Janelle Wichmann, BBA '13, is known for her innovative ideas and passion for women’s issues. Her nominator, Rob Richardson of UC Board of Trustees, had this to say “Janelle is committed to excellence, is an avid listener and a strong thinker, who is focused, extremely thoughtful, and steadfast about her academic and professional career.”
Wichmann has a solid background in campus leadership having been a member of Activists Coming Together (ACT), an activist with the V-Day College Campaign and The Vagina Monologues, as well as a member of CWEST, Sigma Phi, and The Lambda Society. This year she has worked to begin a Women in Business organization to provide advocacy and support for women in the Lindner College of Business.
Wichmann’s work on BeingGirl, an online mentorship program born out of an internship opportunity with Procter & Gamble’s Feminine Care division, demonstrates a solid commitment to giving voice to the needs of women and girls. When speaking of her work, Wichmann remarks”What started as an inactive website with barely 4,000 engaged users turned into a boiling pot, bursting with over 200,000 active fans asking for answers about puberty, periods, boys, beauty, and beyond…As a result of disseminating articles and videos, I promote a profound understanding of what it means to be a girl for the thousands of fans who interact with the website.” Wichmann’s work on BeingGirl earned her a seat at the 2011 United Nations International Year of Youth Conference as a Senior Delegate.
BeingGirl is just the beginning of what Wichmann hopes to accomplish in terms of shining a light on the needs of women. Wichmann has witnessed the systemic inequity and economic inaccessibility experienced by women internationally. She shared “When confronted by disturbing disparities among human beings, I began exploring ways I could use my educational background and creativity to come up with solutions.” With this focus, Wichmann spent two weeks working with women in India to understand how they are building support systems for themselves in the face of government inaction. To further build upon these international experiences, Wichmann will spend her summer starting a microfinance venture with women in Gabon, Africa and plans to continue her career with a Fellowship with the Center of the Study of the Presidency in Washington, D.C. where she will focus on topics concerning economic access for women.
When speaking about Wichmann's fellowship in her letter of support, Dr. Jeri Ricketts, Director of the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS Program, said, “This work will highlight the needs in developing countries, and help focus attention on the most critical issues facing women and young girls worldwide. The impact this may have on federal programs is inspiring and makes me optimistic for our future and the future of people in other nations, knowing that they have advocates like Janelle working for their best interests.”
It is Wichmann’s goal to ultimately create global spaces where women can develop the skills and capital necessary to create their own sustainable businesses. The Women’s Center and the C-Ring Committee wish her the very best as she pursues this important work!
For more information on the C-Ring Award, C-Ring Committee and former C-Ring Recipients, visit the UC Women's Center.