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Rayna Alexander

Rayna Alexander

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: London, England; Bellevue, Nebraska Major: International Politics Role at Penn State: At-large Representative UPUA (Women's Empowerment Roundtable Coordinator), Co-founder and Media and Recruitment Director of Empowering Women in Law (EWIL), Penn State Cru member, College Democrats active member. Interests: Reading, podcasts, hiking, advocacy, coffee, climate activism, travel. What does women's empowerment mean to you? Women's empowerment means providing support, resources, and equity to women in all walks of life. Empowering girls and women means securing the future. What is something that you want others to know? Women belong in government.

Samantha Browne

Samantha Browne

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: South River, NJ Major: Accounting Role at Penn State: UPUA At-Large (Women's Empowerment Roundtable Co-Coordinator, Mental Health and Wellness Co-Chair), Panhellenic VP of Wellness Interests: I was a competitive dancer my whole life and I love all music! What does women's empowerment mean to you? Women's empowerment means listening, supporting, and uplifting any and all women in your life! Listen to their thoughts and feelings because they are valid, uplift them and give them the confidence that's already within them to step up and take action, and support them in all their endeavors because every woman deserves it! What is something that you want others to know? Penn State is ranked #487 in male to female diversity with around 46% female undergraduate students and 48% female staff (www.collegefactual.com). We need all the support we can get!

Caroline Peters

Caroline Peters

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: Laurel, MD Major: Political Science, Sociology Role at Penn State: Schreyer for Women, Co-founder and Professional Development Chair of Empowering Women in Law, Hospitality THON committee, and Building Supervisor for Campus Recreation. Interests: Running, reading, podcasts, cooking What does women's empowerment mean to you? It means bringing up all different kinds of women and making them feel seen and heard. What is something that you want others to know? Empowering Women in Law is amazing and so fun.

Jess Strait

Jess Strait

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: Abingdon, VA Major: Applied Data Sciences B.S.; minor in Food & Bioinnovation Role at Penn State: President of Days for Girls at Penn State Interests: yoga, sewing, cooking, listening to music, true crime. Passions: data-driven solutions for sustainable agriculture, advocating for and working towards menstrual equity What does women's empowerment mean to you? Women's empowerment to me means equal and active participation for women in our world. Days for Girls strives to ensure that menstruators are able to participate in school and work without interruption due to their monthly period. By sewing and distributing reusable menstrual health kits, our club works to provide menstruators with 3-5 years of sustainable education and dignity during menstruation. I also believe that women's empowerment is a global challenge: socioeconomic issues such as period poverty are often viewed as externally concentrated outside of the Western world, when even in the United States alone, one in five menstruating teens have missed school due to their period. Days for Girls PSU also works to advocate for menstrual health education and access at Penn State through product drives, programs providing free menstrual health products to students, and leading educational sessions on menstrual health. Women's empowerment initiatives should begin in our own communities and extend throughout our world. Finding strength in menstruation and viewing it as a marvel of health and human survival is a cross-cultural, inclusive project: menstruating, its cultural taboo, and its impact on civic involvement opportunities for women influence entire communities. To me, empowering women means recognizing that traditional "women's issues" need to be addressed and championed by all, regardless of gender identity or biological sex. When women have the opportunity to succeed, the communities around them share in their success. What is something that you want others to know? In my work with Days for Girls, the greatest piece of advice I share with any new member is to get comfortable talking about periods. Whether you're talking with men or women, family or friends, classmates or administrators, the stigma around discussing periods contributes to period poverty for menstruators worldwide. In Kenya, the country whose period taboo inspired the founding of Days for Girls International, menstruators sat in their homes on cardboard for days to conceal their menstruation. In the United States, pads and tampons are seldom donated to food pantries because it is more culturally accepted to express food insecurity than period insecurity. In Philadelphia's backyard, menstruators reportedly trade sexual favors for menstrual products. We are fortunate to be in a position to discuss menstruation without fear of cultural shunning or isolation. Getting comfortable talking about periods is the first step to making it comfortable for those in need to do the same.

Laurie Stanell

Laurie Stanell

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: Pipersville, PA Role at Penn State: Penn State Trustee Interests: Fishing, travel, volunteering, reading What does women's empowerment mean to you? Making women feel and be totally self sufficient and confident in all parts of their lives. What is something that you want others to know? I advocate for student and alumni needs .

Penn State Resources

Penn State Resources

Gender Equity Center Website: https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/genderequity Contact: genderequity@psu.edu Director: Audra Hixson Career Student Resource Center, Women Student Career Resources Website: https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/career/resources/explore/identify/women Contact: 814-865-2377, askCS@psu.edu President’s Commission for Women (CFW) Website: http://equity.psu.edu/pce Report Bias Website: http://equity.psu.edu/reportbias Victim and Survivor Support and Advocacy If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating or relationship violence, stalking, or sexual exploitation, the University is committed to giving you the help and support you deserve. This page is focused primarily on dating, domestic, or relationship violence concerns given our current climate. Website: https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health-wellness/victim-survivor-support-advocacy Women’s Health Resources Website: https://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health-wellness/medical-services/services/medical-services/womens-health

Centre County Resources

Centre County Resources

American Association for University Women (State College) About: “AAUW’s Nationwide women’s advocacy network opens doors for women and girls and influences public debate on critical social issues such as education, civil rights, and workplace equity. The State College branch of AAUW was founded in 1916 and has approximately 150 members who continually seek ways to work toward improving the lives of all women.” Website: https://aauwstatecollege.org/ Contact: aauw.statecollege@gmail.com Twitter: @AAUW_SC Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AAUW-State-College-130411100367979/?ref=hl Centre Safe About: The vision of this organization is safety, equality and respect for all individuals and a community free of relationship and sexual violence.It is the mission of Centre Safe to empower survivors of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking and to work toward the elimination of such violence. Website: https://www.centresafe.org/ Contact: 24hr hotline 814-234-5050 Twitter: @centresafe Instagram: @centresafe

State & National Resources

State & National Resources

National Organization for Women (NOW) About: “the National Organization for Women is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights, and is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. NOW has hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members and activists in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since our founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.” Website: https://now.org/ Instagram: @nationalnow Twitter: @nationalNOW Empower Women About: We are dedicated to empowering women to achieve their full economic potential by inspiring both women and men to become advocates, change makers and leaders in their community. We equip them with resources, opportunities and a global platform that facilitates networking, learning and sharing of experiences. Website: https://www.empowerwomen.org/en/resources Twitter: @empower_women World Wide Women About: “Our mission is to connect girls and women with organizations, programs, and services—both locally and around the world—that provide valuable resources to support and empower their lives. ​ ​Our vision is that girls around the world are empowered to advance beyond their circumstances and achieve their goals. We recognize that, oftentimes, they are unaware of the resources available to them. We are out to ensure that this is no longer the case.” Website: http://www.worldwidewomenfoundation.org/ Contact: info@worldwidewomen.co Twitter: @worldwidewomen4 Vital Voices About: “Vital Voices Global Partnership is a global movement that invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges. We are “venture catalysts,” identifying those with a daring vision for change and partnering with them to make that vision a reality. We scale and accelerate impact through long term investments to expand skills, connections, capacity and visibility. Over the last 23 years, we have built a network of 18,000 change makers across 182 countries who are collectively daring to reimagine a more equitable world for all.” Website: https://www.vitalvoices.org/ Contact: info@vitalvoice.org Twitter: @vitalvoices Instagram: @vitalvoices

Professional Resources

Professional Resources

Women for Hire About: Women For Hire, the leading women's and diversity career recruitment specialist, offers comprehensive products and services exclusively for top employers in every field that support and enhance a company's commitment to diversity. Website: http://womenforhire.com/ Contact: http://womenforhire.com/contact_us/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tory Twitter: http://twitter.com/toryjohnson International Federation of Business and Professional Women About: BPW International develops the business, professional and leadership potential of women on all levels through advocacy, education, mentoring, networking, skill building, and economic empowerment programs and projects around the world. Website: www.bpw-international.org Contact: Presidents.office@bpw-international.org NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium **Undergraduate Scholarship and Graduate Fellowship Website: https://sites.psu.edu/paspacegrant/ Contact: spacegrant@psu.edu Twitter: ‎@PASpaceGrant Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASAPSGC/ American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) About: AMWA membership is comprised of physicians, residents, medical students, pre-medical students, health care professionals, and supporters. AMWA is the oldest multispecialty organization dedicated to advancing women in medicine and improving women’s health. Website: https://www.amwa-doc.org/ Contact: associatedirector@amwa-doc.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Medical-Womens-Association/85665171482 Twitter: https://twitter.com/AMWADoctors American Association for Women in Science (AWIS) About: AWIS is a global network that inspires bold leadership, research, and solutions that advance women in STEM, spark innovation, promote organizational success, and drive systemic change. Website: https://www.awis.org/about-awis/ Contact: awis@awis.org Girls Code the World (GCTW) About: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides opportunities, resources, and role models for your girls in STEM-related fields through educational programs and mentorships. Website: www.girlscodetheworld.org Contact: contact@girlscodetheworld.org Instagram: @girlscodetheworld Twitter: @GCodetheWorld Facebook: @girlscodetheworld

Erin Boas

Erin Boas

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: West Chester, PA Major: International Political Economics Role at Penn State: UPUA At-Large Representative, Women's Empowerment Roundtable Coordinator, Student Senator in Faculty Senate,, University Park Allocation Committee, Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority (Vice President of Panhellenic Communications 2021), Homecoming 2020 (Faculty and Commonwealth Outreach Captain), Movin' On 2021 (UPUA Liaison), THON 2020 (Dancer Relations Committee Member), Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society Interests: Reading, Fleetwood Mac, working out, Pinterest, cooking and baking, live music What does women's empowerment mean to you? Women's empowerment is uplifting, listening, and supporting women in all aspects. It's about creating areas where women not only feel comfortable, but have an equal opportunity to succeed. It's about taking action when we see areas of inequity. It's about education, leadership, health and well-being, and belonging. Women's empowerment isn't a women-led effort, its a universal movement. What is something that you want others to know? An extra year of primary school for girls can increase their eventual adult wages by 10 to 20 per cent, and an extra year of secondary school increases wages by 15 to 25 per cent. If all girls completed secondary education in low- and lower-middle income countries, under-five child mortality could be cut in half.

Kristine Gonzalez

Kristine Gonzalez

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: Chino Hills, CA Major: Political Science, Ethics (Minor) Role at Penn State: UPUA, Odyssey, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity Interests: Working out, reading, watching movies, makeup, and going on adventures! What does women's empowerment mean to you? Women's empowerment, to me, means that there is a sense of comfort between us women than competition. It provides me with a feeling of bravery and courage that I am able to speak against gender norms and that I know there are other women who share the same beliefs as me. What is something that you want others to know? I am a content writer on a website named Odyssey. I represent the Penn State community with other great, female writers! We are able to write about anything we feel is important, especially when it comes to empowering other women.

Nicole Kruse

Nicole Kruse

Pronouns: She/Her Hometown: Carmel, NY Major: Italian and History Role at Penn State: Empowering Women in Law External President, College Dems, Art History Club, Phi Alpha Delta, Sigma Sigma Sigma Interests: I enjoy baking, yoga, going on road trips, horribly playing guitar, and dancing. What does women's empowerment mean to you? Uplifting others to recognize their fullest potential. What is something that you want others to know? I appreciate everything that my support system has done for me - thank you to all loved ones for being my own personal cheerleaders and reminding me how very lucky I am to have you all in my life. <3