Women’s center coordinator “loves to help”

Emily Kelley, coordinator for the Center for Women’s Studies discusses her previous career as a chef. “I had a catering business in New York, and I then had two restaurants and a catering business in Atlanta when I moved there,” she said.

by Life Editor Monday Sanderson

Every year, the Center for Women’s Studies hosts multiple events, such as the Vagina Monologues and Feel Good Naked Week. However, few people know about the person behind the scenes, Emily Kelley, coordinator for the Center for Women’s Studies.

Kelley has worked as the coordinator for the Center for Women’s Studies since the women’s center co-directors Lynne Rieff and Anne Lott hired her in 2009.

“They were trying to keep it open by the skin of their teeth,” Kelley said. “They realized that for the women’s center to thrive they would need someone to run the center. They talked to me about whether I would be interested in doing that. I realized the job description and my wants meshed well together.”

Kelley said before working at the Center for Women’s Studies she had retired as a teacher for pre-k to 4th grade.

“I did that for 13 years at Early Arts, a private school where everything was taught through some form of art, but that was not the most interesting part of my past,” she said. “I have a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. I had a catering business in New York, and I then had two restaurants and a catering business in Atlanta when I moved there. We actually won best caterer from Atlanta Magazine.”

Kelley said she now only cooks for her friends on special occasions.

Rieff said she has had some of Kelley’s cooking.

“I have had her Baklava (pastry), which is excellent,” she said. “I have heard that she is an excellent French cook that some of my friends could attest to.”

When she does not cook, she writes for Garden Spices Magazine.

Kelley said no matter what her job is she loves to help others, and she gets to help every day at UNA.

“The women’s center put on so many programs that people would notice if it was gone,” she said. “I’m glad that I’m able to work in a place that lets me help so many people.”

Junior Graci Berryman said she met Kelley at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester and is currently working with her in the Vagina Monologues.

“I volunteered at the Center for Women’s Studies, and she managed to find a place for me, even when she had a student worker,” Berryman said.

Rieff said Kelley has done a great job at the women’s center.

“It’s been wonderful working with her,” she said. “We work well together, and I consider us a team.”

Berryman said it is great to work with Kelley.

“She has a great personality, especially for someone who works with people on a daily basis,” Berryman said. “She is also extremely kind and open minded and will listen to anyone who needs a heart to heart. She is hilarious in a kind of in-your-face way that never fails to make me laugh.”

Berryman said she would describe Kelley as “kind-hearted.”

“She is really kind and thoughtful toward others in her daily life and in her work at the Center for Women’s Studies,” Berryman said. “She is always trying to cheer everyone up or educate them on how they can help others. Everyone who knows her is extremely lucky.”