A Day in the Life of an Athena Center Student Lead
As our in-person communities and events continue to ramp up, the Athena Center has been welcoming an increasing number of amazing interns to our team. Our Student Leads support Athena operations in a variety of ways - depending on their specific position and interests, they do everything from conducting outreach for Athena to helping plan and facilitate our communities of practice.
Bridget Hughes ‘24 is our general Student Lead, and largely serves our SPARK event series and general Athena operations. At the Center, Bridget manages Athena’s Instagram account, coordinates across staff, Communities of Practice, staff events, and helps keep the place running!
Bridget is invaluable to the team, and luckily, she thinks the same about Athena. “I love working at Athena because of the community — chatting with the staff and my colleagues are always a highlight of my day!” Bridget shares regarding why she has continued her internship from this summer into the fall. “Everybody involved at Athena has so much to offer, and I am constantly learning in this environment.”
In this Day in the Life, follow Bridget as she navigates volunteering, classes, and interning at the Athena Center. You can also check out her Athena IG takeover, where she documented her day - including being part of a LGBTQ+ history walking tour of Greenwich Village - in real time!
9:00 am: I’m at my first meeting of the day, the Communications Committee for the Food Pantry at Columbia. We’re working on the October newsletter, sending updates about pantry operations and upcoming events this semester. To volunteer with us, click here!
10:00 am: Next I’m headed to my Practicing Intersectionality class, where we study the ways in which multiple axes of oppression interact. Today, we have a guest speaker: Mateo Guerrero, the TGNCIQ (transgender, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer) organizer at Make the Road New York, an organization that focuses on achieving progress for immigrant and working-class communities. It was so inspiring to hear his story!
11:30 am: I’m starting my shift at Athena with our weekly intern meeting! I’m here with Rosie (the Athena Fellows Student Lead), Elise (the ADDA Student Lead), Amalia (the Athena Policy and Changemaking Student Lead), and Diarra (the Athena Entrepreneurs Student Lead). My role is more general; instead of being a student lead for one specific CoP, as the Student Programs and Support Intern, I facilitate communications between the CoPs and help weave everything together. At our intern meetings, we share what we’ve been working on and collaborate on projects involving multiple CoPs.
12:10 pm: Amalia and I help Ruchi, Post-Baccalaureate Fellow for Communities of Practice, carry up some snacks for Athena’s programming this week. Our office runs on La Croix!
12:30 pm: I’m back in the Athena office, preparing for our upcoming event “Women, Life, Freedom: The Iranian Feminist Uprising In Context.” This event will host my Practicing Intersectionality professor, Manijeh Moradian, and attorney and advocate Azadeh Shahshahani for a conversation about the women-led protests in Iran that have captured the attention of women around the world. They’ll be discussing what Iranian women and men are fighting for, and why? How can we understand this uprising in the historical context of Iranian society and in relation to global movements against patriarchal authoritarianism?
1:00 pm: I’m leaving the office with Barnard’s LGBTQ+ Outreach Coordinator, Dylan Kapit (they/them, ’16), on an LGBTQ+ history walking tour of Greenwich Village. We’re seeing some of the sites of protest that kicked off the modern LGBTQ+ movements in New York City, including Stonewall!
4:00 pm: Wrapping up the tour at Stonewall itself! We learned so much about the history of queer activism in the U.S. Since I’m taking U.S. Lesbian and Gay History right now, it was amazing to see the sites of protest that I’m studying in class.
Thanks for following along with my day!