Y women follow diverse paths



    For Melissa Rohrer, a second-year master’s of business administration student from Salt Lake City, a typical day includes balancing a schedule of classes for her graduate degree and caring for her 2-month-old baby girl.

    As a student she will be maintaining an extra busy schedule until her graduation in April. She and her husband share the responsibility of babysitting their daughter while the other is in school. Although she is a bright student in her program, Rohrer has chosen to devote her talents to motherhood when she graduates, said Kristi Seawright, assistant professor of business management.

    “My ultimate dream is to have a family,” Rohrer said.

    Education is a broadening opportunity and opens doors, Rohrer said. She said education is good any way its looked at, but when women are trying to decide whether to have a career, a family or both, it’s a very personal decision. Rohrer’s choice was to stay home and take care of her children.

    Different paths take female students at BYU, such as Rohrer, in many different directions.

    For Erin Amato, a senior from Billings, Mont., majoring in American studies and working on her medical school requirements, her career choice was influenced in her childhood when she was exposed to her father’s medical practice. It was then that she gained her interest in the human body and physiology.

    Now Amato is establishing the foundation for a women in medicine group for BYU premed students. She began contacting local female physicians to help the group last fall. Now she is gathering any information on women’s issues and the medical field that she can in order to help females with interviews.

    Amato said she had a lot of questions about career satisfaction and balancing family with a medical career so she decided to go straight to the medical community.

    Sara Christiensen’s beginnings led her down yet another path. Christiensen, a junior from El Paso, Texas, majoring in construction management, found her dream when she read about Habitat for Humanity in high school.

    Christiensen said her goal is to be a really good home builder, to build a good clientele and have the chance to work with Habitat.

    Currently Christiensen is working full time with Habitat for Humanity and getting acquainted with a local chapter. As a Relief Society president in her BYU ward, Christiensen hears the concerns of several female students.

    Sometimes women think they aren’t good enough, she said.

    When people ask Christiensen why she chose construction management she tells them it’s for the same reason they do what they do.

    “I chose it because that’s what I love,” she said.

    These women represent just a small variety of the interests and diversity of women on campus. Many women say they cannot speak for each other because all have their own voice and goals.

    Shoba Vinson, a graduate student in marriage and family therapy from south India, said she saw a very diverse culture and people in India, yet she has seen that in America and at BYU as well.

    “The key is being accepting of everyone. It’s hard to practice and easy to say. I think people have to work at being accepting of others,” Vinson said.

    Despite their individual diversity and uniqueness, a common thread of finding a dream and fulfilling it seems to tie BYU women together.

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