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Abby Palko

January 02, 2019

clover in woods

Sketching out the premise of Perfect Peace’s plot gives nothing away: when the seventh child of Emma Jean and Gus Peace is born a boy, like the preceding six, Emma Jean refuses to give up her dream of having a daughter to raise. She tells her midwife, “This is my daughter […] I know what it is, but it’s gon’ be a girl. From now on.” And so Perfect Peace is born in May 1940’s Swamp Creek, Arkansas. 

October 31, 2018

Staff members walking on path to South Wing at Monticello

Words matter.

Names matter.

October 11, 2018

Women's Center Announcement

It is a time of hyper-partisan politics and corresponding heightened tension around our everyday interactions, especially online. At the Women’s Center, we hear frequently from people looking for support as they seek to engage with the news in ways that are mindful of their personal resources.

October 05, 2018

Prince Edward Island cliffs edge

Every so often, my daughter tries to make me commit at dinner: “No, really, Mommy: what’s your favorite book?” I hedge: favorite 5 authors? Favorite series? Favorite book with yellow on the cover? To be fair, I was absurdly excited when I recently discovered the Japanese concept of tsundoku. “I tsundoku” explains so much of my life.

September 04, 2018

Here at UVA, the 400+ graduates of the Exceptional Assistants Seminar Series sponsored by Talent Development form a network that focuses on personal development and community service.

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.