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Women's History Month

Profiles in Leadership

Dey, Anita portrait

Anita Dey

Director of the Melvin J. Zahnow Library


1. What is your name and profession?

Anita Dey
Director of the Melvin J. Zahnow Library

2. What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Women’s History Month celebrates the accomplishments of women, not only in their field of study/work, but also in many other aspects of their life.

3. As a woman, in what ways have you struggled to get to where you are today and how did you overcome those struggles?

The biggest struggle, like most people who attended college, was affording the cost and paying back student loans. Support from my family who encouraged my study, was instrumental.  

4. What advice do you have for young women who are aspiring to follow their dreams?

Clearly know what you want and set goals. Network with those in your field(s) of interest as you plan your career. Be flexible, persistent and open to opportunities.

5. As a woman in your position, how have you fought for equity in the workplace and for other women?

In a female dominated profession, focus is now on supporting women and diverse populations in higher leadership and management positions.

6. Who was your role model and how did they change your life?

My role model was Jean Houghton, the SVSU Library director (1991-2001; now deceased), who was a professional and personal mentor.  Her approach to work and life lead to success based on careful planning, collaboration, challenging management/administration when needed, and always showing compassion when working with people.  She gave me confidence in my abilities which lead to my success at SVSU.

7. If you could have dinner with any woman figure dead or alive who would you choose and why?  

Dinner with Jean Houghton would be my choice, as believe I had much more to learned from her!

8. What is your hope for the next generation of women and girls?

My hope is that all women will have the same opportunities as men to pursue their professional and personal goals.