? I think of someone who writes her own story regardless of obstacles. Who doesn't let negativity break her down and fights for what is just. A woman who is as perseverant as she is kind.
What is your vision or hope for women in the world? My hope for women in the world is that they know how powerful they are. My vision is that women form communities where we lift each other up rather than competing with one another. That we are respected, supported, and valued. As women, we are incredibly strong and smart. My hope is that women see themselves as beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable.
How would you describe your future in 3 words? Focused, optimistic, and assiduous.
Jes Thompson, NMU alumna and associate professor in the College of Business
Who do you look up to as an empowering female in your life or on campus and why? We have some incredible women on our campus. Provost Kerri Schuiling and my boss, Dean Carol Johnson, are thoughtful and inclusive leaders who inspire me to think broadly about impact and involvement at our university.
When you close your eyes and imagine an empowering woman, what do you see? I see my daughters and I see the next generation of leaders. Young women like Greta and AOC are trailblazing to the future. They're brilliant, beautiful and don't make "fear choices"; they rise to challenges and use their intelligence to bring thoughtfulness to the future.
Tell us about your own personal path of empowerment. What was significant? I had several incredible mentors during graduate school, some female and male. They all helped me see myself as someone who had more than potential. They helped me see my effectiveness in my field and accept, with humbleness, the responsibility that comes with being effective. I have continued to work as though they are watching, like intellectual guardians on my shoulder!
How can women support women on NMU's campus? Women can nurture and lift each other, instead of competing for resources and rewards. We have a lot of opportunities to share and collaborate on our campus. I've worked on projects with incredible, intelligent women like Dr. Sarah Mittlefehldt and Jill Grundstrom--different disciplines, different perspectives, and in both cases we recognized that our diversity brings us strengh and helps to lift our work and amplify our messages.
What inspires you? Nature! I love being outdoors and spending time in the woods or along Lake Superior. It grounds me when I get all caught up in deadlines and work projects... I just step outside and take a few deep breaths and stare up at the trees and see what matters is right in front of me.