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Student Spotlight: Sara Dunklee

Class Year: 2023

Major: History and Foreign Affairs

Hometown: Newport News, VA

1.    What brought you to the Women's Center?

I came to the Gender Violence and Social Change team after doing research on the history of sexual violence at UVA for my Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies class. Once completing the project, I felt defeated because of how survivors of sexual violence were silenced and did not receive the justice they deserved. Dr. Abigail Arnold (Rest In Peace) encouraged me to find a way to turn this class project into something more. I turned my frustration into motivation to spread awareness on issues that matter.

2.    What is your favorite memory of UVA thus far?

My favorite memory at UVA thus far would have to be when I stayed in Charlottesville for reading days my first year. It was truly the first time I got to explore Charlottesville with my friends and learn more about the history of the city.

3.    Who is a woman that inspires you?

My mom inspires me. She is the most resilient person I know. Despite all the adversity she has faced, she still remains so positive. My mom sacrificed her career to raise me, and then had to begin in a new career field all over again. Her influence on me has taught me to go after my dreams and take a stand when I see something wrong happening.

4.    What is one thing you do after a stressful day?

After a stressful day, I hang up my ENO hammock somewhere around Grounds and just relax!

5.    How does your work with the Women's Center motivate you?

Gender based violence issues are saturated in college culture. Many of us worry about how we are going to travel from point A to point B safely everyday. My work at the Women's Center motivates me because we are able to reach individuals all over the University to raise awareness on how to support survivors, what healthy relationships look like, how to be a better ally to marginalized communities, and how to create a safer environment here.

6.    What is a podcast, TV show, etc., that has grabbed your attention and why?

I love the "Encyclopedia Womannica" podcast! Women's history is one of my favorite topics, and I always find myself learning something new from this podcast.

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