Beneath Peggy Pasin’s desk is a box stuffed full of thank you letters. She calls this box her treasure chest. The letters in the box come from the countless women whose lives have been turned around by help from UVU’s Women’s Resource Center, where Pasin serves as coordinator.
Today the WRC has taken on a new name and a broader mission, becoming the Women’s Success Center. Director Nancy Krieger explains that President Holland and others have been wanting to expand the center’s reach for some time, recognizing the center’s potential and the broader needs of women.
The resources finally came together and the freshly renamed center opened August, 2011. Previously, the center assisted only female students over age 24 with certain risk factors. Now the center is geared toward serving all female students at UVU along with females in the local community.
The goal of the center, according to Pasin, is to encourage women to get college degrees. In addition to this, she says, the center aims to help women become “responsible, educated members of society” who have greater abilities to impact their surroundings.
Krieger, whose passion for helping women progress is contagious, expresses well the motive and heart within the center.
“We are here,” Krieger says, “to open up a whole world of adventure, excitement, and opportunity for women by supporting them to get that degree.”
Krieger, Pasin, and others working with the center work to provide or find whatever resources their clients need to be successful.
To help women achieve their educational goals, the center provides several services. To get women started on the path to success, the center offers personal interviews with women to find their needs. These can be arranged by appointment or on a walk-in basis at the center’s office located in LC 303. As Pasin explains, these interviews help the center link women with campus and community resources to fit their needs.
Pasin has helped female UVU students receive a combined two million dollars in scholarship money from the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program. Pasin has seen lives changed through this scholarship and through other services at the center.
Other services provided by the center include advocacy, outreach and mentoring. Through advocacy, says Pasin, the center hopes “to smooth out some of the wrinkles in [women’s] journey” here at UVU. One way the center does this is by acting as a voice for female students struggling to get financial aid.
The center’s outreach program is still under development. However, its goal is to reach out to local schools and community members to encourage women to aim for higher education.
Concerning the mentoring program, which is also under development, Krieger says the center wants to connect female students to female mentors with common interests who can serve as role models. Krieger reports that local members of Women in Technology, an organization of women successfully employed in technology-related fields, have agreed to serve as some of the mentors for female UVU students. Other mentors will include successful community women and upper-classmen UVU students. Pasin mentions there is a possibility of expanding the mentoring program to mentor women of the community not yet enrolled in higher education.
Another of the center’s important activities is supporting special events. The center is involved in several special projects such as a woman-focused Habitat for Humanity project, a Reach & Unite project helping women in Africa, and a nursing mission to Samoa. Currently, the center is getting ready to help with The Clothesline Project, which will be run with Equity in Education here on campus Nov. 1 and 2. The project focuses on female survivors of violence and provides healing while raising awareness. For more information please visit the Women’s Success Center and also ask about volunteer opportunities to help with this event and other projects.