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Abby Palko

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.

August 16, 2017

Abby Palko at the Women's Center

At the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center, we develop strong women leaders and those who work beside them, ready to face the real and daunting challenges of building the public good and ensuring justice for all. These are words we use often, but not lightly. They are the heart of what we, as a public university, are called to do. We shape the next generation of leaders. These are the ideals we pursue with you.

To our new and returning students:

August 08, 2017

Palko POV

Expecting parents field a lot of questions, but none more often than this one. This question reveals how deeply embedded gender is in our social interactions. It is also indicative of an overly simple understanding of sex and gender identity. 

A number of complex biological factors interact to determine and signal a person’s sex. For most people these dimensions match: 

  • chromosomal make-up (XX or XY genes)

  • the ways that their body has developed (female or male), and 

July 12, 2017

The Pleasures of Reading

A couple of birthdays ago, my husband and daughter gave me a plaque for my office with a quote from Louisa May Alcott: “She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.” How well they know me! Periodic escape into the world of fiction is one of the activities that keeps me me. For as long as I can remember, reading has been a form of self-care for me. When you live on the academic calendar, as I have my whole life, summer becomes a time to indulge in a love of reading. And when you’re a booklover, people often ask for recommendations. Where to start?

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