Women's History Month Q&A: Get to know Anita Klueg

March 25, 2024
Anita Klueg speaks at a podium.

March is Women’s History Month and to recognize that, ϲʲͼ Mercy’s Marketing & Communications department is introducing you to a few interesting women on the McNichols Campus throughout the month. MarCom student intern Zahra Albdair spoke to Anita Klueg, director of University Ministry, for a Q&A. Her responses have been edited for brevity and clarity. 

Anita Klueg
Position Title: Director of University Ministry 
Years at UDM: 8.5 years   

What does Women’s History Month mean to you? 

It’s an opportunity to highlight the different contributions of women, especially when society has intended it to not be highlighted. 

Who is your female role model? 

I have two female role models. Dorothy Day started the Catholic worker movement. An ordinary woman from a regular life. She was a prayerful and faithful person who worked on social justice. My second role model is Sr. Thea Bowman. She is one of the Black women within our Catholic Church. As a child, I was exposed to a video of her which left an imprint on me. She is so much of who she was to her faith and other people. As a person of color myself — my mother is Filipino — I was impressed by her voice, being able to share what it meant to be a woman through her lecture and vocal music in a world where her speech was not easily obtained. She was a person of joy and positivity.  

How do you strive to be a mentor to other women? 

By being authentically who I am. Creating relationships anywhere I am, on and off campus. Taking the time to get to know people. Asking good questions and remembering their names and stories. 

What challenges have you faced as a woman in your field and how have you overcome them? 

The biggest challenge is when during committees, women are typically asked to be the secretary and are wanted to just sit there and type. These are moments where women are put in a position where they feel inclined to serve a specific position on the basis of being a woman, as well as when men take the authority and ask for too much that is not appropriate within the women's job description. I learned to assert myself in the best way so then my skills can be used to their fullest potential, not just to be the typewriter while the men speak. 

Why were you interested in becoming a minister? 

In college, I was a pre-medical major and involved in my church group and campus ministry and event planning. I realized I had a gift for organizing within people. Once I graduated, I had this realization that I did not know what I wanted to do. I did volunteer work in Boliva with an orphanage during my gap year between undergraduate and postgraduate. Within that year, I had this realization that working with the church and providing service to others was my calling. 

What is your advice for young women? 

Know yourself, take the time to really know who you are and love yourself. From there, take confidence to allow yourself to shine with others.