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Women of the Week

Each week we will feature a new DePauw student and faculty/staff member to highlight their accomplishments and contributions.

Name: Olivia Carlota Flores

Major: English Literature

Class Standing: Senior

Hometown: Naperville, IL

  1. Who is/was an important woman in your life? Honestly, there are influential women all over the place! My personal favorites: my quirky, caring, coffee-addicted mother; my passionate, strong, intelligent twin, and the incredible Sarah Ryan of the Women’s Center, of course.
  2. What class (taught or taken) was most transformative for you? I can’t just choose one. Happiness Class, Astronomy, Evolutionary Psychology, British Writers II….there are just too many. I think British Writers II was probably the most transformative in the sense that I began realizing at that point how invigorating it is to learn. It all started to jive at that point.
  3. What issues affecting women are most important to you? I think a lot of women’s issues are actually human issues. Sexual assault is something that I feel is very important for us to talk about and actively seek to prevent. I also think self-respect is hugely important. It’s too easy for women (again, all people) to feel invaluable or unloved. For a number of reasons, that feeling creeps into our minds all of the time when, plain & simple, it’s just not true.
  4. If you could invite one woman to speak on campus, who would it be and why?
     Can I invite three? BEYONCE, ELLEN DEGENERES, AND MALALA. Done.
  5. What message would you most like to get out to young girls? You are beautiful, intelligent, special, and so, so important—even when you don’t feel or think you are.
  6. Favorite superheroine- Wonder Woman, Buffy, Storm, Arwen, Elektra, Xena, or other?
     Mulan in the first movie? I used to do martial arts and think she’s pretty cool! I mean, she’s friends with a dragon AND a cricket.
  7. What is one of your earliest memories of being a feminist? I think just identifying as one. Someone asked me if I was a feminist and I said, “Yeah, aren’t you?” It means equality for all, but at the time, it didn’t feel like anyone knew that.
  8. Where did you grow up or go to school and how did/does that affect you?
     I grew up in a big suburb called Naperville and attended a public high school that I still love to this day. It wasn’t perfect, but it allowed me to be exposed to a lot of diversity. I grew up having sleepovers that my family called “U.N. meetings” because apparently I didn’t have too many white friends who slept over. This experience fueled my curiosity coming to college. Finally I was in a very diverse environment of people who had completely different experiences/backgrounds. I just loved learning about people’s stories because they’re never what you’d predict; they’re all so varied, beautiful, and unique.
  9. Who is your favorite author/musician/artist, and why do you enjoy his/her work so much?
      Can I pick a genre? I love Motown. This type of music is not only “feel good,” but comes from a space of love. Plus, who doesn’t love songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” I mean, really.
  10. When did you first realize that you have the power to make a positive change in society? 
    I was talking to my dad about a situation in elementary school. This kid was getting picked on a lot and I think I might have said something to one of the bullies. They immediately asked if I “liked” the kid getting bullied because I defended him. My dad told me to say “yes” and then say that I like everyone, even the bullies. At first I thought that was really silly advice but he taught me that by respecting/”liking” everyone, I could resist bad things that happen even on a very small level. This small moment of empowerment really shaped my philosophy on how to constantly create positive change. I kept defending the kid and eventually the bullies grew out of it. It’s hard to be the outlier when other people make acceptance the norm.  

 

Name:  Alicia Suarez

Position on campus: Faculty

Where did you grow up: Baton Rouge, LA

 

  1. Who is/was an important woman in your life? Professor Katherine Rossier and my mom.
  2. What class (taught or taken) was most transformative for you? Women, Health, and Social Control
  3. What issues affecting women are most important to you? Medicalization of women’s bodies; sexual assault; sex work
  4. If you could invite one woman to speak on campus, who would it be and why?
     Eve Ensler
  5. What message would you most like to get out to young girls? That they matter
  6. Favorite superheroine- Wonder Woman, Buffy, Storm, Arwen, Elektra, Xena, or other?
     Daenerys Targaryen (not a superhero but awesome: Game of Thrones)
  7. What is one of your earliest memories of being a feminist? Recognizing the sexual double standard
  8. Where did you grow up or go to school and how did/does that affect you?
     I grew up in Baton Rouge and went to a boarding school for math, science, and the arts. It gave me invaluable critical thinking skills and preparation for college.
  9. Who is your favorite author/musician/artist, and why do you enjoy his/her work so much?
      PJ Harvey. Incredible singer and songwriter.
  10. When did you first realize that you have the power to make a positive change in society? 
    When I began sharing my stories.