Holly Headshot (1).jpg
Jan. 24, 2020

After receiving her BA in Gender & Sexuality Studies (GSS) in 2017, Holly Ramella worked for the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. While there, she worked with rural programs to develop and expand their sexual assault programming and services. She also provided support to anti-violence agencies in Nevada in implementing trauma-informed and anti-oppression practices.

In the summer of 2018, she began to work at the UNLV Jean Nidetch Women's Center as the CARE Coordinator. Now, she trains and supervises student volunteers in providing emotional support, case management, and campus accompaniment to those impacted by domestic/dating/family violence, sexual assault, and stalking. She also serves on the Advisory Committee on the Rights of Survivors of Sexual Assault.

According to Ramella, she draws heavily on the knowledge she gained in the GSS program in the work she does at the UNLV Jean Nidetch Women's Center. For example, she supervises student volunteers through a trauma-informed lens to ensure that they are able to achieve their academic and professional goals and also prioritize their physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Her training in GSS also helps her to work collaboratively with others in her office to identify the needs of the most marginalized victim-survivors and how they can effectively support them in navigating institutional and systemic barriers. Currently, her office is working on creating a Radical Guide to Healing Zine, which will be an accessible tool for folks to use in identifying their own healing journeys, including where and how to start without relying on systems.

When asked to reflect on how her GSS degree has informed her life after graduation, she explained:

“My Praxis for my GSS undergrad degree was on implementing Restorative Justice Approaches to victim-survivors of sexual violence. I often return to my Praxis and integrate the research and tools I gathered into my work. My continuing goal is to bring restorative justice alternatives to the UNLV campus. The GSS degree empowered me to advocate for the needs of victim-survivors, especially in context of the layered barriers different identities experience in accessing services on an institutional and state level….Urging local and state agencies to ensure that their language and services are inclusive of Queer and Trans victim-survivors and that they have alternatives to working with or in criminal justice systems to address the needs of BIPOC; working towards holding institutions and systems accountable for the violence they perpetrate. These are all things I've been able to discuss and advocate for because of my degree. I am extremely grateful to the GSS program for holding me accountable and providing essential knowledge and opportunities for growth. I highly recommend the program to anyone who wants to implement an anti-oppression lens to the work they do (which should be everyone)!”