Coming from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the new director plans to use her expertise in women’s issues and intersectionality to take on her role at OU.

M. Geneva Murray will start her new position as director of the Ohio University Women’s Center with an advantage.

Murray is coming off a similar position at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. It was announced she would take over a few days shy of the start of Fall Semester, but she will be officially stepping into the role Oct. 12.

Murray is replacing Susanne Dietzel, who left the center in the spring for “personal reasons,” after eight years in the position.

“Geneva has great ideas, and it will be great to have a new person on campus bringing in some fresh insight from another place,” Sarah Jenkins, program coordinator for the Women’s Center, said. “We have a really solid Women’s Center here, and it’s always great to have new ideas, inspirations and backgrounds coming in to add to the programming and reputation that we already have.”

Dietzel’s most recent salary was $82,702. Murray’s salary is $70,000, which includes instructing one course per academic year in either the fall or spring, Katie Quaranta, an OU spokeswoman, said.

Murray has spent time internationally in England and the Netherlands studying how roller derby aligns with or challenges heterosexual norms. She said she specializes in looking at the way gender divisions are constructed, preserved and challenged through sport.

Delfin Bautista, who was on the search committee for a new director, said Murray’s commitment to intersectionality — specifically her eagerness to work with the LGBT Center and Multicultural Center — made her stand out.

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“We know there are LGBT students who are people of color, and feminist students of color who are LGBT and may also be from another country,” Bautista said. “(She was thorough in) wanting to make sure that we’re creating programming that complements each other but also connects to the intersectionality of the students we serve.”

Murray’s first event will be held Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in Ellis 111. There, she will co-host a “global Google Hangout” with University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Women’s Center on “fat activism,” which is focused on reducing body shaming.  

A meet-and-greet with Murray will be held an hour before the event.

“My first priority is getting to know people on campus,” Murray said. “Something that’s really important to me is that I don’t just come in and tell people what I think people should need. I really figure out what the campus needs and what our students need and the services going toward them when it comes to women and gender programming.”

Bautista and Jenkins agreed that Murray’s energy about activism and intersectionality will be beneficial when she begins her new position.

“I’m excited about having a new teammate who has energy,” Jenkins said. “The director is the representation of the center, so it’s important to have that person be a figure for the center that can be out in the community representing the mission of the Women’s Center.”


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