Galerstein Womens Center Marks Milestone

UT Dallas News Center Campus

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Nov. 16, 2016
From left: Narcely Ruiz, assistant director; Katrina Watland, counselor; Lauren DeCillis, director; Ashfia Salemin, administrative assistant; and Matt Johns, assistant director of LGBT+ programs, work at the Galerstein Women’s Center.Twenty years ago, the Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein Women’s Center (GWC) opened a small office in the Student Union with little more than a desk and two chairs.What started as a resource for female faculty members has grown into a welcoming place where all faculty, staff and students can find resources and support through lectures, workshops, counseling, scholarships and more.“The GWC has evolved from a grass-roots effort to talk about issues that women faculty members faced to a campuswide resource that focuses on gender as a current and ever-evolving diversity issue,” said Lauren DeCillis, who has served as the center’s director since it opened. “Equality for women reflects the enduring legacy of reform, advocacy and inclusive practices at UT Dallas.”Women on faculty and staff initially advocated for the center to address recruitment of female professors, tenure and maternity leave. They named it to honor the University’s first female dean, Dr. Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein, who oversaw the School of General Studies (now the School of Interdisciplinary Studies), from 1975 to 1987.Dr. Abby Kratz, associate provost, was among those who worked to create the center.Dr. Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein“Although universities throughout the nation began adding administrative units to provide support to female faculty and students as early as the 1960s, the concept was a new and alien one for UT Dallas until the 1990s when, with determination and vision, the new vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Hobson Wildenthal (now executive vice president and provost), encouraged the development of a women’s center and an environment that welcomes and supports women,” Kratz said. “Under Lauren DeCillis’ watch, the center has provided a platform …

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