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A champion for diversity: UNB graduate Shasta Carroll's journey with The 203 Centre

Author: Angie Deveau

Posted on May 17, 2024

Category: UNB Fredericton

Shasta Carroll

Shasta Carroll, a spring 2024 bachelor of business administration graduate with honours in human resource management and a concentration in finance, has extended her achievements beyond academics.

In June 2023, she joined The 203 Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity after seeing an Instagram post about their search for a new student co-chair. "I was motivated to take on this role because I have a passion for helping strengthen our 2SLGBTQIA+ community and I also wanted to get more involved on the UNB campus," Carroll explained.

As co-chair of The 203 Centre, Carroll passionately championed advocacy and inclusion, profoundly shaping her university experience and carving out her path as a leader dedicated to social change.

Carroll’s responsibilities included scheduling board meetings, coordinating events, managing financials, conflict resolution and answering student queries.

She also led numerous initiatives that foster a more inclusive university environment. One of the most impactful projects was the Gender Affirming Closet, a resource designed to provide free clothing and accessories to individuals transitioning or exploring their gender identity.

“Last fall, I took a course called Campus Leadership and we had to create a community project,” she said. "I was interested in creating a project that would benefit both the UNB community and The 203 Centre.”

“I created the Gender Affirming Closet because there was an accessibility gap for gender-affirming supplies in the Fredericton area,” explained Carroll. “This had a positive effect on the UNB and 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Individuals use our supplies and no longer worry about the financial barrier of procuring them themselves.”

Caroll said her involvement with The 203 Centre has significantly impacted her professional development and taught her a wide variety of tools that she can use beyond post-secondary education. “Working closely with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community has made me more aware of the challenges and barriers that the community faces,” she said.

“Being aware of these challenges and barriers will help me be a better human resource professional and create new equity, diversity and inclusion strategies that alleviate these challenges. Working as the student co-chair also helped me improve my financial literacy and budgeting skills.”

Looking to the future, Carroll is determined to continue her advocacy work. "Now that I’ve graduated, I plan to continue to work in talent acquisition,” she shared. “I enjoy recruitment and getting to connect with diverse candidates every day.”

“I would love to continue volunteering and advocating for gender and sexual diversity after my graduation as well,” she said. “I plan on looking into local organizations and seeing where I can help. Hopefully someday I can work in a field that directly relates to gender and sexual diversity advocacy.”

For students and young professionals passionate about promoting equity, inclusion and diversity, Carroll offers heartfelt advice: "Go for it! Originally when I first stepped into the position of student co-chair, I was hesitant about the time commitment as I was trying to remain on the dean’s list and work at the same time. However, I was able to manage my time and I enjoyed every minute of volunteering! I got to meet a great network of individuals, listen to a variety of perspectives and develop my leadership skills," she said.

With Carroll stepping into the next phase of her career, The 203 Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity is looking for a new student co-chair to continue this vital work. If you are passionate about advocacy, equity and creating inclusive communities, please email The 203 Centre to apply for this leadership position.