Today, I sat down with Kayla Walker, the Program Coordinator for the Women’s Center and LGBTQIA Programs at SJU. I had previously attended a few of her programs in the Office of Inclusion and Diversity and was interested in getting to know her and her position better.
Here’s a little bit of background on the woman who does it all. Kayla Walker is a graduate of the SJU Class of ’16 and has a major in Spanish and minors in Math and Linguistics. During her time at St. Joe’s, she worked as an Orientation Leader and was a passionate volunteer for the Office of Multicultural Life, as it was called then. After graduation, inspired by her time with the Office of Multicultural life and an influential internship, Kayla began to focus her career path towards Student Affairs. Eventually, she decided to apply for a position in the Office of Multicultural Life due to her interest in identity formation and representation.
Currently, Kayla works as the Program Coordinator for Women’s Center and LGBTQIA Programs at SJU, an entirely new position at the Office. She splits her time between the Office of Inclusion and Diversity in the Campion Student Center and the Women’s Center in St. Albert’s Annex. Kayla’s main goal is to create an open, safe space for students and offer programs which cater towards representing and supporting the LGBTQIA community and female empowerment. She smiles as she describes her enjoyment of being as “busy as she can” and “essentially making students’ dreams come true” in the form of programming or sponsorship. For the next academic year, Kayla hopes to create quality, collaborative programs and events for the SJU community. A few of her events include Working Women’s Wednesday’s (meets the first Wednesday of the month in the Women’s Center), Coffee Chats, and SJU Pride (meets every other Tuesday in the Office).
Looking back on Saint Joe’s history, Kayla believes the university has progressed in representing minorities and providing an inclusive environment. She point towards the expansion of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity as an important step in the growth and change. The representation of the LBGTQIA on campus has especially expanded as previously there was no program coordinator specifically for this community. Kayla believes that if Saint Joe’s maintains to broaden its acceptance and the representation of minorities on campus, the university will continue to be a safe space for all.
If you’re interested in attending one of Kayla’s events, check out the Office of Inclusion and Diversity’s events page.