May 9, 2012 – According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, in America’s historically black colleges and universities across the nation, two-thirds of the student body are female. On Fort Valley State University’s campus, it is no different: women are the majority.
To address their needs, plans are underway to launch a new women’s center at FVSU. The facility will offer services and educational programs to provide women with skills to help them succeed in their professional and personal lives. Executive director Juone Brown and assistant director Dr. Terri Earl-Kulkosky are leading the initiative.
“The establishment of a women’s center on the campus of Fort Valley State University will provide us with the opportunity to address many of the gender-specific issues and concerns of our female students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Julius Scipio, vice president for academic affairs. “In addition, the university community, the city of Fort Valley and the larger community will benefit from this valuable resource. Ms. Juone Brown and Dr. Terri Earl-Kulkosky have demonstrated throughout their careers their commitment to women’s issues and will undoubtedly translate that commitment into effective leadership of this worthwhile effort.”
“FVSU has started many programs for males, but few for females,” says Brown, who explains that that the center is looking to assist more than 1,000 women in Peach County, alone. So, this is a major step forward for our women and the university’s campus and community.”
According to Brown, the idea for the women’s center arose from her personal experiences with students as an associate professor at FVSU.
“Over the past few years, I worked with a number of young women who became parents, while in school,” Brown said. “Many young women would come through with stories about the struggle they endured trying to raise their child and finish school. The women usually had to drop out; while, the men didn’t have to take a break from their classes.”
Dr. Terri Earl-Kulkosky, an associate professor of social work, said the program was also created to address gender inequality in the workforce and academia. “Women work hard for a lot less pay and recognition,” she said. “With that in mind, we want to make sure that women are treated equally.”
At the center, young women can take violence prevention workshops to help them cope with domestic violence, date rape and teen stalking. In career training courses, professionals can learn to navigate academic, tenured tracks and launch their own start-ups. The new organization’s health and wellness program will provide essential information about screenings for fibroid tumors, heart disease, diabetes and HIV. There will also be a mentoring program.
“I’ve had mentors since I’ve been here at FVSU,” Brown said. “Most of them have been male, and have been wonderful. But, there comes a time, when you face a situation that only another female mentor can tell you how to handle.”
Brown and Earl-Kulkosky are securing external grant money to run the center. Ricky Calloway, an FVSU assistant professor of fine arts, has been commissioned to design the center’s logo.
“Support for the center has been overwhelming. Currently, we are considering the right location to house the center, which we plan to open later this year,” Brown said.
For more information about the women’s center, please contact Brown, (478) 822-1010, or Earl-Kulkosky, (478) 825-6232.
Christina D. Milton, writer
Office of Marketing and Communications
(478) 825-6319, firstname.lastname@example.org