By Shanakay Osbourne
The Spring 2020 semester has come to an end, so has my journey with the Women’s Center. I would like to share with you some of my most memorable experiences and what I have learned. As the graduate assistant at the Women’s Center, some of my responsibilities included supervising undergraduate student staff, serving as a liaison between student organizations and the Women’s Center, managing and assisting with programs and events, and assist with managing the front desk at the Women’s Center.
My favorite part of being a staff member with the Women’s Center is getting to work with such an amazing team. I enjoyed spending time with the staff during events, one-on-one meetings, and getting to know each individual. We helped to support each other in planning, setting up, and working tables at events, as wells as providing encouragement and great feedback to help each other. One of the events that I enjoyed managing was the Motivational Mondays. The program was a weekly virtual event that included social media posts of inspirational quotes that help promote positive thinking and mental health. The event also included a series of self-care activities. Motivational Mondays allowed me to express my creativity while helping others to stay motivated throughout the semester.
I have learned so much during my time at the Women’s Center. I learned how to better advocate, support, and educate for the cause of women’s equity here at UMKC and in our community. I also received additional knowledge about the different challenges that women encounter such as the gender pay gap between men and women, how much unpaid domestic work women contribute to, and the impact women have made throughout history. A professional skill that I learned was how to hire employees. This is a great skill that allowed me to be able to know what to look for when hiring an individual that will be a good fit for a job position.
The Women’s Center has given me the opportunity to grow, lead, and inspire others. With being a first-time UMKC student, the UMKC Women’s Center gave me my first tour of campus, help me to publish my first blog, and is my first graduate assistantship job! I am thankful and have been honored to be a part of the team. I look forward to seeing how the Women’s Center will continue to develop with helping to promote gender equality and helping individuals reach their fullest potential. To the Women’s Center staff, I want to say thank you for making this a wonderful first-year experience for me at UMKC!