Áine McCarthy has been named director for The University of New Mexico Women’s Resource Center (WRC) following a competitive national search. She began working at the WRC as an advocate supporting student survivors on campus, and most recently served in the director role on an interim basis beginning in March 2022. 

McCarthy holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, and completed the Living School at the Center for Contemplation and Action in Albuquerque. She is an ordained Buddhist chaplain with a background in working with women in prison and offering creative and contemplative programming for women and femmes cultivating post-traumatic growth after Intimate Partner Violence.

With more than a dozen years in direct service with relationship violence survivors, incarcerated, in recovery, and unhoused populations, McCarthy brings a unique perspective to the WRC director position. 

“My heart is in this work,” McCarthy said. “I am honored to collaborate within our beautiful community in this role and inspired by our team at WRC, the student survivors that we meet, and the remarkable dedication of my colleagues and mentors on this campus.” 

“Áine has consistently demonstrated natural leadership qualities, a strong sense of advocacy, and a vigorous interest in continuous development and growth which make her the perfect fit for this core position in our student support infrastructure at UNM,” said Eric Scott, vice president for Student Affairs. 

Under the supervision of Pam Agoyo, executive director for Student Support, director of American Indian Student Services, and special assistant to the President for American Indian Affairs, McCarthy will lead the WRC by providing strategic direction, consultation, and support to the university community in addressing the education needs, prospects, and related concerns of women within in our community. ­­

Agoyo said she is thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside McCarthy and the WRC team to continue cultivating innovative student experience priorities.

“The wealth of knowledge and incredible commitment to demonstrating compassion when supporting students experiencing crisis that Áine brings to this leadership role is a tremendous asset for the campus community and the Division of Student Affairs,” Agoyo said.

Additionally, Agoyo attributed McCarthy’s expertise in advancing advocacy, empowering learning opportunities, and fostering more equitable learning environments as crucial to strengthening student support endeavors moving forward.

“I am so proud to carry forward the 50-year history of intersectional feminism at the WRC, and I know all of us here are striving to make it a trauma-informed, survivor-centered space that welcomes, protects, and resources people of all genders,” McCarthy said. “The center was built at a time where women, survivors, and LGBTQ+ people were fighting for equity and freedoms, and we know this struggle continues to present challenges and threats for our students.” 

Áine McCarthy (center) supports students during a legislation call party at the Women's Resource Center last Spring.

“Our fierce commitment is to uphold the center as an incubator for student initiatives that make people safer and more connected on campus, to be advocates for preventing and responding to gender-based violence at the individual and the systems level, and to foster joyful community on our campus,” McCarthy said. 

The Women’s Resource Center is a place of advocacy, support, and safety for all members of the University of New Mexico and greater community. Through a feminist model of empowerment, WRC offers educational, social, and cultural programming aimed at encouraging women’s self-determination and community engagement. To learn more about the WRC, visit their website.