We would like everyone on campus and in the community to feel welcome during their visit to the UMKC Women's Center. Our friendly staff is always willing to assist with inquiries whether it be discussing programs, finding resources or just getting on-campus directions. Our office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Click here for contact and location information.
Brenda has been at the UMKC Women’s Center since January 2007. She also holds appointments as Acting Director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program, and as Affiliated Faculty in German in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Before coming to UMKC, she was founding Program Coordinator of the Women’s Center and then Director of the Women’s & Gender Equity Resource Center at Texas A&M University. She is a past chair of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) Women’s Centers Committee, as well as past Secretary for NWSA. Brenda was a member of the committee that revised the CAS Standards for Women Student Programs and Services. Recently, she was appointed to the MLA's Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities.
Brenda is a co-founder and co-editor of Student Affairs Women Talk Tech, a group blog that serves as a forum for women in student affairs with an interest in technology. She has presented and published on social media, assessment, women’s leadership, women’s literature, Elfriede Jelinek, Marlene Streeruwitz, Ingeborg Bachmann, and feminism in a variety of venues. She holds a B.A. in German Literature from Dickinson College, an M.A. in German Literature from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Modern German Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from UMass Amherst. Her book, “Obscene Fantasies”: Generic Perversions in Elfriede Jelinek, examines Elfriede Jelinek’s investigation of Austria’s and Western Europe’s “obscene fantasies” through her “perversion” of generic forms in three of her best-known texts, women as lovers, The Piano Teacher, and Lust and was published by Peter Lang in 2011.
Arzie joined the UMKC Women’s Center in August 2009. Prior to joining the Women’s Center staff, Arzie worked as the Student Services Coordinator for the UMKC Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Program Coordinator for the UMKC African American History & Culture House. With several years in higher education, Arzie has extensive experience in program development for multicultural student populations and in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented and first-generation college students. An advocate for women’s issues and social justice, Arzie served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Board to the Women’s Center for two years and has been an active volunteer for the local affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union for more than a decade. In 2007, the ACLU of Kansas & Western Missouri awarded Arzie with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Arzie holds a B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Kansas and an M.P.A. in Organizational Behavior from the UMKC Bloch School of Management. She is an active member of the Kansas City arts community exhibiting her artwork, judging various art scholarship competitions, and contributing to panel discussions regarding women in the arts. Arzie is also the proud mother of two children, Max and Mimi.
Michelle assumed the duties of Victim Services Adjudication Advisor in April 2008. Before coming to UMKC, Michelle worked as Victim's Rights Advocate for the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney's Office in Missouri. She was also a board member for the Lincoln County Family Violence Council, as well as the Chairperson for the local Sexual Assault Response Team.
She has devoted her entire professional career to empowering the lives of women and is very excited to be working at the Women's Center.
Kelly became the Violence Prevention Coordinator in July 2012. Prior to joining the Women’s Center staff, she interned as a counselor at SAFEHOME, a domestic violence shelter in Johnson County, KS and worked in orientation at a school in Virginia. This role combines two of her passions, working with college students and advocating for healthy, positive interpersonal relationships. She holds a B.S.W. from the University of Kansas, a M.A. in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University, and a M.S.W. from UMKC. Kelly looks forward to working with members of the UMKC and Kansas City communities to prevent interpersonal violence and sexual assault.
The phone number for all student staff is 816.235.1638
Katelyn (Katie) Bidondo, Graduate Student Assistant
Katelyn Bidondo (Katie) joined the UMKC Women’s Center staff as a Graduate Assistant in the spring of 2013. Katie holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish from UMKC. She is currently working on her Master’s in Romance Languages with an emphasis in Spanish, with about one year left. After completing her Master’s degree Katie hopes to go on to law school. Katie is interested in equal rights for everyone, especially women. She hopes to further the rights for the underserved by becoming a Civil Rights Attorney. In her time away from studying, Katie likes to enjoy the sights and sounds of her hometown, Kansas City, Missouri.
Andrea L. Fowler, Graduate Assistant for Programming
Andrea joined the Women’s Center staff in 2012 as the Graduate Assistant of Programming. Andrea is in her second year at UMKC, working on a Master’s in Musicology at the Conservatory of Music and Dance. She also holds a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance from Truman State University and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Missouri Western State University. Discovering the work of American women composers is one of Andrea’s primary areas of interest within musicology. Andrea is excited to join the staff at the Women’s Center, and is looking forward to helping increase awareness of women’s issues and use this position to set a strong example for her daughter, Aislinn.
Ayomide Aruwajoye, Office/Events Student Assistant
Ayomide Aruwajoye became a member of the spring 2013 Women’s Center Staff as a student assistant. She was born in London, England and came to the United States when she was three, settling in St. Louis with her family. Ayo attended Hazelwood East High School and graduated as the President of her senior class and also as Vice President of National Honor Society. She started UMCK in fall of 2012 and plans to earn a BSN in Nursing and go on to become a Pediatric Nurse while attending graduate school to become a Pediatrician. Everyone that knows Ayo will probably tell you she loves to smile and she has promised herself that anybody she meets she will leave a positive image in their mind. Ayo hopes that by working at the Women’s Center she can experience something new and also be a positive influence on someone’s life.
Morgan Elyse Christensen, Her Art Project Student Assistant
Morgan Elyse is a junior in the Film and Media Arts Program at UMKC and anticipates graduating with her degree in Communications by December of 2013. Upon graduation, she would love to work in the television industry or for a large film festival while writing and directing films of her own on the side. Morgan is currently the director of the Paris of the Plains Student Film Festival to debut in June of 2013. Born and raised in Kansas City and always having had a passion for the arts, she is thrilled to be working with the Women’s Center to help promote other female artists in the KC and surrounding areas through the Her Art Project. She is also honored to have the chance to assist with the life-education of other women on campus as they become healthy, strong, and positive forces of the community.
Joseph Salazar, Social Networking Student Assistant
Joseph Salazar is an undergraduate Political Science and English Literature major in his third year of study. He has previously worked as a volunteer for Planned Parenthood and participated at an internship with Lathrop and Gage. Joseph is interested in Queer Theory and Studies and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature after graduating from UMKC. In his free time, Joseph enjoys watching movies, reading books and going to concerts or plays. At the Women’s Center Joseph works with social media.
Briana Ward, Office/Events Student Assistant
Briana Ward became a member of the spring 2013 Women’s Center Staff as a student assistant. Prior to coming to UMKC, she lived in Saint Louis and graduated from Hazelwood Central High School where she was the vice president of the senior student body. Briana is a pre-pharmacy student who likes to take advantage her of everyday experiences, such as volunteering and interacting with people, to become a well-rounded individual. She is known for her great communication skills and her kind heart.