Alyssa Camejo ~ Assistant Editor
As part of National Volunteer Month, The Critograph would like to honor some of the influential women who are focused on creating a community of service at the University of Lynchburg/
This week we will feature Tasha Gillum.
Gillum is the Bonner Leader program coordinator in the Center for Community Engagement at the University of Lynchburg. She is in her third year in this position.
Gillum attended Sweet Briar College, and studied Environmental Science with an Emphasis in Geology.
On her undergraduate experience, Gilllum said, “That experience of being in space where I was highly supported and encouraged and believed in was my first experience in academia. At my school, I saw women in leadership positions and doing cool research. Early on, I saw that as a possibility for myself.”
Exposure to women being in a higher education and leadership positions is vital for women to feel supported in their academic journey.
Gillum said, “I had immense confidence because of the foundation of where I came from. Because I’m a female, people may question or doubt my ability. Or doubt my commitment to something because I’m a mother. Like, can I really be committed to something if I also have a family? I don’t think that question even exists for men.”
In her own career, Gillum has strived to make space for women. One of those places is through the direction of the Bonner Leader program, which focuses on Lynchburg students dedicating 10 hours a week to local nonprofits, schools, or government agencies.
Naomi Watkins, a sophomore Bonner Leader, said “Being caring and nurturing has always been a part of Tasha’s character. One of many skills she has taught me is effective communication and how to listen to others during conversations. These are skills that we will carry and practice throughout our lives.”
Gillum has had an impact on the University of Lynchburg campus through her character and career, and continues to inspire the young women all across campus.
Gillum said, “Surrounding myself with other women that are also competent and effective and confident. For me, it is essential to have other women in my sphere to lift me up, and there are times when I lift them up.”