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Dr. Amy Levine, a woman we admire

A man brings his son into the emergency room.
“I can’t operate on him. He’s my son,” the ER surgeon says.
Who is the surgeon?

As Dr. Amy Levine can tell you from her experience at the Center for Gender Equity (CGE), not that many people know the answer – “his mother” – right away.

Levine is executive director of the UCSF Center for Gender Equity. It was with that question from one of the Center’s training activities that she opened her brown bag session last Thursday.

Even fewer people could successfully answer the “riddle” when Levine began her work in gender equality. It was circa 1973, she told attendees. She set the stage: “There were no computers or faxes, no e-mail, no Internet when we started.” When she read a book called Against Her Will, a well-known true crime classic about a young girl’s murder in a pleasant suburb, the focus of her career was solidified.

The Center for Gender Equity provides advocacy, education and services for women, including leadership training, mentoring, handling diversity issues,  health and wellness services and intimate partner violence prevention. (Click here to learn more about CGE.) CGE started more than 20 years ago as the Rape Prevention Education Program, and later became the Women’s Resource Center. Levine was the first coordinator of UCSF’s Rape Prevention Education Program, where she provided anti-violence education and advocacy services to survivors of sexual violence. And Levine launched CGE’s predecessor organization, the UCSF Women’s Resource Center, by creating and implementing novel programs, services and training. “At the Women’s Center, we did it all – car care, plumbing – to help women,” she said, smiling.

It’s been a long and successful road, with many women and men helped along the way. For the past 23 years, Dr. Mary Croughan, former Chair of the Academic Senate, has been  a friend and colleague, working alongside Levine and sharing her dedication to supporting women. Croughan is the executive director of the Research Grants Program Office and was also the featured speaker of the May 2009 kick-off session of the Women We Admire: UC Women Discuss Their Careers series.

“Amy Levine has created and sustained extraordinary programs in leadership, mentoring, and career development, among many others,” Croughan told the audience Thursday. “She has shortened the gap in gender equity through her important work at CGE and systemwide. Through her collaborations with the UCSF Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women, she created a superb program for girls and boys for Take Our Kids to Work Day.”

Levine and her team provide training and resources for staff, faculty and the community through CGE. From topics ranging from leading through information, to upward mobility for staff and gaining appointments (to boards, commissions, etc.), CGE offers a host of programs on issues that affect women in society.

Unfortunately, CGE will be dismantled at the end of the year due to funding constraints. “The loss of Amy and her staff will be a tremendous loss for UCSF,” said Croughan.

Women We Admire: UC Women Discuss Their Careers

Women We Admire: UC Women Discuss Their Careers is sponsored by the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (PACSW), in cooperation with the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). The brown bag series concentrates on career, workplace challenges and work-life balance. Click here to read more about the series.

PACSW, formed in 2008, focuses on the advancement of women at UCOP. It examines issues, policies and procedures affecting women, and recommends changes to the President that will help improve opportunities for women. OGC provides legal services to the Board of Regents, University administration, faculty and staff, and others acting on the University’s behalf. Click here to visit the OGC website.

Click here to visit the PACSW website.


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