| 03.21.2018

More than an office manager — UI student has a passion for gender equality and equal rights


Welcoming students and anybody who walks into the Women’s Center, Jackelyn Sedano always makes sure to meet everyone with a warm smile.

Sedano is a woman with a big passion for gender equality and women’s rights. She currently works as a part-time office manager who helps with daily operations around the Women’s Center. Sedano continues to leave her mark on many people around the Women’s Center and all who visit, said Bekah MillerMacPhee, assistant director for programs.

“Jackie is really charismatic and engaging, so she really has the ability to pull other people in, whether it’s with visitors coming into the center or she’s tabling at an event she can talk to anybody,”  MillerMacPhee said. “She is really able to bring a warm presence and make people feel like their invited, while conveying the mission of we do.”

Along with daily operations, reception and outreach programs, Sedano said she also helps assist and supervise work-study students.

Once a work-study student herself, Sedano said, for her, assisting current students is one of the many joys that comes with working at the Women’s Center.

“I really enjoy getting to see them and getting to help them with their ideas for programs for the Women’s Center,” Sedano said. “It’s awesome to see younger people be so passionate and involved in these kinds of issues and topics.”

Sedano said  working at the Women’s Center is a rewarding experience, specifically because of the interactions they have with the community and the way they are able to empower members of the community through their programs and other events.

With so many things that motivate her at the Women’s Center, Sedano said what drives her the most is raising awareness in the community about important issues.

“Jackie is really unique in the way that she’s able to just have a conversation with people with a lot of different topics and making them feel heard,” MillerMacPhee said.

Majoring in sociology with an emphasis in inequalities and globalization, Sedano said her passion for feminism and gender inclusion first began when she decided to take a gender studies class abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

While in Thailand, Sedano said she was introduced into gender studies. During her time abroad, she was able to experience another culture as well as discover new perspectives on things she had never been introduced to. Growing up in Jerome, Idaho, Sedano said she had never been exposed to such cultures and perspectives.

“When I came back, that’s when I went all-in with all of my activities. I volunteered for Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, I applied to work for the Women’s Center, I took an internship at the Women’s Center and did Green Dot training,” Sedano said. “I went all-in because it was so new to me and I wanted to immerse myself in the work.”

Sedano said she hopes to continue working toward advocating gender equality throughout the rest of her life.

After graduation, Sedano said she wants to work in the nonprofit sector, particularly one that focuses on sexual violence and domestic violence.

“The ultimate dream would be to work for UN Women or big organizations like Love146. That’s the kind of work I would hope to get into and that I’m passionate about,” Sedano said.

Savannah Cardon can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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