In the fall of 2014, two Valparaiso University seniors, Tatiana Carolina Zambrano and Loren Schmidt, started a feminist organization on campus that they named the Athena Society. In January of 2015, that organization joined AAUW as a University Partner.
Since the Athena Affiliate’s inception, our Valparaiso Affiliate has assisted the university women with their mission. Our affiliate and its members have contributed $4590 to fifteen Valparaiso University women so that they could attend the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders in Washington, D.C. from 2015-2021.
In 2015, our affiliate served as AAUW Liaison as the Athena Society applied for, and won, an AAUW Campus Action Project grant. Using funds from the grant, Athena was able to host a nationally recognized expert in stereotype threat, Dr. Catherine Good, for lectures and workshops on campus.
The Athena Society and the Valparaiso AAUW Affiliate were also instrumental in bringing AAUW’s Start Smart program on campus. This program seeks to help senior college women learn to negotiate for salary and benefits before they enter the job market.
The Athena women are active on campus. In the past year, they held a Valentines’ Day “Condoms and Consent” event, celebrated Denim Day with a denim fashion show in April, held a Pay Gap bake sale, promoted a bra drive for the organization, “Free the Girls,” held a consent workshop with campus fraternities, held a SAAFE backpack drive, met with representatives from the Caring Place on dating violence, and participated in Women’s Empowerment Week.
During the Fall 2021 semester, Athena is meeting on Mondays at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Room on campus. They sometimes do change meeting rooms or times so our members should contact Sandy Holt (766-2529) about possible changes. Our affiliate members are welcome to attend the Athena meetings.