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Women's History Month

Profiles in Leadership

Kathleen Chantaca-Kubczak

Administrative Secretary to Student Life/SVSU Support Staff Association President

1. What is your name and profession?

Kathleen Chantaca-Kubczak, Administrative Secretary to Student Life/SVSU Support Staff Association President

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

Women’s History Month is a time to spotlight, to recognize and celebrate the achievements of all women. It is a time to recognize and honor the women who have gone before us who fought for women’s rights and helped to pave the way.

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

Well, I am a Latina and I was a young mother. Society already had me stereotyped that I would be a statistic. I come from a Mexican-American household.  From an early age I knew that although my looks helped me fit in with society my struggle was still going to be there.  But I was taught to be proud of who I am and that nothing came free or easy.  It was ingrained in me that with hard work, loyalty and dedication I would succeed.  And here I am.  I have devoted 23 years of dedicated service to SVSU, and I am a proud mother, wife, daughter and grandmother.

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

Follow them, do not let anyone EVER tell you cannot. Stay the course. And do not forget the struggle. The struggles make you who you are and help tell your story. Always uplift your sisters.

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

By being an active member in my union, church and in the community. I served as a union steward within the Support Staff Association for many years before being elected as president of S.S.A. I support, protect and respect the contract between our association and the university. I agreed to run for an executive position within the union because I have many years invested in our great university and I want to assist our members to grow professionally and succeed.

I have also been an adviser to the Latino Awareness Association for many years and currently advise another Registered Student Organization, F.E.M.E. (Femxle Empowerment & Multicultural Education).

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

My mother is and always will be my role model but here I am going to choose and highlight my grandmothers – Antonia Chantaca & Conception Jaime (Hi-Mey).  My grandmothers both migrated from Mexico to the United States.  My Grandma Jaime crossed the Rio Grande with my uncle on her back.  These women represent strength, wisdom, perseverance and love for family.  They have instilled in me a passion to fight for justice, equity and equality for all.  I hope I am making them proud.

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

Many women come to mind but I am going to choose Stacy Abrams at this moment in time.  Stacy Abrams, to me, is the epidemy of perseverance and dedication.  She patiently waited for 10 years to see her work evolve.  It was her political infrastructure and strategy of increasing turnout among Georgia state’s Black, Latino and Asian voters that laid the groundwork for both President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in November and the Democrats’ performance in the Senate races.  Stacy Abrams is one of my heroes.

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

That they stay true to themselves and stay the course. That they work to uplift all humans and fight for justice, equity and equality for all.