Liberal Arts major and Women and Gender Studies minor Roslyn Sledge strives to empower women at Clayton State University through her student organization, Organizing Women for Lifelong Success (OWLS).
Sledge entered Clayton State in fall 2011 with an AA degree in Liberal Studies from Bakersfield College. Despite ailing hardships of her own and the death of her mother, Sledge maintained determination through her first semester, fueled by the support of her professors.
One such influence, Dr. Shannon Cochran, assistant professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies, collaborated with Sledge on the creation of OWLS, which began in fall 2013. OWLS seeks to empower women to achieve their academic and personal goals while raising awareness of issues that impact the lives of women.
Sledge, a resident of Lithonia, Ga. who has been working with women in crisis since 1992, created OWLS to engage students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community in events to address women’s equality. This spring semester featured another Clayton State performance of The Vagina Monologues, a 1994 play which has much the same vision as Sledge: to empower women in the community.
While Sledge’s social benevolence stems from her mother’s inspiration, Sledge again found help through the Clayton State community at the start of her organization. The past president of Clayton State’s Nontraditional Student Organization (NTSO), Deidre Harrell, mentored Sledge through the policies, procedures, and responsibilities of leading a student organization.
“How can you fail when you have an entire community cheering you on?” Sledge says. “All of these people have encouraged me to pursue my dreams and have been an inspiration to me as a nontraditional student.”