Senior Paris Blaise originally came to Plattsburgh State as a psychology major. After taking several classes, she realized that wasn’t something she wanted.
However, after taking one gender women’s studies class, Blaise decided to change her major. She is now doubling major in gender women’s studies and political science.
“That’s how I got into it,” she said. “I thought that could be a good combination.”
Living only 40 minutes away from PSUC, Blaise chose to go to college here because it was close to family. Plus, her elder sister, Butterfly Blaise works in PSUC as the Title IX coordinator.
“Honestly when I came to Plattsburgh, it was a culture shock because I grew up in fields with farms, cows and not many neighbors,” she said. “Now [that] I adjusted to Plattsburgh, I might end up wherever life takes me.”
Blaise is currently the president of PSUC Center for Women’s Concerns (CWC), a club on campus that focuses on creating an environment that embraces all types of women, creating a community that is safe for women and providing a support group for Plattsburgh Students.
She started going to CWC’s meetings last semester. After finishing all the classes in her gender women’s studies major, Blaise finds CWC as an outlet for her to continue her interest while pursuing her political science major.
“I believe in the mission statement of giving women the place to talk and express their concerns,” she said. “We’ve been working a lot to try to get recognition on campus.”
CWC hosts many big events such as “I<3Female Orgasm,” “Take back the night” and “The Vagina Monologue.”
“We are trying to do more collaboration and bring new events to campus,” Blaise said.
She also recalled she didn’t get involved as much as she is now during freshman year.
“I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Blaise said.
With support from her friends, Blaise committed more to the community and branched herself out.
“Get involved in college,” she said. “I regret not doing it sooner. I wish I would be able to apply for positions like SA (Student Association).”
Beside her college achievements, Blaise has been hired as a field service technician and works on trains.
“I was the only woman they ever hired,” she said. “Right after finals, I go straight back to work.”
Senior gender women’s studies major ToniAnn Buscemi recalled meeting Blaise three years ago in a class in which Buscemi was the peer educator, Blaise was in the course that Buscemi taught.
“She was really helpful when I was teaching the class,” Buscemi said. “She helped move the conversations along. She is one of the smartest people I know. She always asked great questions in class.”
Buscemi describes Blaise as a good thinker and an intelligent, honest person.
“I feel like I can always ask her about something, and she would give me the honest answer all the time,” Buscemi said.
PSUC associate professor and chair of Gender & Women’s Studies, Susan Mody said Blaise is a remarkable student.
“I got to know this first through her writing because she would go above and beyond, be thoughtful and approach [her] assignments with energy and enthusiasm,” Mody said.
She also said Blaise is a thoughtful, committed person as she takes her work seriously and pays attention to her work.
“I don’t really have a role model,” Blaise said. “I like to stick with moral and beliefs. If I don’t agree with something, I’m not going to support it. Going into the future, I plan just to do what I think is best, help other people and make a difference at least.”
Email Hilly Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org