Campbell brings compassion, legal training to role as director of Gender Equity Center

Helping people and advocating for victims is what brought Mikayla Campbell to her new role as the director of the Anna Howard Shaw Center for Gender Equity and Victim Advocacy at Albion College.

“This is exactly the kind of work I have always wanted to do,” said Campbell. “I have always wanted to help people.”

“Mikayla brings a passion to our campus for supporting survivors of gender and sex-based violence and discrimination,” said Leroy Wright, vice president of student development. “She is also passionate about supporting our LGBTQIA2S+ communities and is excited about building on the resources within the Center and beyond to support our entire campus. She values strong partnerships and is ready to help strengthen our advocacy and support of students, not just on campus, but also in the local community.”

The Center, located in 300 Robinson Hall, provides programming and resources about gender, feminism, sexual and mental health, undocumented student rights, BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+.

“One of the most important things about the Center is that it is a confidential resource,” said Campbell. “A lot of students think that if they talk about something, it will turn into a whole thing. I want them to feel comfortable and open here. That is the best way to figure out the solution to whatever problem they are facing.”

Another important element of the Center is making everyone feel welcome.

“Anyone can be a victim,” Campbell said. “If a student came to me and wanted to engage in the Title IX process, I would be there for them to advocate and help. If they need help with understanding the legal process, I can help them with that. I am not their lawyer, but I can help them understand what is happening. No matter what decision they make, I am still here with supportive resources. I am on their side.”

Campbell said that victims of violence often feel as though they have lost control of their lives.

“Any violent crime takes away a level of control and impacts a lot of different areas of their lives. We help them mend the gaps and get their voice back,” she said.

According to Campbell, her desire to help others has been strong since she was young.

“There was not a catalyst for my wanting to help others,” she said. “But in elementary school, my teachers would call me the ‘playground mediator’ because any time I saw a problem during recess, I’d jump right in to help solve it. Apparently, that isn’t something one grows out of.”

The legal field seemed like a natural progression for Campbell’s victim advocacy skills.

She received her bachelor’s degree in 2019 and her Juris Doctor degree in 2022, both from Michigan State University.

Prior to Albion, Campbell served as a law clerk and court officer for Judge Wanda M. Stokes. She also was an intern for Judge Amy Ronayne Krause. Campbell served as a law clerk for the Survivor Law Center in Okemos and was an intern for the Solicitor General Division of the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

“I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could help victims of domestic abuse. That took me to law school, but about a year in, I realized that prosecutors don’t do everything I wanted to for victims. I had to find where I fit,” Campbell said.

She seems to have found where she fits at Albion.

Campbell said her immediate goals are to increase the visibility of the Center and to let people know that someone is here full time and ready to help. She also wants to do more work to help the LGBTQIA2S+ community at Albion.

“I feel I have the best of both worlds,” Campbell said. “I bring my legal knowledge and my support and advocacy for victims. I just like helping people and knowing that something I did could make their life just a little easier.”