NMU's Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) will host a Rise U.P. Women's March 2020 post-reception Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Ore Dock Brewing Company. The event will feature all-female speakers and musicians, along with a pop-up art show by female artists. PRSSA is highlighting several empowering NMU students, faculty and staff in advance of the march and reception. This is the first of four installments recognizing their dedication.
This will be the second consecutive year that PRSSA has hosted a post-Women's March reception. Those featured in the organization's #RiseU.P. social media campaign answered several questions related to empowerment, their source of inspiration and their hopes for women in the world. Following are some of their responses:
Emma Fellows: December 2019 graduate, English writing and French.
“I #RiseU.P. for the women in my family and the numerous sacrifices they have made that have allowed me to flourish and grow. I often explore themes in my writing that have to do with matriarchal lineage and storytelling, as well as how our identities are impacted by these ideas. Additionally, my time at Northern, working in and being a part of the English department, empowered me by encouraging me to use my voice and share my narrative.”
What Inspires You? "I am inspired by so many unique, intelligent, wonderful women in my peer group and NMU's faculty. Being able to watch all of these cool people explore interesting ideas and curate amazing art and research blows my mind. I'm constantly impressed by something new a friend is working on or an idea a professor shares with me. Working near other women who are immersed in what they're passionate about is incredibly inspiring, and encourages me to keep expanding and try new things in my studies/creative work and personal life."
What role do men play in supporting empowering women? How have men supported you? "While there are some extremely strong women that make the backbone of my family, the majority of my family members are men. I'm the youngest of four kids, I have two brothers and a sister. I have six first cousins who are more like brothers than anything else. I learned from a very young age how to stand up for myself and 'run with the boys.' I have always loved sports and competition, and they bring out the best of that in me. On the other hand, they were equally supportive of all of my academic and artistic endeavors and have empowered me through their encouragement. I don't think I would be as determined as I am if it wasn't for them, or as confident in that determination, either."
How would you describe your future in three words? "Full, vibrant and I have to say scary, probably…definitely.”
Leslie Warren, Dean of Library and Instructional Support since May 2013
What empowers you? "Throughout my professional career, I have been committed to making sure that everyone has access to education and information. I #RiseU.P. when I am informed, when I can evaluate that information, and when I can use it to enrich my life and the lives of others. I ask questions, I seek expertise, and I share my own expertise in order to be a better leader, citizen, and community member."
Tell us about your own personal path of empowerment. What was significant?
"My sisters and I were first-generation college students. We grew up in a home committed to education, but with very limited advice on developing a professional career. I went to a great university and earned high grades. I missed opportunities to develop a portfolio and a network. Over time I figured out where those gaps were and worked on filling them in. I am now committed to sharing my story with students and helping them avoid my mistakes."
How can women support women on NMU's campus? "Women can support women on NMU's campus (and anywhere else) by sharing our knowledge, our successes, our struggles, and our networks. We can encourage each other to learn and ask questions without judgement. We can introduce each other to new people who bring new perspectives and new opportunities."
How would you describe your future in 3 words? Learning. Sharing. Voting.
These profiles were compiled by Molly Gaudreau and Brooke Baneck of PRSSA.