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SHAVONNE WARD '09

Child advocate. Born leader. Extrovert.

Major: Psychology
Minors: Child Advocacy, Peer Education in Human Relations

Junior Trustee

In 2005, I carried the Albanian flag in the procession for Convocation and heard Oluwayemisi O. Abogan ’06speak as the Junior Trustee to the HWS Board of Trustees. She inspired me. I learned how she got involved and three years later, I was the Junior Trustee speaking at Convocation! 

Volleyball and Lasting Friends

I loved volleyball in high school so I joined the intramural team at HWS. There were 20 to 30 students on the team the first year I joined. It was a real alphabet soup, getting to know all the names, but many of the friends I met through volleyball I still have today.

Minor: Child Advocacy

There are many things that I have learned from my child advocacy classes; the essence of these courses is becoming an effective advocate for all children, regardless of their race, class or gender. I have had many teachers and professors past and current who have invested so much in me, that I want to give back anyway I can.

An Indescribable Class

This semester I am taking an education course titled Children with Disabilities that includes a service learning component. For the past three weeks, I have been working with students from the ARC HWS College Experience here. I love it! It’s an amazing experience to connect with another human being, definitely life changing and indescribable.

Volunteer Work with Children

It has always been a burning desire to advocate for children anyway I could; to make sure that no child is left behind. Due to this passion that I have, I traveled to Norlina, North Carolina for Alternative Spring Break. It was only for a week, but I had a BLAST! I worked with three kindergarten classes. I also started volunteering with America Reads right away first year and I was a tutor at Main Street School and North Street School. Last year, I was a coordinator for Romulus School for both semesters; this year I am also the coordinator for America Reads at Romulus.

Shaping a Future Path

I attended a health professions event because I wanted to hear a psychologist and social worker speak because I knew I was interested in psychology but not sure what to do with it as a career. The speaker was an alum who agreed to go to lunch later to answer even more questions about career paths.

Lunch then Work

Lunch with visiting speaker, Marilyn Greene ’87, led to an internship opportunity with the Family Counseling Services of the Finger Lakes through which I learned what I could do with my degree in psychology after graduation. Now, I’m looking to go to graduate school to become a child psychologist.

Walk Backwards Regularly

After seeing people walking backwards all over campus, I finally asked one what he was doing. Turns out, he was an admissions tour guide and I could become one, too. I did some mock tours and grew adept enough at walking backwards that I now work as a tour guide and show people the finer points of campus – without tripping! I also host overnight visits for admissions.

Drive to be active

HWS provided space for me to be active, to go above and beyond academically and socially. I took a religious studies course that taught me that I don’t have to agree with everything I hear in class. I need to expose myself to different things, to dibble-dabble in subjects and activities for truly interactive learning.

Learn to Lead

In this new group where women mentor other women, I have a senior mentor and I in turn mentor two sophomores. I had such a great experience in a WS program for first-years, Sidekicks, I joined L to L because I want to make sure someone else has a smooth transition.

WS Congress

As a member of William Smith Congress I have serviced on the Campus Service Committee for the past three years. Through this committee, I am able to voice concerns on behalf of all William Smith women.

SANKOFA

I am a dedicated member of Sankofa and have assisted with panels, Harlem Nights, Soul Food Night in Saga, Charity Ball and Kwanzaa celebration, among other things.

Representative for Centennial

For a celebration for William Smith’s Centennial, I was asked by Dean Kaenzig to be one of the students representing past, present and future William Smith women. It was great to do because I’m so inspired by the women here. We’re each other’s best resource. I regularly draw inspiration from my peers, like Katie Goodrich’08 (summer 2007 Yahoo! intern), recent grads like Jane Erickson ’07 (a Fulbright recipient), or William Smith’s own Rhodes Scholar, Julia James ’04.