This is our last #WomenofCMU entry. This journey was amazing and I have learned so much about women leaders on our campus and different perspectives on what it means to be empowered. I hope you all enjoyed this campaign as much as I did and I look forward to restarting it again next March in honor of Women’s History Month because there are so many more amazing women on this campus that deserve a shoutout.
Say hello to our final and 12th #WomenofCMU for this year, Kathleen Trombley. Kathleen is a senior here at CMU. She is a 2 year SAPA (Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates) member and is a program coordinator within the group. She is also an intern with the Office of LGBTQ Services here on campus since February since February 2016.ml
“With SAPA it really was my experience as a survivor that got me involved in the group and got me interested, along with some of my friends that came before and they would talk about it with me. I was like wow this group is amazing and they do such great work on this campus. So, with that having inspiring women in my life that helped me, kind of pushed me into choosing SAPA and also my experience asa survivor, it made me realize that this is something that I wanted. Something that I would be good at. For a while I felt like I didn’t really find my niche here, I was involved in other things but, I didn’t feel totally comfortable involved in what I was doing until I go into SAPA. With the Office of LGBTQ Services, I am a member within the community, so barriers and struggles for those that are LGBTQ+ have always been something that has been close to my heart. I really understand how hard of a transition it can be coming to college and not really having a support group…I wanted to be that person within the office that maybe someone who is a freshman who didn’t have that support, they can be themselves with,” explains Kathleen.
There is always a reason we get involved in the organizations we choose. There is a reason women on this campus are empowered. For Kathleen, she stated the administrators of SAPA were women who helped motivate her to be an empowered woman and the best advocate she can be. It is everything to have a mentor to guide you and help you become the best version of you. Talking with Kathleen, I could just see her passion on the topics previously stated. She glowed and just shows pride, which is what you want to see in someone who is an advocate. She even wants to be involved as an advocate career wise. Studying Family Studies here at CMU, she has so many opportunities to help people and continue make her impact on this world.
“I would really love to work with individuals who come from families of abuse, whether it be domestic violence or alcohol…along with working with individuals in the queer community who may have experienced those as well…I just really want to work with groups of people when it is difficult to have voice sometimes, because of pressures our society has on those groups of people. Like survivors of sexual aggression and LGBTQ+ people…As someone who is in both of those groups, I understand how hard it can be sometimes and how difficult it can feel to rise about what you have experienced,” states Kathleen.
Kathleen really fits with my 5 pillars of feminism (look at previous posts to learn more), but I also thinks she belongs with her definition, or any definition. She stated her mentors were women who showed what it meant to be dedicated and hardworking, but I see her also being that person, even though it was just a 20 minute interview. That, to me, is extremely powerful. Kathleen, like all the women in this campaign, in some shape or form have left their stamp on this campus and they will be remembered. I am honored get to know these women, their passions, and their perspectives on why it is important to empower women today.
“Negative statements (against women) they produce a toxic culture, where we feel like there is a hierarchy where some individuals are more superior then others. That culture, it makes it okay for people to commit violence or harassment against specific groups of people, making it harder for them (minorities) to rise up in our society as equals…I think women of the past are a great platform, but we need to do better. For example, Susan B. Anthony, she was a great woman, she was a great advocate for women’s rights and women’s voting but, she was also only focused on white women. So, when we look to these women of the past, we also have to look at their areas of improvements. Women of today, Elizabeth Warren or Michelle Obama, (we have to look at) what they are doing now and how inclusive they are being now,” informs Kathleen.
Thank you Kathleen for allowing me to speak with you. Thank you so much for you advocacy on this campus and the positive impact you are making.