By: Madison Zaleski '21
The University of Mount Union has recently introduced a new organization, Sister Circle, to campus. The group is advised and was created by Callie Flonnoy ‘15, a Raider Alumna, who also works as the assistant to the president for community engagement and is an alumni relations specialist.
It wasn’t long ago that Flonnoy walked on campus as a student herself. The 2015 graduate was extremely involved in groups such as Black Student Union, Association of Women Students (now named Gender Equality Matters), the Raider Programming Board, Young People Matter, The Diversity Initiative Steering Committee, and Diversity Council. She offered great advice for current and prospective students about being involved at Mount.
“I would tell students that yes, it is great to be involved around campus and experience all the great organizations that we have,” said Callie Flonnoy. “However, take the time to find the group that truly makes you happy but also the one that gets you out of your comfort zone.”
Flonnoy expressed that her involvement in these groups helped her to become more aware of the different types of diversity that exist outside of ethnic diversity, as well as the intersectionality that exists among them. It’s just one reason why she chose to help underrepresented students through her current role on campus. Her own experience at Mount has aided her development of ideas to better help students while she’s still here.
Sister Circle is an organization dedicated to empowering the women of color on campus by creating a safe space and encouraging sisterhood between them. Flonnoy describes the atmosphere of the group as one that is very positive.
“The organization allows not only me to be present for them, but for the students to be present and support each other as well.”
Flonnoy’s motivation for starting up this program laid not only in her passion for helping others become the best version of themselves, but also in one woman who played a significant role in her time at Mount. She emphasized how much she benefited from having a mentor who was a woman of color, Ashley (Ross ’08) Jackson, and realized that since her departure there was a need to fill that role. Flonnoy is fueled by helping others and hopes the members of Sister Circle feel just as full in doing the same. Flonnoy has high hopes for the impact this organization will have on current students.
“I hope that this lights a fire under students to not only be active in the organization but to be active in their own lives,” Flonnoy said. “I want this to motivate students to take control of their own situations in order to be successful in school and life.”
To join as a member of Sister Circle, students can contact Imani Elkins, health & recruitment chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To join as an ally, there are ally meetings on the last Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm in the alumni room of HPCC.
About the Office of Alumni Relations and University Activities
At the office, Flonnoy works on projects such as a Sister Circle mentorship program for the women of color at Alliance High school, building a strategic partnership with the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and Mount’s School of Engineering, scheduling visit days for underrepresented students from Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Youngstown, coordinating an early identification program for high school students in Youngstown, and putting on the Dinner with 12 Raiders alumni event for underrepresented students.
Alumni are so valuable to the office, Flonnoy shares that the best way for alumni to contribute to the current students and campus itself is by contributing to The Mount Union Fund. It does more than support the University, it also allows students to receive scholarships for them to continue their education.