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Getting to Know Stephanie Bagnell

Stephanie
Stephanie Bagnell is the newest member of the Utah State University Center for Women and Gender team. Since she is the woman who gets our fantastic guest speakers to enliven and create discussion at USU, we thought it was time to get to know her a little better.

Rebecca Wheatley: Where are you from originally?
Stephanie Bagnell: I’m originally from Centerville. I grew up there and attended Weber State University. I graduated there and worked at the women’s center at Weber.

RW: What drew you to the women’s center at Weber State?
SB: Working at the Center was my internship for a social work program. So that’s kind of where I got my start.

RW: Is there anything other than the internship that really drew you to women’s centers?
SB: I’ve always been an advocate – not necessarily for women, but for advocacy in general. I actually grew up doing tobacco prevention programs and things with gender. I did the PTA and things like that. I’ve always been involved with advocacy and legislative kind of things.

When I started at the women’s center, I was actually drawn to it because I wanted to do something with women that have been abused. That’s what I wanted to go into because I am from that situation. But since I left a domestically violent situation, I couldn’t actually work in a shelter or anything because it was still so near and dear and hurtful and so this was kind of my way of still being involved but not interacting in that same way. And then when I got there, I just learned that I loved it and it was fun and exciting. Meeting the women here has been amazing. And the people that I love with are great and I’ve had so many opportunities that I could just have never imagined before.

RW: What was the most important lesson you learned in college?
SB: There are two phrases going through my head. It was kind of funny, my teachers said “C’s get degrees.” Which is sad, but it’s true. Even though you put your best effort, C’s will get you your degree. And the second one is “sizzle like bacon.” It means that you should just be the best that you can be and sizzle like bacon. It’s kind of fun.

RW: What exactly do you do for the CWG?
SB: My main thing is that I help plan and oversee all the events. I’m also the academic advisor for the Women and Gender Studies program. And I’m also in charge of the scholarships and grants. Then I also oversee the Perspectives Club.

RW: What is the most important thing the CWG does here at USU?
SB: I think the most important thing is raising awareness of women’s issues. We have all these wonderful women speakers that we bring in who talk about all these issues that are so relevant to women. And not only women, but they also show how men can wage the gap between men and women. And that’s a big part of our gender thing – that men can be feminists too. Men can be advocates too. So our major thing is that we raise awareness for all the issues we have.

RW: What does feminism mean to you?
SB: Feminism is really doing the right thing at the right time. Feminism is not just an issue for women, but an issue for everybody, because everybody has a mom or wife or sister and everybody has women in their lives that they care about. Feminism is just standing up for what you believe in and creating equality.

RW: What’s the best way for USU students to get involved with the CWG?
SB: I would say join the Perspectives Club because it’s awesome. They do a ton of things to get involved with equality. Then come check out our program. It might not be right for every student, but come check it out. Come see what we’re doing. Also, attending our events is a great way to understand what’s going on and what you can do.

If you would like more information about the CWG’s upcoming events, the Perspectives Club or the academic courses offered at USU, check out the CWG’s website at womenandgender.usu.edu. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @cwgusu.

Rebecca Wheatley is a student at Utah State University and wrote this as a social media intern with CWG.