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Abby Palko

July 03, 2018

Abby Palko and her daughter visiting Louisa May Alcott's house

Traditionally, the bildungsroman that is so popular among literary novels presented challenges to the author working with a female protagonist. But, there are plenty of novels centered on girls and young women that are worth recommending - and re-reading. Inspired by my daughter’s summer reading list, I’ve decided to revisit some old favorites and (hopefully) discover new gems. This post will kick off an occasional series of responses to novels with girls as their protagonists. If you’d like to read along with me, stay tuned for my reflections. 

The Women’s Center welcomed alumni back to Grounds during Reunions this summer with a panel on the importance of intergenerational mentoring relationships and an open house in our newly renovated space in the Corner Building. In both of those gatherings, alums spoke to us about the life-long friendships they formed during their time on Grounds and the importance of those bonds to their post-university years.

May 30, 2018

When I accepted the position as the director of the Women’s Center two years ago, I only had one concern. I knew that the move would bring transitions both personal and professional. I was sure, though, that it would bring new challenges, and, when met, that these challenges would lead to exciting opportunities. The commitment to engaged scholarship at the Women’s Center assured me that these opportunities would include engaging undergraduate students in working for gender justice.

May 01, 2018

Katie Couric returned to Grounds for a special episode screening of America Inside Out

Katie Couric returned to Grounds for a special episode screening of America Inside Out. 

One Sunday in April when the trees were flowering and a cool wind blew through in advance of rain, I attended a workshop on Grounds entitled, “Learning to See One Another: Meditative Practices and Social Justice.” Eboni Bugg, the presenter, advocated the notion of an expanding self. Don’t think of yourself as a solid rainbow, she explained, but rather as droplets of water interacting with light.

March 28, 2018

The Women's Center on the Corner

I’ve spent a lot of time putting things in boxes and taking them back out again in the past two years. I’ve moved from five states away to Virginia to take the position here at the Women’s Center. In my time here, I’m already in my third office. In the process, I’ve come to physically understand just how many books I own (hint: a lot!).

February 23, 2018

Proust had his madeleines. I have fasnachts. 

January 31, 2018

Senator Shelley Moore Capito opened the Women’s Global Leadership Forum in November with an inspiring keynote focused on Women and Democracy in the 21st Century. The Women’s Center is proud to count Sen. Capito among the winners of our Distinguished Alumna Award (2009). Over the years, we’ve given this award to alumnae from seven of UVA’s schools and in doing we always learn something specific about how their experience at the University prepared them to make important contributions in their fields.

December 06, 2017

PALKO POV: Assess & Act

In a world where Facebook has recorded so much of my family’s year, I treasure this time of year as an opportunity to really reflect on its highlights and find a theme running throughout them. When we look back and narrate a passage of time, we reshape our memories, effectively writing history. Just as I find it meaningful to write old school holiday letters for my family’s Christmas cards, telling the story of the past months also helps us better approach the work that lies ahead at the Women’s Center.  

November 10, 2017

PALKO POV: It Takes a Village

In my June POV, I talked about disparities in birth outcomes across the globe, noting that “a disproportionate number of women in the US who die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes are women of color, poor women, women without access to healthcare.” World Health Organization data shows that both perinatal mortality rates and maternal mortality rates range widely.

October 04, 2017

Director Abby Palko shares her thoughts through her series, "The Palko POV"

In a former life, I taught middle school for eight years. Four in a public school in a small industrial town south of Trenton, and four in a private school in Princeton. (I joke that eight years is three times as long as we make students stay in middle school.)

But the reality was that I loved working with this age group. They ask hard questions and expect honest answers. And they taught me so much about structural inequalities in our country.

September 11, 2017

Palko POV

August 21 saw ‘Hoos gathering all over Grounds – reconnecting with friends, welcoming the Class of 2021, viewing the solar eclipse, and stepping into new roles for the 2017-2018 year. Among those who have committed to playing a leadership role in the University community this year are 74 undergraduate men and women working with us to mentor local middle school boys and girls and 27 interning with members of our staff at the Women’s Center. We are committed to developing strong women leaders and those who will work beside them to bring about social justice.

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