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Women's History Month

 

Photo of Dr. Bree Alexander

Dr. Bree Alexander, LISW-CP
Assistant Professor of Social Work at TAMUT

My professional motivation comes from a desire to draw attention to the struggles and triumphs of underserved communities, particularly the African American community and the child and adolescent population, including controversial issues such as faith, trauma, mental health, the plight of the black family, and the pursuit of the American dream despite systematic and perpetual setbacks. My personal motivation is centered more deeply around healing and what I feel is my calling to play an active role in the emotional healing process for those who find themselves unable to do so on their own. My hope is that I am able to equip my students, who will undoubtedly become social work leaders in Texarkana and our regional communities, with a personal charge to be willing to get down in the trenches to do the work they're expecting from others because ultimately the best way to empower someone is to have the humility and courage to say, ‘This work is important, it's not above me, and there's value in our collective commitment to bring about change.’”


A photo of Coach Marie Stone.

Marie Stone
TAMUT Softball Head Coach

What advice do you share with female student athletes?

“Be bold! Purpose is more important than popularity. Travel the world, experience new places, new cultures, and try new foods. The sport you play does not define your worth or value. Learn/explore who you are in college and what things are important to you. Learn to see other women not as competitors but as supporters! As women we need to support each other.”


A photo of Brianna Osborn.

Brianna Osborn
Senior Student Athlete | Kinesiology major

What does teamwork in women's sports at TAMUT mean to you? Eleanor Roosevelt once said: 'You must do the thing you think you cannot do.' Tell us about a time, as a student athlete, on the field or in the classroom, where you did something you didn't think you could do--and what that meant to you.

“Growing up, I played soccer to make friends and have something to be involved in. As I continued to grow as a person and as a player, I began to become more interested in soccer at a higher level. I started to look up to collegiate and professional women’s players. Watching them play at a higher level made me start to think ‘maybe I could do this someday.’ But that thought was something that I kept to myself and did not let anyone in on. The truth is, I did not think I would ever be able to play soccer after high school; I did not think I was good enough. But that secret dream stayed with me, and I kept working hard and it paid off. I now play college soccer. Having the opportunity to play at a higher level with this team has allowed me to grow both as a player and as a woman. It has challenged me physically and mentally, made me more confident in myself, and has continually showed me how important it is to believe in myself and that I can get to where I want to be, as long as I work hard enough and keep persevering. Being a part of this team has given me something bigger than myself to be a part of. It has taught me how to be reliable and kept me accountable, because when you are on a team it is not just about you; everyone must do their part to succeed. I am so thankful for the lessons I have learned while playing college soccer; I came into this program as a shy, timid girl and will be leaving a confident, strong woman and that is something I will have for the rest of my life.”
 


A photo of Taylor Atkins.

Taylor Atkins
Junior | History major | President of Omega Delta Chi Sorority at TAMUT

What woman has impacted your life the most and what lessons of hers have guided you through your undergraduate journey at TAMUT?

“I was very fortunate to have and be close to my maternal grandmother growing up. She was one of the few positive female role models I had but took on the role headfirst, giving me all the love and support I would need for a lifetime. Unoriginal but true, I wouldn't be a fraction of the woman I am today without her guidance. If one word could describe her, it would be kind. She has the softed, kindest heart and works everyday to better her world and the lives of those in it. I can be a very stubborn, rigid person, but through my grandmother, I've learned to be empathetic and prioritize those I care about. My love for philanthropy that drove me to join my sorority, Omega Delta Chi, wouldn't exist without her.”


A photo of Jenni Hedrick.

Jenni Hedrick, MSN, BSN, RN
Instructor of Nursing at TAMUT

How has being a woman in the field of Nursing shaped your experiences? What advice were you given by femtors? What woman inspired you to pursue your passions?

“Being a woman in the field of Nursing has shaped my experiences greatly. Recognized as one of the most trusted professions, I realize the impact the nursing profession has in our community, state and nationwide. From witnessing the first breath, to end of life care, you will always find the compassion and love from the nurse providing care. During Nursing school, at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, I remember Dr. Marianne Neighbors educating our class about the history of nursing. I remember having to reflect on Florence Nightingale. I wrote on my little note card ‘I hope to be remembered for my excellent care and leadership in the nursing profession.’ Dr. Neighbors read it out loud to the class, and told me to never stop working towards that goal. It has always stuck with me. My great grandmother, Alma Hinton Setlif, is who inspired me to pursue my passion in nursing. She received her license in her 50s after the law was made that everyone practicing must have the appropriate licensure. I remember everyone in Ashdown knowing her as the nurse at the hospital. She made frequent house calls, my siblings and I would jump in the car to join her. My sister and I both have her to thank for inspiring us to follow her passion in the career of nursing.”


A photo of Dr. Corrine Hinton.

Dr. Corrine Hinton
Associate Professor of English at TAMUT

Which female historical figure or impactful change maker within your specialization field of study, either well-known or obscure, living or deceased, most fascinated you while in graduate school (and why)? How do you interweave this herstory into your undergraduate courses at TAMUT?

“Louisiana Native, Dr. Lisa Delpit, and her book Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom changed my life in graduate school. I learned from her the early formations of what is now culturally responsive teaching as they enacted themselves in classrooms across the country. In her book, Delpit writes, “What should we be doing? The answers, I believe, lie not in a proliferation of new reform programs but in some basic understandings of who we are and how we are connected to and disconnected from one another.” Her petitions for empathy, listening, radical repositioning, and family- and community-connected teaching form the backbone of the critical literacy movement, and they inform my teaching of literacy, literature, and writing – especially (but not exclusively) to our teacher preparation students.”


 A photo of Tinotenda Charuma

Tinotenda Charuma
Senior Student-Athlete  |  Electical Engineering Major

What does teamwork in women's sports at TAMUT mean to you? Eleanor Roosevelt once said: 'You must do the thing you think you cannot do.' Tell us about a time, as a student athlete, on the field or in the classroom, where you did something you didn't think you could do--and what that meant to you.

"I began playing soccer at the age of six. You can only begin to imagine all of the experiences and lessons I’ve learned through all those years. I went through all the good and bad phases a girl could go through and was a part of all the clicks throughout all those years. I was fortunate enough to play this game with people from all walks of life, at all levels, and grow as an individual and woman. At the age of 22, the captain & goalkeeper of the women’s soccer team, here are a few things I have come to understand about teamwork here at TAMUT:

  1. You are as strong as your weakest link.
  2. One for all, all for one.Accountability,  Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, and Servant leadershipIt’s not always about you, but you are an important part of the team (whether you are starting or not).
  3. Cheer for others, even when it’s not your turn, your time will come.

The hardest thing I’ve had to do as a student athlete, has been pursuing an Electrical Engineering degree. What has been unique about my situation is that I am among the first women to graduate with an EE degree in our Athletic program (along with Lesly Macias). With that being said, it has been a long uphill battle. However, with people like Amber Galvan and Jennifer Carrillo in my corner, I have been able to endure rigorous class schedules, practices, games, and even work. I am forever grateful for women like them in my life, and I look forward to being the first woman Electrical Engineer for TAMUT athletics.

-GO EAGLES!


A photo of Kendra

Kendra Harrell
Librarian II at TAMUT's John F. Moss Library

If you had to select just one text written by a female author or your favorite autobiography written by a woman to read on a very long plane ride, which would it be and why? 

“There are so many amazing books by women; the very first novel known, The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu, the first science fiction novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, and countless others. As far as an entertaining read for a long flight, I would choose Laura Schenone’s James Beard Award-winning A Thousand Years over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances. Schenone details women’s history through the lens of food preparation, from prehistory to the modern day. All throughout the book, there are photos and illustrations, as well as recipes that the author has put in the effort to modernize (or at least include notes on how you can do so). However, this is not a simple chronicle, but rather an examination of women’s cultural and societal roles as food-makers throughout history and the world. If that style of history mixed with culture appeals to you, I would also recommend Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim as a fun, funny, and eye-opening history of the period in human culture.”


A photo of Kim Murray

Kimbery Murray
Assistant Professor of Sociology in CASE at TAMUT

Which female historical figure or impactful change maker within the field of Sociology, either well-known or obscure, living or deceased, most fascinated you while in graduate school (and why)?

“Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment by Dr. Patricia Hill Collins was one of the most influential books I read during graduate school. The book highlights the ways in which Black women’s lived experiences and collective knowledge offer a unique intellectual perspective, both within the realm of academia, as well as the larger society. Published originally in 1990, the book was very powerful in establishing the foundations of Black feminist thought and the factors that hindered it from being widely acknowledged. Dr. Patricia Hill Collins was the first African American woman to serve as president of the American Sociological Association and has earned numerous awards and accolades for her work.”


A photo of Katie Hixon

Katie Hixon
Academic Advising at TAMUT

How do you inspire students who are struggling to navigate the world in all its complications and difficulties? What guidance or advice to you remember, from a particular moment in your life, hearing from a fem-tor? How has that impacted you personally?

“I am part of the Academic Advising team at TAMU-T.  My colleagues and I play an active role for each individual student by giving the support they need to forge their own personal path to success. We supply guidance and direction for planning schedules, recommending courses, and determining helpful solutions as needed. To inspire is to be inspired, and the team I am a member of guides me each and every day. Because I am inspired by my co-workers, I can pour my inspiration into others who are struggling to navigate the world in all its complications and difficulties. We begin by first bringing the awareness of how someone feels in that present moment by being authentic. Asking questions in an open forum allows the student to speak freely about what kind of day they are having, what distractions may be occurring in their study and learning environments, or something that gives them hope and motivation. It is in these moments where a person can learn the most about themselves.

I know that being present sounds like a simple solution in a world that presents strongholds and obstacles, but presence gives us the ability to be grounded in our decision making. When we are grounded with our decisions we can move forward because now we have confidence. This confidence takes our hand and helps us step out of our comfort zone into a world of discovery.

Throughout my personal awareness journey, I have encountered the fem-mentors who are empowering women that help lift and rise each other in all situations. It is my yoga instructors, my mother, my closest friend and my team of co-workers. This powerful tribe of women are who continually remind me that you do not have to be like anybody else. We learn to be ourselves and in that journey be the best you, you can be.”


A photo of Brittany Barnett.

Brittany Barnett
Director of TRIO Student Support Services

As the Director of TRIO at TAMUT, what unique student support services can you comment on with regard to our female student population? What do would you like the Eagle Family to know about the collegiate experience of students navigating intersections of gender, low-income households, and first-generation college students?

“TRIO emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration's War on Poverty, starting with Upward Bound in 1964 then Talent Search in 1965. TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) formed in 1968; therefore, the name ‘TRIO’ came to be for the first three federally funded programs. Over the years, TRIO has progressed to over eight federally funded programs today. TRIO programs are a set of educational opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of college degree attainment. 

According to the Council for Opportunity in Education, ‘TRIO programs were the first national college access and retention programs to address the serious social and cultural barriers to education in America.’ TRIO has played a significant role in the lives of women as they serve as guiding lights for their families, communities, workforce, and our society. TRIO provides women from disadvantaged backgrounds with the assistance and resources needed to succeed in their dreams of achieving a college education that has not always been available to them. TRIO women dignitaries such as Viola Davis, Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, and Beatrice Berry have all positively influenced our world with the assistance of federal TRIO programs. 

TRIO will always serve as the necessary support for our diverse, underrepresented students that have been left behind by the institutional inequalities and inequities of society. I am truly honored to serve as a guiding light to our participants in the TRIO SSS program at Texas A&M University-Texarkana providing resources and inspiration for all students of all backgrounds in order to help them achieve academic and personal success. TRIO WORKS!”


A photo of Daisy Bates.

Daisy Bates
Coordinator of Student Engagement Transfer Student Programs

As the Coordinator of Title V at TAMUT, what unique student support services can you comment on with regard to our student mothers? What is Title V, and what services does it provide?

“The unique support services the Title V ICARE team offers are ongoing throughout the student mothers’ educational journey with TAMUT. We consistently reach out to let them know we are here to assist academically and sometimes if need be personally. The one consistent thing that happens in our lives is change. Change is sometimes fast, slow, easy, hard, good, and bad. As women and/or mothers we must continue to press through especially when we have others that depends on us. The Title V ICARE team takes pride in bonding both academically and personally with our students. We like to build up and not tear down, encourage not discourage. If at any time our student mothers are down it is of utmost importance for them to know without doubt we are here to lift them up by listening, assisting, and guiding them in the right direction. I always say to my students, “Help me help you”. My passion for helping others was passed on to me from my mother and two sisters. I have done the same with my daughters. We all need a support system and there is nothing like women helping women by supporting each other.

The purpose of the Title V Co-op grant is to improve persistence and completion rates of low-income and/or Hispanic transfer students.

Title V provides the following services and resources: completion coaching, tutoring/supplemental instruction, assist with internships and mentorship connections if and when needed, calculator/laptop checkout, and the transfer student experience program.

I know what it is like to be a strong woman. I had a front row seat. Strong makes strong. I take pride in challenging myself daily to pass this on to other women that cross my path.”


A photo of Anayeli Macedo.

Anayeli Macedo
Junior  |   Elementary Education Major and Vice President of CROWNed Jewels at TAMUT

What woman has impacted your life the most and what lessons of hers have guided you through your undergraduate journey at TAMUT?

“My mother is my first love and the positive female role model for me. When I open my eyes, she is my first teacher as well as the most inspirational woman of my life who has shaped my character as well as my life to a great extent. As a single mother, she was able to raise my siblings and me in a home that is full of love, respect for others, and the eye to help those in need even when we had little to give. My Mother taught me to be strong as well as gentle, to value relationships, to understand the power of courage, will, determination as well as love. She taught me the essence of humility as well as the essence of pride as a virtue that is not possible without nobility and goodness of character. In every circumstance of my life, she has been a guiding lamp showing the way and inspiring me to face the challenges of life with wisdom and courage.  Her teachings are what really inspired me to join CROWN of empowered women as well other organizations.”


A photo of Mollie Fox.

Mollie Fox
Junior  |   English Language Teacher Certification Major

How have you navigated your collegiate experience as a mother? What plans do you have for your future and/or for your child/ren? What do you hope to model for your child/ren?

“I started my collegiate experience 25 years ago. It wasn’t the typical college life most students have. I had a 3-year-old daughter. At the time, I wanted to be a lawyer. My classes were average, the study time was hard with a young child and being a single parent made it even harder. I dropped out after three years of back-to-back classes. I started again 10 years later to pick up where I left off. The problem was by then, I had a husband and son to go with my daughter. I was one semester away from achieving my bachelor’s in criminal justice, when yet again I dropped out. I wasn’t struggling with classes because of the education aspect. I was struggling with juggling a family, church, school, a full-time job and my husband and I owned and operated our own land leveling company. We decided it was better for me to focus on family and our life, as a whole, at that time. Life changes and throws you curve balls all the time. Just swing and see which way the ball goes, and if you strike out, don’t worry, it only hurts for a minute before you pick up the bat and swing again. Eight years ago, I started subbing at the local elementary school. My oldest was in high school, middle child in elementary, and youngest in day care. We didn’t have a company anymore and I was bored. My husband said ‘go sub, we could have summer’s off and make a little extra for our family’. Just two years into subbing and I had found my niche. I loved to teach. I always had, just never put it in context. So, five years ago, I started at Texarkana College, with the basics to teach; now I’m at TAMUT and in the certification program. Years ago, I didn’t realize I needed to be a role model for my kids. Now I hope to show them that they can succeed--no matter what obstacle is in front of them. They can do anything they put their minds to.”


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