Welcome to Women in Politics: College Edition, where promising women leaders in student government on college and university campuses across the country will be featured on msnbc.com. Celia Wright has been nominated to represent Ohio State University as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.
As part of msnbc’s “Women in Politics” series, these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women in Politics” features newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, and deep dives into the key conversations.
From the Ivy Leagues to the Big Ten to liberal arts colleges and beyond, young women are making a difference across the country – meet them here!
Name: Celia Wright
School: Ohio State University
Hometown: Avon Lake, Ohio
Concentration: Public Health
Role in Student Government: 2014-2015 President
Dream job: Working with an NGO to re-mediate the health effects of poverty in developing areas abroad
Class year: 2016
What is your biggest challenge as a leader on campus?
I was part of the first dually-female leadership team in Ohio State's history, and the first female student body president in seven years. Without a female to look up to in that role, it was sometimes challenging to assume authority and feel entitled to my seat at the table. I'm grateful for the opportunity to now be that role model for my successors.
Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from women who pioneered or overcame adversity in their vision to better the world. I admire Florence Nightingale's selfless and (at the time) unique passion, Rosa Parks's and Hillary Clinton's fights for racial and gender equality, and Michelle Obama's work and triumph over humble beginnings. I motivate myself with review of the work ethic and passion of these women.
Do you plan to run for office one day?
I appreciate our government and deeply admire the true servants of public service in our country. That said, I don't have any immediate plans to run for office. I wonder, when career politics is the goal, what types of ethical sacrifices one becomes willing to make to keep their job. Regardless, my passions at present lie with the most severely poverty-stricken areas of the world. I'm not sure, with American politics, if I would have an opportunity to help in the way that I hope to.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever gotten?
"Treat everyone exceptionally." I once heard a panelist at a public health event use this phrase, and it has stayed with me. One never knows the impact that kindness has on others, or on their own path, down the line. Every colleague has the potential to be a valued friend, collaborator, or professional connection one day. This rule might be the most important to one's success -- and the easiest to keep!
What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism, to me, represents the understanding that our best society is an equal one. Until all people have the same opportunities, incentives, and treatment, everyone-- men and women alike -- suffer lost potential for fulfillment and well-being. Feminists advocate for men and women to be viewed and treated equally. Without the feminist progress of the past century, I wouldn't be a registered voter, the first woman in my lineage to attend college, and certainly not student body president. I'm grateful for the movement and am eager for continued progress.
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com