By Kaitlin Beauregard

Staff Writer

Fierce and Fabulous held its fifth annual expo in the Granite State room last week—inviting both men and women in the UNH community to free massages, a do it yourself granola station, some quality time with Hamilton, Health Services therapy dog, and the opportunity to learn more about different organizations around campus.

Fierce and Fabulous is an empowerment group for women to feel safe, confident and inspired as unique human beings.  Health Services, Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP), the Women’s Studies Program and the Panhellenic Council co-sponsored this event.

Dawn Zitney, a wellness educator/counselor at Health Services and co-founder of Fierce and Fabulous talked about the expo, while she sat at one of the arts and crafts station.

“So really the mission of our Fierce and Fabulous expo is just to have a fun place every fall where anyone in the community can come and maybe meet new friends,” Zitney said.  “We hope to facilitate that.”

Giselle Hart, a women’s studies major and intern for Fierce and Fabulous was volunteering at the expo, and working to expand the program.

“Women’s empowerment is just really important to me,” said Hart.  “I think it’s really important for women on campus to have a space where they feel like they can bring themselves and explore their power as women and as individuals and as leaders.”

Hart was working at the intention setting station, one of the many activities provided at the expo.

“[Intention setting] is an activity that you can do daily to center and focus on what you are trying to accomplish that day,” said Hart.  “What you want to be present with.”

Maria Caplan, a nutrition educator and counselor at Health Services, who implemented the PAWs (Pre-Orientation Adventure for Wildcats) and Relax Program at UNH brought her dog Hamilton to the expo.

“[Bringing Hamilton] is a great way to bring people to the event to help promote other resources,” Caplan said.

Caplan also talked about the health benefits of pet therapy, and that Health Services will be welcoming Bella, a smaller dog into their program.  An alcohol and other drugs counselor at Health Services will be working with Bella, so that the dog may assist people battling addiction.

As the Granite State room was packed with students enjoying activities like a compliment boot, aromatherapy eye pillow making, sun catcher painting, origami crane folding and an A cappella performance, Zitney discussed how students who didn’t attend the expo could still be involved.

“Even if people didn’t come to the expo today, there are always chances to get involved with Fierce and Fabulous programming,” said Zitney.  “We offer an empowerment group for women every semester.  And in edition to that we what we call power lunches.  Those are offered throughout the semester and they’re usually different topics.”