A look back at our year

Photo Credit: year in review
by Ellen Kratzer May 13, 2020

Even after a difficult spring semester, we are able to look back on our academic year as a whole with a sense of pride for all we have accomplished.


Our incredible faculty accomplished many things during this academic year.

Kayzak and Burke
  • Emily Kazyak, associate professor of sociology and women's and gender studies, and Kelsy Burke, assistant professor of sociology, were awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study religious freedom and sexual/gender minority rights policy.
Persuasive Acts book cover


We’re very proud of our students who accomplished great things this year as well.

This year we awarded three WGS scholarships.

  • Melba Cope Undergraduate Scholarship—Micah Morris
  • Dr. Christine Black Undergraduate Scholarship—Grace Heath, Taylor Woodsmall

We also announced the recipients of our WGS awards.

Celie Knudsen
  • Outstanding Student Achievement Award—Celie Knudsen
  • Karen Dunning Undergraduate Creative/Scholarly Project Award—Tytus Zink
  • Karen Dunning Graduate Creative/Scholarly Project Award—Mallory Marsh
  • WGS Graduate Student Travel Award—Mallory Marsh

And in our classs of 2020, we graduated seven women’s and gender studies majors and eighteen minors along with seven LGBTQ/sexuality studies minors.

Four of our students graduated with honors:

  • Highest Distinction—Simone Droge, Celie Knudsen, Ashley Morrison
  • High Distinction—Julien Hoffman


This year we also saw some new exciting things happen within our program.

Art from Trauma book cover
  • Former director Margaret Jacobs co-founded “Reconciliation Rising,” a podcast that “showcases the lives and work of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the U.S. who are engaged in honestly confronting painful and traumatic histories, promoting meaningful and respectful dialogue between Natives and non-Natives, and creating pathways to reconciliation.”
  • Alumna Christine Black, MD established a new undergraduate scholarship for the program.

We are proud of our accomplishments from 2019-2020 and we are excited to see everyone back on campus in the fall.