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U Names New Director of Women’s Resource Center

Debra S. Daniels

May 22, 2003 — Debra S. Daniels will be the new director of the University of Utah’s Women’s Resource Center when Kathryn Brooks retires July 11 after 14 years of service in that position. Daniels’ appointment is effective July 14 and follows the completion of a national search for the position.

A licensed clinical social worker and the current executive director of client services at the Salt Lake City Rape Recovery Center, Daniels has addressed women’s and diversity issues over her 20s years of social work employment.

“Kathy Brooks has done a great job keeping the Women’s Resource Center networked with the campus and greater community, so Debra’s stepping into a well-respected position,” notes Kari Ellingson, University assistant vice president for student affairs. “Debra is a collaborator. She knows how to bring people together and not divide, which will be good for the Women’s Resource Center and for the University. Kathy’s retirement and Debra’s appointment show that we can lose and win at the same time!”

Daniels received a master’s degree in social work from the University in 1984 and was an instructor in the U’s Graduate School of Social Work, teaching the master’s level course Race, Class and Gender, teaching at the Summer Institute. She has also co-facilitated workshops on diversity for the school. Daniels was the keynote speaker for the Women’s Resource Center’s Seeds of Violence Week, presenting on domestic violence and consulting with administrative leadership. She has been a guest lecturer in other University departments, including the College of Law, Sociology and Health Education Departments. Daniels is co-founder and director of Umoja, a diversity consulting business that provides experiential, interactive training to public and private organizations. She was residence director, assistant executive director and director of prevention services for the YWCA. Two years ago Daniels received the YWCA Outstanding Achievement award, and in 1993, the Susa Young Gates Award, from the Utah Women’s Political Caucus, for contributions to women and human rights.

Daniels says being named to the position is a “visionary dream come true.” She thinks the job will capitalize on her managerial and administrative strengths as well as on her knowledge of women’s, diversity and nonviolence issues-all subjects about which she is passionate. “I hope to expand access to the Women’s Resource Center across a broader range of people and groups-to change the perception that the center exists for a specific population,” she says.

The Women’s Resource Center, a member of the Division of Student Affairs, provides educational support services for women at the University of Utah. The Center supports and facilitates women’s choices, changes and empowerment through programs, advocacy, workshops, group and individual counseling. These programs and services reflect the full complexity of women’s identities including race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, national origin, ability and age. For more information on the Women’s Resource Center, call 801-581-8030 or go to