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The Optimistic Advocate 

Julia Alford, a junior, credits UAlbany with guiding her to internships in the women's rights field. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 27, 2016) – Julia Alford is excited to “turn can’ts into cans and dreams into plans” – her favorite motto – while serving on the national American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) Student Advisory Council.

Alford, of Melville, N.Y., is one of 10 college student leaders committed to gender equity recently named by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to serve on the national Student Advisory Council.

Selected from a pool of competitive applicants, the council’s members advise AAUW on the needs of college students, organize campus activism projects and assist with AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

“It is such an honor to be a student advisor, along with nine other inspiring student leaders, for an organization that has empowered me to make a difference on campus,” Alford said. “I hope to start and continue the conversation on campus, not only at UAlbany but across the country, about advocating for gender equality issues like equal pay, Title IX and women’s leadership. This way we, as the council, can empower and inspire other students, just as AAUW has done for me.”

Alford, a recipient of the 2016 UAlbany President’s Award for Women’s Outstanding Leadership, is studying political science, informatics and philosophy.

“My activism started when I attended Elect Her in 2015, where I saw the need for women in elected student offices on campus,” Alford said.

Since then, she has attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, where she learned about advocating for women on campus. She has sponsored a Student Association resolution to promote women to run for office on campus, and was a member of the student committee for the Sexual Violence Prevention Project.

This past summer she interned in Washington, D.C. with the National Council of Jewish Women, where she worked on reproductive justice, domestic violence prevention, voting rights and initiatives to prevent sex trafficking.

Alford’s long-term career goals are to become a lawyer and advocate for Title IX, reproductive justice and equal pay.

“UAlbany has guided me to internships in the women’s rights field, mentors with similar values and goals, and classes that have challenged me to think about a wide variety of issues within society and politics,” Alford said.

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