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The Women’s Center celebrates a milestone

Happy Anniversary, TCC Women’s Center! It’s been a grand 20 years!

A resource for TCC students and leader on women’s issues since 1993, the Women’s Center celebrated the milestone with a reception at the Norfolk Student Center. TCC President Edna Baehre-Kolovani and the center’s interim coordinator, Jeanne Natali, were among the 75 guests in attendance.

Among the announcements made at the event: Carol Curtis, president of Noah Enterprises and a TCC alumna, will make a $5,000 contribution to the Women’s Center to match all gifts that come in before Dec. 31, 2012.  

In addition, the Women’s Center announced that all four campuses at TCC will have a room dedicated to nursing mothers, which has been made possible by a portion of the $419,000 donation bequeathed by TCC biology professor Alexsandria Manrov. The first of the four lactation and resource rooms will open at the Norfolk Student Center in early 2013. The lactation rooms, which will be available to TCC students, faculty and staff, will eventually be part of student centers on the Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach campuses. In addition, the Manrov bequest will be used to endow scholarships in science, technology, engineering and math.

During her remarks, Natali reflected, “The Women’s Center stands on the shoulders of the firm foundation we started building some 20 years ago, and we’re still growing. For the last 20 years, I have seen the Women’s Center grow from an idea to an office, from an office to four campuses, and from TCC to a model program for women’s centers.”

In 2011, TCC’s Women’s Center became the model for a Virginia Department of Health grant that resulted in six Virginia Community College System schools opening an office for pregnant and parenting students.

Baehre-Kolovani lauded the Women’s Center for expanding programs aimed at increasing student readiness for leadership and careers. The Women’s Center has sent more than a dozen students to an annual national leadership conference and developed programs and experiences aimed at increasing the pathway for women to study science, technology and math programs at TCC and at four-year institutions. The center’s student leadership program,Women Inspiring Self-Empowerment, includes a curriculum created by TCC faculty experts as well as mentoring and service projects. The Women’s Leadership Speaker Series, which features female leaders from the Hampton Roads community, and Instant Career Coaching and Explore Career Opportunities, which pair students with professionals for one-on-one discussions, were among the educational programs highlighted at the reception.

The Network for Empowering Women Students, which connects TCC students to professionals in the career coaching programs, was represented by chair Peggy Layne. Layne ended the evening by thanking guests for their support and encouraging them to participate in Curtis’ matching challenge.