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Colleen Kimsey: Mills SuperWoman

(Photo by Bridget Stagnitto)

We’ve all seen her name stamped across campus, throughout our daily journeys at Mills, seen her coordinating, supporting and working towards an almost innumerable number of campus activities, but who exactly is Colleen Kimsey?

In her junior year at Mills, Colleen is a varsity rower, the ASMC Health Senator, a member of the Wellness Advisory Board and the Anti-Smoking Committee, founder of Team Awesome, the head coordinator of the U Car Share Program, and an off-campus practitioner with the Oakland Quakers. With all of these responsibilities on her plate, it’s a wonder how she has been able to balance other responsibilities such as her academics and her general well-being.

“I just prioritize,” Kimsey said. “It’s like eating a meal: If I want to eat a sandwich and an ice cream at the same time, one of them will detract from the other. I start with what’s more important first.”

With a passion for women’s health issues, Kimsey designed her own major in International Public Health, which is incredibly demanding and time consuming. She is also hoping to go abroad to Cambodia this coming summer and fall for her studies.

Some people find it difficult to maintain their performance in school, but Kimsey really seems to do it all and then some.

“It’s complicated,” Kimsey explained. “I wasn’t sure about college and even thought about joining a nunnery instead. But I felt called by God to work for others through health education.”

Kimsey feels all women deserve to know and understand how their bodies work. She finds sharing conversations with other women about their bodies and giving them insight into how they function rewarding.

“I feel so much joy out of it. I have had conversations with other women before about their bodies and discoveries they’ve made about them. I recall one particular conversation I had with this girl who told me she finally found her cervix and knew what its purpose is. It was so great,” Kimsey said.

With a short amount of time left here at Mills, Kimsey has high hopes for the rest of the Mills community to continue her efforts for women’s wellness and maintain Mills’ supportive community.

An excellent way for Mills students to continue to foster the same kind of interest and dedication to wellness is through Team Awesome. Team Awesome is a club created for anything and everything. If a student has an idea that they want to execute, Team Awesome can direct them to the right resources to make it happen.

“I founded Team Awesome as an open source platform for events at Mills. Any student is welcome to contact me or the future captain to make whatever they want to see happen on campus happen,” Kimsey said. “I’m excited to pass down something that can give students direct access to Mills’ resources.”

Kimsey might very well be the epitome of someone who truly does it all, and does it all with a remarkable sense of balance. But she said that, if anything, she hopes people will see her work as an inspiration to try to push their own limits and accomplish what they really want and actually feel fulfilled.

“I recognize that I’m really privileged to be able to dedicate so much time and energy to things, but there’s also a huge misconception that it’s difficult to get things done on campus, but it isn’t. Take the Andrea Gibson event from last year for example. I had been working towards that since my freshman year, and it was super gratifying,” Kimsey said. “At Mills, if you put in the effort, whatever you want will happen. Decide what to do and go do it, and remember to follow through. There’s sometimes a rhetoric of self-complacency here on campus and I like to embrace action.”

Mills has a great opportunity to “embrace action” Friday Feb. 10 at the annual Sex Positive Fair, held by the Mills College Community Health Resource Center from 7-9 p.m. in the Student Union.