Reaching out to students to offer support and guidance has been the main goal of Colleen Riggle over the years, as she was recently named Director of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and Assistant Dean of Students.
Beginning her work with students as a residential assistant and member of a sorority in college, Riggle moved from her undergraduate degree in exercise and health science from Alma College to a master’s degree in college student affairs leadership from Grand Valley State University.
As far as women’s issues go, Riggle stresses education about the lesser-known problem of sexual violence.
“Sexual assault is a prevalent issue on any college campus, but it’s definitely something that’s under reported. Crime statistics are in no way representative of what’s really happening,” Riggle said. She also noted that if any students are affected by sexual violence, they should seek out assistance from the WRC.
Part of her later work in the outer community included founding University of Tampa’s WRC, volunteering with a local crisis center and actively participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Currently, Riggle is a cochair of the National Women’s Studies Association Women’s Center Committee, according to a press release.
Riggle was initially drawn to Tech for the WRC project coordinator position.
“Working with the women’s center, working with students, the colleagues, the environment, the whole package is a really good fit,” Riggle said of her Tech experience.
Riggle’s goals for the WRC include continuing to offer support for the Tech students of tomorrow.
“Stress, whether about classes or stresses from parents or stress to be competitive with their peers, is something [students] struggle with. I think early on, when students get here, they have a transition issue with getting acclimated to the academic environment— some may not have had to study as much before, but getting here and realizing it’s essential to their success,” Riggle said of the most pressing issues students face in their transition to Tech.
Riggle additionally noted that balancing everything campus has to offer is difficult upon first arriving at Tech.
Riggle also plans to extend support to staff and approves of programs that extend beyond Tech. She noted that utilizing Tech’s network is important, and students should not be closed off to the campus boundaries.
On the whole, Riggle emphasizes that the purpose of the WRC is not only to handle negative issues faced by women. Other WRC opportunities include student-run projects, including the annual Women’s Leadership Conference, graduate women’s lunches and various outings with Outdoor Recreation Georgia Tech (ORGT).
Perhaps the most extending event is Women’s Awareness Month in March that includes smaller events such as Take Back the Night event, a fashion show to promote information about heart health and a women’s service day.