Laura Napoliello

Major: General Political Science & Women’s Studies
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Women’s Program Coordinator | GSEC

How did you first get connected with GSEC (Gender & Sexuality Equity Center)?
Activism has always been a passion of mine, but I had never been involved with work to empower women specifically, so the GSEC seemed like the clear choice to me. I interned in the Women’s Program in spring of 2013 and fell in love with the organization. The GSEC facilitates a tight-knit community of activists with varying perspectives, united in their passion for justice in an unjust world. I harnessed my identity in the GSEC, and decided I didn’t want to say goodbye after my internship had ended, so I applied for a staff position and got the job.

How would you describe your current role as the Women’s Program Coordinator at GSEC?
My interns and I bring topics and campaigns to the campus that pertain specially to women’s empowerment in hopes of educating and shedding light on issues that women face in the world today. The Women’s Program, and the role I’ve established as a leader within the GSEC, makes it a priority to address issues like sexual assault, alcohol and consent, and women’s under representation in politics in order to educate our student body to effectively create change in our society.

What does working at GSEC do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
The GSEC gives me a sense of purpose. The GSEC provides me with immense personal growth and education while allowing me to utilize the feminist and queer theory I’ve learned and apply it to practice. Professionally, I’ve come away with interpersonal communication skills and larger scale public speaking skills which have improved my overall self-confidence and self-awareness.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position as the Woman’s Program Coordinator at GSEC?
My own intersectionality ( and life experiences have enabled me to perceive the world in a way that acknowledges blatant and unseen discrimination. I work tirelessly to expose injustices that have become institutionalized in systems that work within our society and to incorporate my knowledge and lived experience into the campaigns and events I organize within the GSEC. I am an independently minded woman who thrives in collaborative activist work that seeks greater equality in all aspects of life.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated Students better prepare you for that path?
I plan on applying to a number of jobs in Washington D.C., San Francisco and New York that would get me more directly involved in the legislative process. I’d eventually like to push policy that would empower marginalized communities whether it be women, the LGBTQ+ community, or racial minorities. I plan on taking a few years to gain experience in the workforce, but have not ruled out the option of law school or grad school down the road. I’m also currently looking into English teaching programs in South America, which is slightly unrelated, but would allow me to travel and educate myself simultaneously.