Campaign Gifts Have Impact: Living and Learning in Douglass’ Global Village

The support and generosity of alumnae and friends giving to the Campaign for Douglass: Innovative Education, Women’s Leadership, enables Douglass students to prepare for the global workforce by supporting service learning programs, the colleges’ Global Village, and educational programs with the United Nations, all in a world where a global perspective is essential.

Giannina Ruiz, Class of 2017, was drawn to the Spanish house in Douglass’ Global Village because residents of the house take a class together and also practice speaking Spanish with one another.

“Being a Hispanic woman,” Giannina says, “and not being able to speak Spanish well has been difficult for me to accept.  The Spanish House is the perfect opportunity to immerse myself among other women who want to develop language skills and learn about the culture.” She also expects to gain valuable experience during an upcoming service trip with the house over winter break this January when they travel to Merida, Yucatan in Mexico.

Giannina is majoring in Political Science and Economics, with a minor in Spanish. She says she will build the skills to tackle issues in women’s rights and to advocate for resources for those in need. She views each major as an opportunity to learn about the distribution of power and resources. Support from the Flora Buchbinder Cowen ’59 Scholarship administered by the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College is helping Giannina pursue her passion for creating change and contributing to social justice. She is also a research assistant at the Aresty Research Center for a project titled, Women in Executive Office: Running and Winning in 2014 and 2016, where she is comparing media coverage of female and male candidates running for office.

Among leadership roles Giannina holds on campus are Vice President of the Jameson Residence Hall Association, Secretary of the Rutgers University Women’s Political Caucus Chapter and a student mentor in the Douglass Big Little Program.

This semester Giannina found herself leaning towards education reform as one of her primary social justice issues. Her mother often told Giannina that she should become a teacher because she “loves going to school, learning and encouraging others to work hard.” Giannina hopes to reform education in urban areas while also encouraging young women to become leaders within their own communities. “There is no better place to start creating change than with the next generation and those who are at-risk of remaining in a pattern of poverty and self-destruction,” she says.

“If I can simply change one child’s life and help her grow into the person she is truly meant to be,” says Giannina, “I will have done my part.”

–Posted by Anne Marie Russo, Director of Communications

The Associate Alumnae of Douglass College (AADC) held the public launch of The Campaign for Douglass  launched in 2010 and concluded in 2014. It was the most ambitious capital campaign undertaken thus far to benefit Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University. Thank you to all who supported the Campaign and helped us raise more than $41 million.

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