Wake Forest names new Women’s Center director

Shelley Sizemore, who received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wake Forest, was named as the new director


Courtesy of Wake Forest

Sizemore will begin her new role on July 1.

Addison Berry, Contributing Writer

Wake Forest University has hired Shelley Sizemore as the new director of the Women’s Center.

Sizemore is a “double Deac” who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Wake Forest. She has also worked at Wake Forest for the past 13 years in the Office of Civic and Community Engagement. Sizemore is excited for her new role and has visions for the Women’s Center to thrive.

 Sizemore strives to excel in three areas as the center’s new director, all of which support the Wake Forest Women Center’s mission of providing support for women and promoting gender equity in all departments on campus. 

These areas include building a sense of community by getting to know faculty, staff and students that identify as women and making connections as well as supporting equity and inclusion by promoting goals and preparing students to be advocates when they graduate. As director, Sizemore hopes to emphasize thoughtful leadership by educating oneself on national issues and bringing in individuals that encourage critical thinking about gender and its role on and off campus.

Sizemore plans to channel her skills and passion for feminism and gender theory into her new position. She desires to cultivate an environment that serves students in the best way possible and caters to individual needs. She stated:

“One of the things I’m most excited about is talking to students and talking to faculty and staff about what support looks like for them,” Sizemore said. “Because my vision is for the Women’s Center to be a vibrant space where people feel supported, challenged, and lovingly pushed … Because I am also aware that what looks like support for me may not be support for someone else.”

Sizemore, who was a North Carolina resident even before attending Wake Forest, began her career as the full-time coordinator of Campus Kitchen and since then has taken on various other roles — including earning a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. She has also taught in the Department of Education. Currently, she is the director of community partnerships in the OCCE. 

This fall, she plans to focus on community building and building partnerships with student organizations that serve women. 

“The goal for next year is connection, reconnection, and support,” Sizemore said. “I plan to start pretty early in the year engaging students, faculty and staff and asking them what those things look like for them.”

In terms of long-term goals, Sizemore envisions a space where women always feel supported and uplifted on campus.  

“The long-term vision is that women at Wake Forest can tell a marketable difference in their lives: they feel more supported and that people who want to advocate for women at Wake Forest, whether they are women or not, also understand what that looks like.”

 As she begins to plan for the upcoming year, Sizemore encourages students, staff and faculty to come by the Women’s Center (Benson University Center 314) and share their perspectives, comments or concerns.