The Kutztown University Women's
Center is part of the Division of Student Services and
Campus Life and works with the University Health Center,
University Counseling and Psychological Services Department,
the Women's Consortium, the Women's Studies Minor program
and the Commission on the Status of Women to plan
programming related to women's and alternative lifestyle
The Center's staff attempts to
increase awareness of gender concerns and alternative
lifestyle issues within the Kutztown University community.
It organizes residence hall programs, candlelight vigils,
flyers, speakers and panel discussions.
The Women's Center works with
community and national organizations and interacts with
other university Women's Centers. The Center has a library
of books, periodicals and videos available to the public.
Phone calls and visits from
individuals seeking advice, information, or direction are
handled in an understanding and confidential manner.
Referrals are made to university and community agencies.
The mission, vision, and philosophy
of the Kutztown University Women's Center falls within the
purview of the 11 Kutztown University statements of mission
as articulated in the Kutztown University Undergraduate
Bulletin 2003-2004 and specifically addresses the following
1. Pursue a commitment to academic
2. Provide opportunities for all students
to increase their appreciation and knowledge of the physical
universe, of human society and cultural diversity, and of
values, through general education, major study and
3. Provide a quality of campus life,
which will encourage the growth of self-esteem, respect for
the beliefs of others, and the open exchange of ideas.
4. Respond to the diverse needs of
society by ensuring equal access to its educational programs
and services without regard for race, gender, creed, age or
5. Serve as a center for cultural
6. Provide leadership and support
services for schools, businesses, industries, government,
health and other appropriate agencies.
In 1988, the Commission on Women in Education, sponsored by the American Council on Education (ACE), developed a document outlining 15 ways in which universities could improve the
women in higher education – a document unanimously approved that spring by the
Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
That fall, Kutztown University’s Women’s Consortium, headed by Dr. Constance P. Dent, proposed that the ACE recommendations
could be met in part by the establishment of a Women’s Center.
The Center opened for the 1989-1990 academic year with Dr. Sandra McSwain as its first director. She was succeeded in 1991 by Dr. Ann T. Gundry,
who formed its advisory
board the following year and added a full-time coordinator,
Grace Hill in 1999. Grace graduated from KU three years before with a B.A. in Professional Writing and was one of
the first graduates with a minor in Women’s Studies.
She earned her M.A. in Counseling in 1999. During graduate school,
she coordinated Women’s Center activities and was hired as the full-time Coordinator of the Center upon completion of her M.A.
She now serves as the Associate Director of the Center
and has served in that role since 2008.
Upon the retirement of Dr. Gundry, Dr. Kimberly Johnston became director for the fall of 2004.
In the spring, Dr. Elaine Reed headed the center until Fall of 2009 when Dr. Claire Van Ens began a
one-year term. As of fall 2010,
the faculty director’s position ended.
Throughout its changes in leadership, the focus
of the Women’s Center remains constant: To provide services
and programs that address women’s issues relevant to all
members of the KU community.