The (R)evolution Leadership Program officially became a course in fall 2019 after the pilot program during the fall 2018 semester. 

The change to make the program into a class came after seeing some of the challenges with students’ commitment.

“We realized with it being over the year it was hard to keep that group together, especially after winter break,” Assistant Director of the Women’s Center Alicia Robinson said. “Wednesday evening is a struggle especially when it gets dark early. So, we decided to evolve it into a class, so students can have more structure, get credit for it and ensure students won’t fall off in the middle and complete the program." 

The class shows female-identifying students how to be their best selves during and after college by taking what they are passionate about and making it better the world. This is done by touching on self discovery, goal-oriented activities, feminism, diversity and inclusion, salary negotiation and more in the curriculum. 

Senior nursing major Megan Gottsacker was a part of the program before it became a class. She realized after being a part of the program how much it helped her to create relationships with people on campus.

“It has given me great connections with other female students at Kent State,” she said. “Through the program, you get a mentor and she has been very helpful to me in the past. We would get coffee and talk about life. It was really good.”

The students are also partnered with a mentor and do a capstone project of their interest.

“They helped me to develop a project which is currently in the works helping women in healthcare,” she said. “This will be a great help for me for future jobs and connecting even more on campus.”

Chazzlyn Jackson is sophomore Pan-African studies major who is a part of the (R)evolution class now. She also had a positive experience with the program and believes the lessons learned can be applied to everyday life. 

“I learned to be more comfortable with myself and my character,” she said. “Every class there is a lesson we can directly apply to life whether it is finance, women in politics or mentorship. So really, the course has [helped me] grow as a person in general. A personal favorite lesson that was taught earlier in the semester was about resilience — to be strong and know how to handle yourself in your more troubling times so you can recover.”

Robinson believes educating women-identifying students on topics that can affect them after college, like pay inequality, is important and why the class was created. 

“We know pay equity among women is a thing,” she said. “We know white women make eighty cents off the dollar, black women make around seventy cents, Latina women make around sixty cents. We know these things are true in evidence, so we want to educate our students about that. So, we teach them salary negotiation and things like that. We also know from research that women struggle to hold women’s leadership experience in corporations. We just want to equip students to be the best they can be.”

Gottsacker enjoyed her experience being a part of the pilot program and recommends it to those searching for a unique environment. 

“I would absolutely recommend this class because it offered such a wonderful space to connect with other women on campus and to be fully authentic,” she said. “It gave me such a unique opportunity to grow because everyone involved in it was so open and truly themselves. Just the environment itself was amazing to be in. Even all the tools they gave have helped me even now.”

Contact Katia Rodriguez at krodi14@kent.edu.

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