Major: Multicultural and Gender Studies
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Program Position: GSEC Women’s Program Intern
“Everyone called me a feminist in high school, and I didn’t even know what that meant.” Now she knows! “If you want gender equity, you’re a feminist!” Hannah walks the walk and talks the talk. As a freshman at Chico State she saw a t-shirt that said “The F Word – Feminism” and knew she had to learn more. By her second semester she was interning at the Women’s Center (now the Gender & Sexuality Equity Center-GSEC) and she knew she had found her niche. “This is my passion. I found my feminist identity. It became clear to me what I wanted to do and I was very lucky to find that early on in college.” As part of her internship, Hannah was DJ Gynomite at KCSC where she hosted a Women’s Center talk show focusing on current events related to women’s rights. This year Hannah is continuing as an intern at the GSEC working in the Women’s Program. “We have a new name and a new space and it’s fantastic! We’ve always done LGBTQ work, but now it’s an official program at the Center.”
Hannah’s current role involves planning events including the recent Take Back the Night which raises awareness about sexual violence. Next up will be the Women’s Conference in December. She is helping to coordinate speakers, press releases, room reservations and other conference logistics. This year’s conference focuses on human trafficking and slave labor. Hannah also coordinates the blog for GSEC by identifying topics, gathering photos, editing entries, etc.
Her job at GSEC has provided her with an ever-growing professional skill set: time management, effective communication, and networking. “I’m learning on a daily basis how an activist organization works.” Hannah is very aware that activist work can create burn-out, but she feels she has the passion and the right attitude to prevent that. “I stay positive, enthusiastic, and energetic. I read a lot to stay on top of what’s happening so I can keep others updated.” There are many new interns at the Center and Hannah enjoys sharing and teaching what she has learned from her experiences.
It’s still too early to declare her career plans, but in the meantime, Hannah hopes to study abroad next year in Chile. “I want to get an international look at women’s situations in their cultural contexts.” Beyond that, graduate school may be in the picture. Whatever she does, Hannah knows it will revolve around women’s rights and health issues.
In Hannah’s words:
“I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe the injustices I saw happening to women. My courses provided that. And, at GSEC I’m learning how an activist organization works on a daily basis. It’s the domino effect. It affects everything I do in life.”