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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: Kate Porfilio

Major: Conflict Studies with a minor in French

Class Standing: Senior

Hometown: My family moved to Raleigh, NC last year so campus really feels like home now.

  1. What class was most transformative for you? I am a HoScho student and I really felt like I was most transformed from the very first class I took here at college.  My first HoScho seminar freshman year was Tattoos, Torture, and Adornment with Rebecca Upton.  We basically discussed every possible body modification that you could think of.  It really helped broaden my horizons and think critically about things that I had never even considered before.
  2. If you could invite one woman to speak on campus, who would it be and why?
     If I could invite any woman to speak on campus, it would be Princess Diana.  I know that is impossible but I think she would be an amazing person to learn from.  She used her popularity and position to help so many people and raise awareness about the horrible effects of land mines.  I am also moved by the visits that she made to hospitals, sitting with those who were suffering and by destigmatizing interacting people with HIV and AIDS.  I think there is something incredibly beautiful in how she used her position to improve the world around her.
  3. What message would you most like to get out to young girls? I have two younger sisters who are beautifully strong and independent women.  But I wouldn't want to leave them with just one message about how to grow and thrive.  I think something that I am very aware of is that empowerment is not just a single message or piece of advice.  It is about building a community of support that you can regularly lean on or turn to for help.  I always hope that my sisters feel like they can come to me and I think that is why it is always going to be an ongoing process of building up young girls into strong women.
  4. Favorite superheroine?  My favorite female superheros are actually something that I am still waiting to see.  The YouTube vloggers Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig are getting together to do a reboot of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl.  The premise is a couple of women who move to a big city and want to make it big as superheros.  It is about women empowering themselves.  What I love about this new version is that the women are wearing boots and clothes that aren't meant to be sexy like skin tight spandex.  They are clothes that a woman can run and kick butt in.  It feels like these superheros will be real people rather than unrealistic and unattainable fetishized images of the perfect woman.
  5. What is one of your earliest memories of being a feminist? My earliest feminist memory can be traced back to elementary school.  I wanted to play chess after lunch with some of the guys in my class.  A male friend of mine at the time said no because girls aren't smart enough to play chess.  I was filled with such utter indigence at that statement.  I'm sure at the time I wouldn't have thought of it as a form of feminism.  But let the record show that I got better grades took harder classes than that guy all the way up through high school.  So who really won?
  6. Where did you grow up or go to school and how did/does that affect you?
     I think a huge part who I am is shaped by my high school experience.  I attended an inner city public high school.  However, we were a magnet school drawing the best students from across the city and were regularly nationally ranked due to our high test scores.  It was wonderfully diverse and our curriculum was globally focused.  I am an International Baccalaureate graduate and I still draw inspiration and academic references from classes I took in high school.  The epistemology of my Theory of Knowledge course is helpful every time I take part in class discussions or write a term paper.  I am all about exploring the many viewpoints that my peers bring to the table.
  7. Who is your favorite author/musician/artist, and why do you enjoy his/her work so much?
      I love listening to MIKA.  His music never fails to get me happy and perky.  It is just so upbeat that I can't help but smile.  Plus so much of his music has great messages of acceptance.

 

Name: Elissa Harbert

Position on campus: Assistant Professor of Music History            

Where did you grow up: Texas

  1. Who is/was an important woman in your life? My mother, sister, and aunts each model very different and wonderful ways of being women.
  2. If you could invite one woman to speak on campus, who would it be and why?
     Malala Yousafzai, because she is a paragon of courage and a champion of educational gender equality and human rights. 
  3. What message would you most like to get out to young girls? I want children of all genders to know that they are equal and precious, and that there’s no one way they are “supposed to be.”
  4. Favorite superheroine?  Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler from Parks and Recreation)
  5. What is one of your earliest memories of being a feminist? In college, my male oboe professor was an ardent feminist. He taught me the real meaning of the word and why it matters to everyone, men and women alike.
  6. Where did you grow up or go to school and how did/does that affect you?
     I grew up in Texas and Alabama, where I encountered quite a bit of misogyny as well as “benevolent sexism.” It has taken me years to recognize all of the internalized messages about what’s expected of women and how women “should” look and behave. This is an ongoing process for me.
  7. Who is your favorite author/musician/artist, and why do you enjoy his/her work so much?
      I’m obsessed with Broadway musicals, and right now Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeanine Tesori are transforming what is possible in musical theater.
  8. When did you first realize that you have the power to make a positive change in society? 
    I aspire to know this in my heart every day.

@DPUWomensCenter on Twitter


This week's DePauw Woman's Center Women of the week are: Kate Porfilio and Elissa Harbert! http://t.co/G5Zzo4BxLK

9 months ago

This week's DePauw Woman's Center Women of the week are: Katie Kondry and Tiffany Anderson Hebb​. http://t.co/3UnBvtYsaA

10 months ago

This week's DePauw Woman's Center Women of the week are: Julia Roell and Erika Dombkowski. http://t.co/cljs8g1xgJ

10 months ago

This week's DePauw Woman's Center Women of the week are: Melissa Guerrero and Brooke Addison. http://t.co/X2q5u7TGgg

10 months ago

Planned Parenthood, Community Health Centers, And Women’s Health: Getting The Facts Right http://t.co/nG9WDxznyD

11 months ago

This week's Women of the week are:@erin_cathleenn and Sarah Lee. Check out our website for more information! http://t.co/YCetmx0Y5e

11 months ago

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