Elevating Women's Voices

Women's Center Weekly Newsletter, 4/11/2020

This week's newsletter is different. No updates or information. Just a lot of support and best wishes to you from the Women's Center staff! Even if you've just peeked at the newsletter before, please read through this one. You won't regret it!

But first, here are the links for our virtual office hours this week.

Mon 4/13 11 am – 12 noon https://lakelandcc.webex.com/meet/dmull3

Tues 4/14 5 – 6 pm https://lakelandcc.webex.com/meet/mhill

Wed 4/15 1:30 – 2:30 https://lakelandcc.webex.com/meet/glane

Thurs 4/16 11 am – 12 noon https://lakelandcc.webex.com/meet/mhill

Fri 4/17 1 – 2 pm https://lakelandcc.webex.com/meet/glane

And join us for the Self Care Workshop on Friday, 4/17 9:30 - 11 am https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0c44a4ad2ca6f49-selfcare

Now, enjoy our messages! Be sure to go all the way to the end so you can feel support from all of us: Gloria, Mary, Diane, Tiffany, Josie and Lauren, your entire Women's Center staff.

Greetings from Gloria

Today is a special milestone for me. The calendar says I am exactly 5 years cancer free! On April 10, 2015, I had a total hysterectomy to rid my body of endometrial (a form of uterine) cancer. The surgery was successful and I was able to leave the hospital without cancer and never look back. I was very blessed that I was spared radiation or chemo; regardless, facing cancer was a terrifying experience. How did I get through it? With support from the Women’s Center!

My colleagues, students and friends in the Women’s Center rallied around me in many ways. On the day before my surgery they threw a “going away to surgery” party that was epic. Everyone wore peach (the advocacy color for endometrial cancer); we had peach roses, and peach colored cupcakes. Everyone who came got a peach ribbon and many wore badges that said, Team Gloria: I wear a ribbon for my ”HER”o. Because of these, and other, acts of support, I was able to face one of the scariest times of my life with courage and strength.

The sense of community and sisterhood in the Women’s Center is no joke. We really believe in it! I have been on the receiving end, which is why it’s so important for me to be on the giving end each day.

As a country, we are now going through an exceptionally frightening time. We all need support to get through something like this. I know and believe in the power of the Women’s Center first hand. You can rely on us during this time. Please let us be there for you!

Gloria Lane



Tips from Tiffany

Hello friends, it’s Tiffany from the Women’s Center!
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We all wanted to add a personal touch to this week's newsletter because staying connected is how we stay strong. Although there’s distance between us, we are not alone; we’re all in this together.

As some of you may know, I’m in my final semester of the nursing program. It’s truly
disheartening that I can’t be on campus or see your faces during my final weeks of school. It’s also utterly frightening that this is how I’m beginning my career as a nurse. To combat fear, anxiety, and stress during these unprecedented times, I try to stay focused on what I can control. I find ways to make my home space peaceful and create a regular routine for myself and my 14 year old daughter, Rayne.
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Here’s a tiny glimpse of how we’ve been handling the new normal. I hope everyone (and your loved ones) are healthy and safe . Be kind to yourselves, be kind to each other, be kind to the planet. Sending lots of love and positive energy!

Tiffany Ayapana



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Diane's Dialogue

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” -Mr. Fred Rogers

I always come back to this quote during crisis or difficult times. It is wonderful to look for the helpers and be encouraged by the people committing to helping their community. Whether you are a nurse on the front lines or a mom keeping your kids home, you are doing your part, and we see you. You are each brave, focused and worthy. Take care of yourselves and reach out if you need anything.

And keep finding reasons to smile and laugh!:


Thinking of you all,

Diane Mull



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A Letter from Lauren

Hi! I am the newest student worker. I worked only 4 hours before Lakeland went on lockdown! But I have several more semesters of college and will definitely be a member of the WC team when we return to campus. I am studying human services. I've added a picture so you'll know who I am, plus I'm sharing a favorite quote, which seems appropriate for what's going on today.

Lauren Polena



Josie's Journal

Hi guys!

I hope that everyone is still doing okay through this dramatic change. I know that change can be hard on people especially such an unexpected one like this. But just remember that every new experience is a chapter in our book of life.

So take some notes! Write about the new content surrounding you. This chapter is going to be so interesting to look back and read someday. Our book will someday be read to our children, our grandchildren and even our great grandchildren. They will be impressed by our strength, our perseverance and it will teach them that anything is possible! We just have to keep on writing! :)

Stay healthy!

Josie Dean.



Mary's Message

Greetings from my Distant Corner to yours!

As we weather through this storm of uncertainty during this COVID-19 pandemic, I have come to realize we are all inside this hard drive together, no one was handpicked as a single file to this drive to partake of this virus alone. Much like technology, this is a shared drive for the whole world and we are on a path of uncharted, never before seen territory. The effects of this travesty have forever changed the world we knew as normal just yesterday. For the majority, we wrestle with many insecurities of “I wonder’s.”

I wonder if it is worth finishing this semester out.

I wonder if college is really the path for me.

I wonder if I can thrive with this online curriculum.

And so many more, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder!

Well, I am among the majority as well and I wonder too like many of you. And yes, I too sometimes feel frozen, frustrated and bewildered to the point of giving up and throwing in the towel. But right when I think that I have reached the brink of despair, I am reminded of the role I was exclusively chosen for, and the commitment I made on the day I accepted this position. Much like any oath of declaration, I promised to serve, and right at that point it is sealed. I tell myself several things, I cannot give up, I have made a pledge of allegiance to a community of women; I have been called to advocate for these women and uphold my belief in doing so through our center’s mission: “Helping Women Who Want to Make a Change in Their Lives”.

That said, I am often reminded that this is not a job, it is a response to a calling that I must approach with “an Attitude of Gratitude”. I am thankful for this gift and role that I was chosen to lead some 12 years ago. I am forever grateful for continuously seeing the fruits of my (our) labor, witnessing women from all walks of life earn degrees, certificates. Creating spaces and platforms that allow their voices to be heard, boosting self-confidence and broadening their horizons.

So with my passion and gratitude, I must run the course and stay inside this “Hard Drive.” I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is an Engineer with the solution who is fully capable of removing this virus. An Engineer larger and greater than you and I that will allow us to resume in real time.

Perhaps, it may not be business as usual for now, and the transition to a new learning environment may feel strange, but change is inevitable and we are capable!

Although our Women’s Center may stay home to serve you during this time, just know we are front line contenders supporting you every step of the way inside this hard drive. So, help us help you. Reach out and touch. Together let’s embrace and learn new technology and new ways of learning!

Everything must Change, Nothing, stays the same! April 10, 2020.

Grateful, Mary


Mary Goss-Hill



To all those who celebrate, Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

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Only three more weeks of classes - stick with us and we'll get you to the end!