Behind the Bio

Guest post by Bibi Gnagno | Student Development Coordinator, Duke University Women’s Center

This year, the Duke Women’s Center invited Jaimie Woo, Duke University alumna and former policy analyst in the Office of the Vice President Joe Biden, to campus. Jaimie spoke during our Annual WomC Awards in which we honor female identified people’s contributions to the lives of girls and women at Duke, within the local community, across the state and globally.

Planning events and programming for students around civic engagement can sometimes be challenging with the myriad of things that need to be completed. However, my “aha moment” came during the keynote for the WomC Awards as we– staff, students and community members– listened to Ms. Woo recount how amidst all of her experiences and accomplishments, she struggled with imposter syndrome.  It was then that I realized that I also dealt with the same struggle specifically in my professional life. It made me realize that everyone, no matter how “shiny” their bio, struggles with feelings of not belonging.  It was refreshing to hear her talk about it and even more to see students take it in and understand it at a deep level from one who once walked in their shoes.

Although I’ve had projects fail, such as the time no one showed up to the Wind Down Wednesday we planned at the Center, I know that doesn’t affect the breadth of the work and capability to make an impact.

Wind Down Wednesdays take place every Wednesday from 6–8 pm at the Women’s Center. Each week features a female-identified theme ranging from “Can We All Be Feminists” to “The Art of Risk Taking”. Wind Down Wednesdays provide a space for students to build community, eat delicious food and learn about what it looks and feels like to hold space as a female identified student at Duke and in the global context.