Since 1998, the Women's Resource Center has provided a gathering place for women at Georgia Tech, offering programming, crisis intervention and resource information. If you're a member of the Georgia Tech community and you need assistance, please call or come by the Women's Resource Center. Students, spouses/partners, faculty, staff and alumni - We are here to make Georgia Tech a welcoming and supportive environment for you!
The Women's Resource Center was formed in 1998 out of the vision and persistence of many Georgia Tech women - students, faculty and staff. Jennifer Orr and Vicky Pickens, two Tech students, pursued the idea of giving Georgia Tech a unified voice for the women on campus. The first invention of this pursuit was the Women's Student Union, an organization that could create a community of, and represent the women at, Georgia Tech. Soon after the Union formed, the group decided that there were some political issues they wanted to address that might not represent all women on campus.
From this decision came the idea of the Women's Resource Center. In 1997, after several years of discussion with the Tech administration, the idea caught the attention and support of Dean Stephanie Ray, the then newly appointed Associate Dean of Students, Gail DiSabatino, Dean of Students, and Student Affairs Vice President Lee Wilcox. The proposal for the Center was approved and funded by Georgia Tech President G. Wayne Clough. The Center officially opened Spring Quarter 1998 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 23.
The first two years the Center was run by a graduate student under the supervision of Dean Ray and the first full-time person, Yvette Upton, was hired as Program Coordinator in January 2000. In recognition of the focus and importance of the Center's efforts at Georgia Tech, she was named Director and Assistant Dean of Students in 2002. Since then, the programming for the Women's Resource Center has grown. More than 14,000 have attended WRC programs since it opened in 1998 and at least 600 visit the office each semester. In June 2004, the Center moved from a small former meeting room to a suite of offices where students can work, study, plan activities or relax. The Women's Resource Center is now located on the first floor of the Charles A. Smithgall Student Services Building, affectionately know as the "Flag Building."
In June 2006, Colleen (Petterson) Riggle joined the staff as Program Coordinator and has been a wonderful addition to the center. The additional staffing offered the opportunity to take on new projects and re-establish programming offered during the Violence Against Women grant. This position will also advise the Women's Awareness Month committee and assist with general WRC programming.
Yvette Upton, Director of the Women’s Resource Center from January 2000 until December 2009, left after 10 years to take a promotion at Georgia Tech Savannah as Director of Outreach and Students Affairs. Georgia Tech named Colleen Riggle as the new Assistant Dean and Director of Women’s Resource Center after a national search during the spring semester. Colleen Riggle had served as the Program Coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center since 2006.
In October 2010, Melanie DeMaeyer started as the new Coordinator. She started the week of the Women’s Leadership Conference and hit the ground running. It was nice to have another staff in the office to assist with the last minute details of our two-day conference. Melanie joined us after finishing her Masters in Women’s Studies at the University of Alabama. She’s also worked at the Partnership Against Domestic Violence and was instrumental in starting the Women’s Center at Georgia College and State
We were joined by our first ever graduate assistant, Lesley Bonds, during the 2011-2012 school year. Lesely was a 2nd year Masters in Student Affairs candidate from the University of Georgia. She took over the advising for our Women’s Leadership Conference while Colleen was on maternity leave and successfully led this student group through the conference planning. She was also working on developing our five-year strategic plan. Lesley completed her Masters Degree in May will begin a position as a Career Counselor and Student Employment Coordinator at Scripps College. She was a wonderful colleague and a strong advocate for our students. We are proud to have worked alongside her this year and so thankful for all that she has brought to our office and to women at Tech.
We were joined by graduate assistant Melissa Gerrior, during the 2012-2014 school year. Melissa was Master in Student Affairs candidate from the University of Georia. She worked with adsiving Women's Awareness Month, and the Eve Ensler production of The Vagina Monologues. She completed her degree in May 2014 and accepted a VAWA grant-funded positio at Georgia College and State University.
We were joined by graduate assistant Colleen Seeber during the 2014-2015 school years. Colleen is a graduate of the Masters in Student Affairs from the University of Georgia. She worked collaboratively with Leadership and Civic Engagement on the Student Leader Retreat, as well as with the WRC staff on the VOICE initiatives.
We are joined this year by Lo Denmon, a graduate student at the University of West Georgia. Lo is pursuing a Master in Student Affairs. They are working with the body image committee, assessment and planning an alternative break trip for women at Georgia Tech.=
The Women's Resource Center continues to actively pursue the goals and aims of our founders and to support and maintain the community of Georgia Tech women.
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