KinReflects on Women’s History Month

To celebrate the end of Women’s History Month, the School of Kinesiology asked a few of our members about how women have positively impacted and empowered their lives.

Interviewee, Efrat Abadi, is a doctoral student for sport and exercise psychology and works for the Tucker Center, and interviewee Eugenia Garza is a first-year student studying kinesiology.

Who is a woman you look up to, personally or professionally, and why?

“One woman I look up to is my personal commander in the military. Just when it was time for me to enlist, the Israeli government decided to include girls in combat units in the military. We were the first girls’ combat unit and together we worked to prove that women can! My personal commander was inspiring. She displayed professionalism, determination, strength while treating everyone as an individual and while providing caring. She was a leader! I perceive her as a trailblazer for women in fighting units and for women in general.” – Efrat Abadi

“My mom. She’s a single mom and works two jobs to put me through college and support my sports. I was born in Houston, Texas, but I grew up in Mexico until I was 12. I then moved back to the U.S. to Minnesota for figure skating. My mom has never asked me to not pursue a passion and has always supported me through everything.” – Eugenia Garza

How are you inspiredin a professional and/or personal setting—by the work of women?

“I’m a research assistant for the Tucker Center for Girls & Women in Sport. Our center is the first research center of its kind in the world dedicated for the study of girls and women in sport, and tries to accelerate system change through research, education, and outreach. Working in the Tucker Center, I feel inspired by the cooperation and collaborative work of powerful, strong, determined women working together. I think we need to break the false narrative that women don’t get along working with each other. It inspires me to see a group of women supporting each other and working together and towards the same goals.” – Efrat Abadi

“Everywhere I go I see women in positions of power. I have so many women professors that I admire and are so knowledgeable and good at what they do. It’s so cool to see that I could be in that position and that those positions are feasible for me as a woman; I never have to think I can’t do that or can’t be that.” – Eugenia Garza

How do you see the U of M supporting women faculty, students, staff etc.?

“The Department of Kinesiology has human diversity among both faculty and students. In my opinion, it is important to create gender and cultural diversity because diversity creates opportunities to produce an enlightened society and one meaning of an enlightened society is the inclusion of women.” – Efrat Abadi

“I owe a lot of what I’m doing to women. Everywhere I turn, there has been a woman supporting me, and I think it is great that women are in positions to help and support students.” – Eugenia Garza