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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
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Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

The Wonder Woman of St. Joe’s

The+Wonder+Woman+of+St.+Joes

Dr. Monica Nixon’s impact on our community

My freshman year of college, I remember sitting at my scholarship reception, excited but anxious about everything as I began my college journey.

I had no clue as to who I would grow to be in this space, nor did I imagine the great people and relationships I would form.

I especially didn’t know that day I would meet someone who would become a mentor and one of my greatest supporters at St. Joe’s. That someone was Dr. Monica Nixon, Ed.D.

Nixon began her position as the Assistant Provost of Inclusion and Diversity my freshman year and, like me, she was adjusting to a new city, a new school and many new people.

Over the span of two years at St. Joe’s, she worked diligently to cultivate safe spaces through the opening of the Center for Inclusion for Diversity, initiating the Campus Climate Study, organizing the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as various other initiatives. She is more than equipped for the transition to her new career as the Assistant Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice at NASPA.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to say about Dr. Nixon. It is hard to put into words what an amazing individual she is, not only to me, but to others on our campus.

I learned many things about Dr. Nixon while working closely with her, such as her love for octopi, standing up in her office while typing or on a conference call and above all, her love for Wonder Woman.

When the Student Union Board screened Wonder Woman on Villiger Lawn last semester, I went to see it for the first time. Looking back, I realized the movie serves as a metaphor of the Wonder Woman Dr. Nixon has been for us at St. Joe’s.

In the movie, the main character, Diana of Themyscira (aka Wonder Woman), is a warrior princess. The Amazons, the group which Diana hails from, are depicted as super strong warriors whose duty is to protect mankind.

To summarize: all hell breaks loose when an American pilot discovers the hidden island of Themyscira while escaping Nazis, forcing the Amazons, Diana in particular, to confront the outside warring world. Wonder Woman, unable to look away from the savagery of World War II, tasks herself with saving the world.

Diana’s bravery reminds me of Nixon because of her selflessness and advocacy. 

Throughout her time at St. Joe’s, she was a champion of addressing diversity on our campus and emphasizing and educating others on inclusion.

Higher education is a very male-dominated sphere and it has been inspiring to work beside her in this environment. She has showed me how to be assertive and to not be afraid to make my presence known in a room.

Beyond her strength and her courage, Dr. Nixon is also much like Wonder Woman in her emotional support.

Even in her Wonder Woman-ness, I was able to see her compassion, sincerity and realness. She taught me to embrace my feelings and exemplified that being strong and experiencing other emotions are not mutually exclusive.

As much as I am sad and miss having Nixon on campus, she came here and turned it upside down for the better.

Now, she’s onto her next chapter in life, conquering the new challenges the world has to offer her. After all, if no one will defend the world, we can count on Wonder Woman to do it.

We love you and miss you, Dr. Nixon. Continue to conquer the world and kick systemic oppression in the butt, one day and career at a time.

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