'They can do anything and be anything'

The assistant director of Kent State's LGBTQ+ Center sees the exceptional confidence of rising generations of women

Meghan Schwind first came to work at Kent State University in 2013 in University Housing, where she worked for several years. After leaving the university to work elsewhere for a time, she returned to work at Kent State’s LGBTQ+ Center as assistant director.

Originally from western Pennsylvania, Schwind has family in Strongsville and it was in Ohio that she met her wife. In 2022, through a donor, Schwind and her wife recently became parents.

Meghan Schwind at her desk.


The continuing evolution of female roles

In light of Women’s History Month, Schwind framed some of her thoughts about the evolution of women in society through the lens of her own family. “Back in the day,” she said, “whenever we thought of the head of household, it was always the man. But in my family, that’s not the case. It’s my wife. And between the two of us with our dual income life and the fact that we didn’t need a man in our relationship to be able to start a family, we now have a 20-month-old son.

“Moving forward, I think it’s going to be more normalized for female relationships and families to continue to evolve and make our own mark on women’s history.”

Challenges in identifying as a woman

As a woman in 2024, Schwind said that she works to evolve her family and the strength that they have in a family that’s a two-woman household. Particularly because of her work in the LGBTQ+ Center, one of the current issues she sees for people identifying as women is accepting transgender women as women.

“I think just in the United States, currently, and in Ohio specifically, there are challenges with it comes to society and accepting trans people,” Schwind said. “But I think that will continue to move forward. I think we’re going to be working through some challenges with politics this year when it comes to ‘what is a woman?’ and accepting transness.”

Meghan Schwind and Raven
Meghan Schwind and her therapy dog Raven. On most Fridays, Raven can be found in Schwind's office inside Kent State's LGBTQ+ Center. Schwind and Raven are both happy to welcome visitors. 


‘The confidence that they can do anything and be anything’

Confidence, Schwind feels, is one of the hallmarks of the current generation of college students. “The confidence,” she said, “that when they are coming to college as a first-year student, that they can do anything and be anything.”

She sees female students on campus breaking into careers, industries and roles that are currently, or have been historically, predominantly male-led. Schwind said, “Seeing women really taking the lead on campus, and in different leadership roles, seeing more and more women in those roles and entering those roles and seeing the confidence that has been instilled in them from a young age.”

Meghan Schwind


Breaking into different industries

The confidence that Schwind sees in this generation of female students as they grow, she said, comes from families that are doing a great job raising them and the positive side of social media. This confidence, she said, inspires them to choose to go to college break into trades or explore fields that are traditionally male-led.

What about Gen Alpha?

Schwind has high hopes for the women of Gen Alpha as they ride on the shoulders of the evolution created by Gen Z and the barriers they continue to break through. 

POSTED: Tuesday, March 26, 2024 11:58 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 23, 2024 10:23 AM
Phil B. Soencksen
Kent State Today