University women in leadership speak on value of Women’s History Month

Saige Batza, Student Life Editor

For decades, America has celebrated the women who have fought for their rights, education and families to make this world a better place during Women’s History Month. Among the women at the University of New Haven held in high regard are Danielle Wozniak and Lauren Kempton.

Wozniak, the provost, and vice president of academic affairs, said, “Women’s history month for me is an invitation to intentionally examine and celebrate the ways in which women have changed the course of history and continue to co-create the world we live in as well as the world we want to live in.”

Danielle Wozniak. (Photo courtesy Roger Castonguay.)

“It is a time to be very thoughtful and intentional in continuing to push for access, equity, and inclusiveness,” she said.

Wozniak said she is grateful for what she has learned over the years. She said, “In college, most of my literature classes featured the lives and writing of men while women’s voices were relegated to ‘special topics’ as though we existed in a decontextualized world of our own. I am grateful for those teachers who exposed me to the enormity of women’s lives and voices, creativity, struggles, and triumphs.”

Wozniak said she is grateful for the respect she has been shown as a woman today.

“Overall, over the course of my career, I suspect I have had to prove my mettle in ways that my male counterparts have not,” she said.

Wozniak said she would also like to see change in the way the university treats women. She said, “I would like us to continue our work of pushing for inclusivity, access, belonging and leadership opportunities for women and to further our understanding of the ways in which gender is shaped and conditioned by and through our lived experiences. We must be reflexive educators and encourage reflexivity in our students so that we continue to critically examine who we are as individuals, who we are as members of a global society and how that vision is an inclusive and supportive one.”

Lauren Kempton. (Photo courtesy Lismarie Pabon)

Kempton is a practitioner in residence in the department of psychology and sociology at the university. According to Kempton, Women’s History Month should take place every month.

Kempton also said she appreciates the respect she has been given.

“I am a strong woman, for I was loved so deeply and encouraged by my parents so that I knew no boundaries,” she said.

Moving forward, she said she would like to see a change in the way the university treats women, as a whole.

“The hiring of Dean Rowe-Allen set a pattern of excellence as [she is] an innovator, program planner and leader and advocates for each student here,” said Kempton. “We must follow her model as we expand every department with people of color. I would also like to see all PIR’s elevated to the status and respect they deserve.”

For more about Women’s History Month events on campus, visit the Charger Connection.