Female leaders on Winthrop’s campus

The month of March is regarded as women’s history month, in which the nation remembers and celebrates women who broke barriers and did amazing things. During March, many Americans also look to powerful women who are currently creating change. At Winthrop, there are many women who are taking charge and getting involved in the campus community in an effort to create change.

Ana Castellanos:  President of Pi Sigma Alpha

Ana Castellanos:
President of Pi Sigma Alpha


Caitlan Walzer: President of Society of Professional Journalists

Kristen Haberkorn:  President of World Ambassadors

Kristen Haberkorn:
President of World Ambassadors

1. How did you get involved with your organization?

Castellanos: Pi Sigma Alpha is the Political Science Honors Association, so I was invited to join. It is like any honors society that you can be inducted into in your discipline.

Walzer: My junior year, I was invited to be a part of the Winthrop chapter of Society of Professional Journalists. My friend, who was president at the time, thought the organization would be a great fit for me and I’m so glad that she reached out to me. As part of the organization, students are given the opportunity to network with professionals and to be a part of something that is on a national platform.

Haberkorn: I was asked to participate in helping found and lead World Ambassadors from my boss, Dr. Leigh Poole, the Director of the International Center and another study abroad peer mentor, Kiara Smith.

2. How else are you involved on Winthrop’s campus?

Castellanos: I am also a dedicated leader in Winthrop Socialist Student Union (SSU) and Voces. I became involved in SSU my sophomore year when I heard about a protest on Facebook. Some of the Republican presidential candidates were going to be on campus for a “family values summit.” SSU’s argument at the protest was that there were family values that are ignored in the Republican platform, such as the safety of black people confronted by the police and the lack of clean water in Flint, Michigan. Voces goal is to promote diversity in colleges. We want to help bring more Hispanic students to Winthrop since we are all Hispanic and we understand that we are the ethnicity in the U.S. with the lowest educational attainment; Voces wants to find ways to combat that.

Walzer: I am the managing editor for The Johnsonian, a staff writer and the social media handler for Her Campus Winthrop, an active member of Alpha Delta Pi and I serve on the MCOM Student Advisory Board as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board.

Haberkorn:  I am a study abroad peer mentor, so I help advise students through the study abroad process, and I also work for The Johnsonian as a staff writer and copy editor. I also am a part of the MCOM student advisory board and I’m a member of the MCOM honor society, Kappa Tau Alpha.

3. Do you think it’s important for women to take up leadership roles? Why or why not?

Castellanos: It is important for women to take leadership roles; it’s not that we’re essentially different from men, but when we take up leadership roles, we can bring different things to the table. Women can talk about topics that escape men because they don’t have to deal with it. For example, in SSU we talk about a different topic every week, and the women leaders have suggested talking about how capitalism affects women and the family, issues the men in the group neglect to think about. Aside from that, we deserve to be leaders. We deserve to be listened to. We are smart, innovative, and tactical. It’s time we speak up, take our rightful places and make sure we are heard.

Walzer: As a woman, I advocate for women to always take opportunities and step outside of their comfort zones. It’s important to take the initiative and become a leader. Being a leader on Winthrop’s campus, whether it be by taking a big leadership position or a smaller role, is something to be proud of. It helps you, as an individual, to grow and to develop yourself and hone into your natural born leadership abilities.

Haberkorn:  It is definitely important for women to take on leadership roles. We bring a lot of unique perspectives to the table as females! Women are generally underrepresented in leadership positions and there is definitely a place for us.


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