May 27, 2024

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EmpowHERed Women Empower Women – Arizona State University Athletics

Jensen Kaelin, a sophomore on the Sun Devil Beach Volleyball team, said that she has noticed a difference between her first year of college and what current freshmen are experiencing. Kaelin said less social interaction for most second-year student-athletes led to her wanting to be involved with EmpowHER.

“Seeing the difference between my class and the freshman class we have this year and the classes ahead of me is the social integration they had with other athletes,” Kaelin said. “So our class did the best they could with social integration but we didn’t have what they have now.”

Garner said Camryn Williams, the Sun Devil Athletics Sports Law and Business Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Graduate Assistant, also met with some of the student-athletes. From there, the group organized some of the ideas the student-athletes had.

The first 2022 EmpowHER event was held on February 9 and was a Zoom meeting that brought female student-athletes from various sports. The meeting began with five minutes of mindfulness, led by Rachael Holp, a redshirt junior on Sun Devil Swim and Dive. Garner said that prior to the first meeting, the group had wanted Holp as their peer and teammate to lead the mindfulness moment and that she’s been doing the exercise with her team often and that the support from her fellow student-athletes was incredibly critical.

A component of EmpowHER is also to bring in guest speakers. Garner said she brought in the student-athletes’ help on who to have as guest speakers. For the first meeting, they brought in Dr. Victoria Jackson, a sports historian and a Clinical Assistant Professor of History at ASU, as well as Nona Lee, the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We want to take these EmpowHER meetings not only to get to know everybody but also to learn life skills that you can use in the real world,” Kaelin said. “We were so very lucky to kick off our EmpowHER series with two very powerful and bright women. They are the real deal, they have done it all.”