Emory Report
July 7, 2008
Volume 60, Number 34



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July 7, 2008
Questions for ... Sasha Smith: Center for Women still sizzles in summer

By Kim Urquhart

The resources available through the Center for Women at Emory are abundant, including confidential drop-in counseling, information on sexual assault, harassment and other concerns, a library, massage therapy, and the Nursing Nest, a lactation space for nursing mothers. Emory Report catches up with Assistant Director for Programs Sasha Smith to find out what’s hot at the Center for Women this summer.

Emory Report: The Center for Women houses one of the largest and most diverse collections of books relevant to gender issues on campus. Which book is on your summer must-read list?

Smith: We have books by women and for women, from fiction to specific topics. I recently just read “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It took forever because it was always being checked out from our library. So I was wondering what is this rave about? It’s not what I expected and I feel like it was a very good summer read. I connected with the character: Themes in the book are about finding work-life balance, which is one of the main themes here on campus now.

ER: The Center for Women offers an onsite wellness program with licensed massage therapists. What’s the best part about getting a massage through the Center’s massage therapy program?

Smith: It’s really nice in the middle or the end of the day, to not have to go somewhere far, and get a relaxing massage at a very reasonable price, $1 minute. This year we started offering walk-in appointments, which have increased the use of massage therapy at the Center. Our therapists are requested at special events like Staff Fest and to visit other units, like Yerkes, who might not be able to make it to the Center during the day.

ER: What do you enjoy most about your work?
Smith: Working with students and being able help them shape and think critically about their feminist theory and putting it into practice. I love being a mentor. Another piece of my job I really like are the programs that help people, like the financial seminar and the women’s health and wellness programs, where we have a professionals in specific fields who can answer detailed questions on specific topics.

ER: What do you wish more people knew about the Center for Women?

Smith: I think sometimes people think that the Center for Women at Emory is only for women, or staff and faculty may think it’s only for students – and that’s not the case. It’s here for everyone.

ER: What’s on the horizon for 2008-09?

Smith: This fall we’ll be getting a new director, and shifting under the umbrella of Senior Vice Provost for Community and Diversity Ozzie Harris. We’re also hoping this year to expand our wellness programs to other parts of Emory, such as Crawford Long. Visit our Web site at womenscenter.emory.edu for more detailed information on programs and services.