The Georgetown University Women’s Center has yet to secure a permanent replacement for former Director Laura Kovach three months after she vacated her position Oct. 5.
Kovach worked for the women’s center for over a decade. Under Kovach’s leadership, the center established the Biondi Copeland Lecture Series, which recognizes the exceptional leadership of women in higher education. In collaboration with Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, Kovach also spearheaded an annual conference for women students.
While the center searches for new leadership, Jeanne Lord, associate vice president and dean of students, will serve as interim director of the center, aided by several colleagues who have already been employed at the center for some time.
Currently, the women’s center has four undergraduate student workers, one graduate assistant and a program coordinator who is a staff member, according to Vanessa Phillips (MSB ’19), a staffer at GUWC. The center also receives external staff support while Lord serves as interim director, Phillips said. Phillips declined to disclose progress on the search for a new full-time director.
Karla Rondon, the program coordinator for the center, said the daily operations and services provided by the women’s center for the community will remain unchanged during the interim director period.
“The Center will continue to function as it has been, and we’re committed to providing all students with resources and education. We want students to know that what we offer has not changed, and we’re very excited for the upcoming semester,” Rondon wrote in an email to The Hoya.
Kovach left the women’s center to begin a new role at Alteristic, a social accelerator organization focused on the prevention and elimination of power-based violence.
Kovach declined The Hoya’s request for comment on last year’s change in leadership.
Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson praised Kovach’s legacy and advocacy efforts for women’s issues during her time in the position.
“Laura Kovach provided extraordinary leadership to the women’s center for over 10 years and was a powerful voice on current issues impacting women, notably surrounding our community’s work in preventing and addressing sexual assault,” Olsen said in a statement to The Hoya.
Caroline Sarda (COL ’20), an undergraduate staffer at the center, said despite Kovach’s absence, the center remains committed to its goals of being accessible for all students.
“Laura provided a very unique energy and warmth to the center that we will really miss, but we are dedicated to keeping the space a safe, welcoming and helpful resource for all students at Georgetown,” Sarda said.
Students involved with the women’s center in the past will play a vital role in the center’s operations as it undergoes a change in leadership, Olson said.
“As we conduct a search for a new leader and explore strengthening the work of the women’s center and LGBTQ Resource Center, we will engage with students leaders and campus partners who are involved with both,” Olson wrote in his statement to the Georgetown community.
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