Women’s Center to Get First Full-time Director

After a national search, a faculty member from the University of Rhode Island has been named director of the Carolina Women’s Center.

Donna Bickford, who also earned her doctorate from Rhode Island, has been a lecturer in Rhode Island’s women’s studies program. Her areas of interest include contemporary women writers, literature of the Americas and the connections between literature and social change.

UNC’s center, established in 1997, aims to improve the status of women and provide an infrastructure to represent women’s interests on issues such as health, campus security, child care, professional development, pay equity and the campus climate for women students, faculty and staff.

Many of its programs, services and initiatives also are of interest to men, and the center encourages the participation of all men and women on campus.

“Donna Bickford brings a range of experience that makes her especially well suited to be the first full-time director of the Carolina Women’s Center,” said Lynn Blanchard ’85 (MPH, ’89 PhD), director of the Carolina Center for Public Service, who led the search for the position. “In addition to her faculty role at the University of Rhode Island, she has participated in a wide array of activities focused on social justice and gender equity. Dr. Bickford’s commitment to the education and empowerment of women and her enthusiasm for leading the Women’s Center into its next phase shone through during the selection process.”

As director, Bickford will be responsible for strategic planning, policy development, program development and implementation, program evaluation, and fiscal and administrative oversight.

She also will serve as the center’s representative on various University policy and decision-making bodies and will be the official representative of the center to internal and external constituencies.

In 2003, Bickford was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant and spent the fall semester teaching in the department of comparative literature and the Institute of Women’s Studies at Abo Akademi University in Finland.

She will begin work at Carolina on June 12.

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