Megan Wall

International Experience Country:
Costa Rica
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Duquesne University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Damned If You Do, Doomed If You Don't

The Duquesne University members of the 2014 VIH Cohort centered their cumulative Community Engagement Experience around the topic of the Double Bind and its effects on perseptions of women in professional roles.  Entitled "Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don't", the CEE of Shantale Davis, Breanna Powell, Megan Wall, and Kayla Witkowski focused on raising awareness of the many challenges surrounding women in the workplace, front lines of war zones, classrooms, and more. 

Having each encountered instances firsthand of the Double Bind themselves, or having witnessed it, the members of the group decided to showcase how cultural values have the potential to affect women's lives in every regard, with particular emphasis on professions.  Given Dusquesne's repuation of preparing quality graduates, the majority of whom are female, the CEE group members felt the topic was relevant to the community, would be impactful, and inspiring to those who would attend. 

The four students worked alongside many on-campus organizations, offices, and individuals to ensure all would go well the day of the CEE. 

The CEE began with an introductory presentation to familiarize attendees with what exactly the Double Bind is.  Moreover, attendees were given a first glimpse of the many repercussions resulting for women in the context of the Double Bind.  Afterwards, four rotating breakout presentations, each presented by the cohort members, began.  These breakout sessions, each of which attendees would rotate through, focused on the Double Bind in the classroom, on the front lines, in social contexts, and more for today's professional women.  Attendees contributed to thought provoking, insightful discussions about each "hot button issue", thus actualizing the goal of the cohort members. At the culmination of the breakout sessions, the presenters and attendees reconvened to discuss lessons learned. takeaways, and potential means of combating against "becoming caught in the double bind".

Overall, this proved to be a very successful CEE, with CEE attendees remarking to presenters that they wished "programs like this could be presented more often" and how significantly the program raised their awareness to this obstacle in the workplace.