CSW Welcomes Char Leary As A Victim-Survivor Advocate

Welcome Char Leary!

The Victim-Survivor Advocacy program in the Center for Student Wellness (CSW) is growing! We are excited to introduce our new advocate Char Leary (she, her, hers). Char started in May and has already added so much value to the team and her clients with her expertise, experience, and excellence in providing compassionate support for survivors on our campus.

Char is a recent graduate of the U of U with her Master’s in Social Work (MSW). Char is actually NOT new to the CSW – she completed her BSW practicum with us last year. During her time with us, she excelled at advocacy and co-chaired our Sexual Assault Awareness month campaign. In the meantime, she has been interning and working at the Rape Recovery Center as a therapist. We were thrilled she decided to rejoin our team as a professional VSA – she is a great fit for our team and our campus community!

Here’s a little bit more about Char –

Tell us about yourself.  I am a recent graduate of the University of Utah’s Master of social work program. I am a partner and mom. My friends and family would describe me as passionate and unafraid to speak up. I feel a strong connection to the work I do and know that healing and advocating for social justice speak to my soul.

What is your favorite hobby? I love a project! At times this has been artistic through painting or written word. Other times I have made blankets or jewelry. My current project is xeriscaping half of our backyard and creating walkways. To unwind after, I enjoy relaxing in a hammock, playing video games, reading, and watching TV.

What is one surprising thing about you? I was an athlete as a child, playing fastpitch softball for many years. I even played basketball on an all "boys" team when there were no all gender teams back in the day.

What has helped keep you grounded during the past tumultuous year?  Having a safe home and access to resources made it easier to continue towards my goals. I focused on finishing school as well as staying physically active and connected to friends and family.

What does wellness mean to you? Wellness means having the capacity to navigate daily life and to enjoy new experiences.  The skills to handle adverse times armed with the insight to know when I am not well. Finally, the bravery to seek support in those times and in turn to offer that support to my community.

What are you looking forward to most with your new position with CSW? I look forward to playing an active role in supporting students here at the U who have experienced interpersonal violence.  Learning more about the resources available at the University. Being a part of a collaborative community who believes survivors and who continually advocate against injustice with an unwavering focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Please join us in welcoming Char back! She can be reached at cleary@sa.utah.edu or 801.581.7776