February 2017 newsletter from Women's and Gender Studies @ ISU
View this email in your browser
Table of Contents

From the Director: Dr. Ann Oberhauser

"We Can Change the World” – “One Person at a Time”

These and other signs were widespread at the Women’s March on Saturday, January 20th, 2017.  We gathered at the capitol in Des Moines along with people across the country and the world to show support for issues that impact women, the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, immigrants, and others who feel marginalized by some of the recent political events.

In addition to the Women’s March, there is a growing number of people involved in campus activities and groups that share an interest in changing the world.   These efforts are inspiring and reflect an increase in social movements that we have not seen since the 1960s when protests and demonstrations led to historic changes in national policies and civil rights.

I have also noticed a remarkable increase in campus and community activities, both online and in person, as students and faculty engage in conversations and actions that address women’s rights, Free Speech, reproductive issues, sanctuary cities, environmental protection, voting rights, and globalization. 

This political climate has produced many ‘teaching moments’ that underscore the need to stay involved in current events and social justice issues. I am greatly encouraged by students’ motivation to “change the world” through mobilizing their peers and the wider community.  At the national level, many feminist organizations are also expressing positions of their members through blogs and other activities. 

We invite you to continue to voice your opinions and participate in several of our upcoming events with Women’s and Gender Studies at ISU.  In April, we will host the 2nd annual state-wide Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Conference, “Transforming Gender and Society.”  (See the article below for details.) We also offer excellent courses in media and sexuality, women in politics, gender and international development, and other relevant topics. The WGS Program has student scholarships to support their academic work and activities. And finally, we are organizing internships, student groups, and international study and service programs in Tanzania, Italy, and Sweden that you can take advantage of in the upcoming year.

(Visit our website at for more information about these opportunities.)
So, we can all “change the world” – one person and one neighborhood at a time.  Keep reaching out to students, faculty, and members of your community to make a difference.  I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Ann Oberhauser

WGS 2017 Student Conference

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program at ISU will host its second annual Transforming Gender and Society conference for undergraduate and graduate students on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the Memorial Union at ISU. Students from colleges and universities around the state of Iowa will join us for this conference.

Journalist Rekha Basu will deliver the keynote address at this year’s conference luncheon. Basu has been a columnist for The Des Moines Register since late 1991. She comments on a range of local, national, and international issues with a focus on human rights, racial justice, and gender equality. Her presentation, “Sister Resister: People Driving Change by Speaking Truth to Power,” will explore examples of ordinary people using their own narratives to confront discrimination and injustice in their lives and change systems.

The conference will include several breakout sessions, with presentations on topics related to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, including original research, creative work, pedagogy, activism, and thematic discussions that utilize cross-disciplinary approaches.
The deadline for submission of abstracts is Monday, March 20, 2017. The CFP and electronic application form is available at
The registration fee is $20 for each conference participant. For questions, please contact

Student Highlight: Lu "Wendy" Yan

Lu “Wendy” Yan is a PhD student in Higher Education who has served as a WGS Teaching Assistant since 2012. When asked why she chose education, Wendy quotes John Dewey: “I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform.” Wendy hopes to contribute her own efforts to the field of multi-cultural education.
During her years with the WGS program, Wendy received an online teaching award from the WGS program in 2013 and a Teaching Excellence Award from Iowa State’s Graduate College. In addition, she presented her research on international students incorporating feminism pedagogy at the 2016 National Women’s Studies Association conference in Montreal, and she is currently conducting research on students’ critical thinking in women’s studies classes.
In addition to her research and teaching accomplishments, Wendy considers her interactions with students to be the most rewarding part of her work with the WGS program. “I appreciate how my students have contributed to our class and to my understanding of their learning,” Wendy said. “We have learned a lot from each other.”
Wendy recommends the WGS program to “anybody who’s looking for something challenging yet inspiring, to see and change the world in creative ways, and also a broad range of job opportunities.” She wants students to know that the WGS program is not only about women, as its name may imply. “It is a program that will teach you to think deeply about your identity and oppressions in our society,” she said. “If you are interested in equity, or in finding out the difference between equity and equality, then WGS is the family you would like to join.”

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Tracy Lucht

Dr. Tracy Lucht, Faculty Affiliate of WGS and assistant professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, was recently featured on C-SPAN's Lectures in American History program.
Lucht’s research focuses on the relationship between gender and agency in the careers of American women journalists. Her first book was about personal finance journalist Sylvia Porter, and her current research focuses on women broadcasters.
The featured lecture, “Stunt Reporters and Sob Sisters: Women Journalists at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” was recorded for the American History TV.  This project was part of a journalism history class Dr. Lucht taught in the fall of 2016. She says she received letters from people around the world who either saw the lecture when it aired or listened to it as a podcast.
“I am happy for the visibility it has brought to ISU and to the study of women and the media. My favorite email came from a '30-year-old self-proclaimed Feminist living in Sydney, Australia,' who described herself as a 'public servant by day and a voracious listener of any podcasts that speak about women’s issues by night.' "
The university contacted her about taping one of her lectures and she proposed a topic that would allow the focus on gender ideology and specific paths some women take to pursue jobs in journalism. Dr. Lucht stated that "as a feminist scholar, I think it is important to trace not only the structural discrimination women and marginalized groups have faced, but also their ways of working around such obstacles."

Featured Alumna: Abigail Barefoot

Abigail Barefoot is our featured alumna this month. Abigail graduated from Iowa State in 2012 with a double major in Journalism and Mass Communication and Women’s and Gender Studies. For her senior internship, she volunteered as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate at the Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS) in Ames.

One of Abigail’s favorite aspects of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Iowa State is the connection between theory and activism. “Not only did my classes help to develop my critical thinking and writing skills, but I learned how to take what I learned in the classroom and use it to get involved as an activist,” Abigail said.

During her time at Iowa State, Abigail was able to participate in the “Brazil in the New Millenium” study abroad trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As she stated, “Not only did we learn about issues facing Brazil, but we were able to visit grassroots organizations and NGOs that tackle those problems and see their attempts to provide solutions and avenues for activism.

Abigail is currently a PhD student at the University of Kansas in the Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies Program with a concentration in Sociology. Her research focuses on the ways women claim space for themselves when engaging in activism in public space as they navigate sexual and physical violence that might occur from police. As part of her graduate assistantship, she is a teaching assistant for WGSS. She completed her M.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2014.
Her advice to current or future students in the program is to “get involved and try new things. Through my experiences volunteering, being a TA for Women’s Studies, and working at the Women’s Center, I not only made lifelong friends, but I found my passion – working with students. I would never have thought about going to graduate school if it wasn’t for my experiences as a TA and peer mentor for the WGS learning community, as well as my professors’ support and encouragement!”

Guest Article - "ISU Men and Masculinity Group"

By Alex Young
Alex Young coordinates the Men and Masculinity group through the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center. We asked him to share information about this group through the article below.

This project was born from the fact there are fragmented efforts around men and masculinity going on at Iowa State and in the Ames community. The object, therefore, is to bring together stakeholders across Iowa State that would have some sort of vested interest in masculinity programming. For example, we have individuals from the Office of Greek Affairs, ACCESS, and Student Wellness represented in this group. We are getting ready to have our first meeting where we are going to touch base with everyone and try to do some group visioning about what we would all like to see on campus.
In addition, we plan to do a needs assessment of students to determine what they are experiencing and what programming they would like to see. This program is still very much in its infancy, but our team and I are very excited to get this off the ground and see how things unfold.
For folks who might be interested in learning more about the topic of men and masculinity in the classroom, I have been asked to facilitate a workshop and discussion as part of the College of Human Sciences Diversity and Equity Committee on March 24 from 11:30 to 1:30 in the LeBaron Conference Room.

Women's and Gender Studies Scholarships - Due March 10

Linda Galyon Undergraduate Student Scholarship

This scholarship is intended to support an undergraduate student majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies at Iowa State University. In order to be considered for this $1000 scholarship, students must be sophomores, juniors, or seniors, enrolled as a student during Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.  Selection is based on demonstrated commitment to the field of women’s and gender studies. Financial need will also be considered.

Graduate Student Scholarship  

This scholarship supports graduate students pursuing a Masters or a Ph.D. degree and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies at Iowa State University. The scholarship of $750 will provide assistance to students enrolled during Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.  Preference will be given to students who engage in the field of women’s and gender studies and enhance women’s contributions to the advancement of knowledge. Recipients must demonstrate financial need.

Applicants must submit a completed application form, an Access Plus transcript, and a one-to-two page essay (see instructions below) to: 
Women’s and Gender Studies Program, c/o Dr. Ann Oberhauser, #217B East Hall, Iowa State University or via email at (Applications Due March 10th, 2017)

Campus Partners

Parks Library
Parks Library at ISU offers a range of resources to students and faculty from almost 3 million volumes held in the building and almost 500 thousand e-books to workshops to help you succeed on how to find articles and how to organize your citations. You can also make an appointment with the subject librarian Tobie Matava who is in charge of Women's and Gender Studies, or 515-294-2849

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching - CELT
CELT provides resources for faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs interested in teaching. It has workshops, longer-term teaching and learning circles on selected topics, and facilitation of faculty driven learning communities. Online resources that support CELT’s mission and current initiatives are available on their website ( 

Campus Events

WGS Seminar Series Talk
“In a Women’s Voice: A Qualitative Study on How First Year College Women Understand their Sexual Experiences,” Dr. Amber Manning-Oullette - Friday, Mar. 3rd - 12-1 pm, 1030 Morrill Hall
This discussion will highlight the narratives of first-year college women and how they navigate sexual experiences, consent, and construct identity. Findings include the pressure to perform stereotypical sex gender roles through public and private sexual identity. The talk will also offer successful strategies to combat sexual assault, movement toward sexual equity among gender roles, and provide a model on first year college women sexuality development.

Lecture “In the Shadow of Charleston - Reflections on Race, Racism and Racial Violence” - February 20th - 7 pm – Great Hall, Memorial Union
Keisha Blain is co-editor of "The Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence," a newly published overview of race relations, racial violence, and civil rights activism in the United States and other parts of the world.

2017 Social Justice Summit
Sat., Feb. 25th - 8:30- 2:30 pm – Memorial Union
The Social Justice Summit is a day-long workshop that will give you the chance to learn more about the identities we carry, discuss how people experience the world differently, and create steps to address social systems of power, privilege, and oppression. This workshop is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Required Registration:

Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) 2017
March 3rd, 8:00 – 5:00 pm- Memorial Union
The Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) is a comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State University and beyond. The local conference is designed to model the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE).

ISCORE Pre-Conference - Professional Development: March 1, 11 to 5 pm – Memorial Union

Undergraduate and Graduate Resources

First WGS annual writing day - February 24 - 113 East Hall from 8:00 am -4:00 pm.
 The purpose of this event is to further build the strength of the WGS community at ISU, while offering faculty and graduate students a place to write and share their ideas with peers. The day will be set up in such a way that anyone who wishes to attend will be able to drop in for an hour or two around their teaching commitments and meetings, or stay for the entire day. The WGS program will provide light refreshments and coffee in the morning and afternoon to fuel the writing process, and the day will conclude at Olde Main Brewery at 4:45pm for anyone interested in some post-writing cocktails and conversation.

Black College Network Mentor Program for African American students & alumni
organized by ISU Alumni Association
The program is designed to foster student growth and development and assist students in navigating the ISU experience. Upon successful completion of the program, each student participant will receive a $1,000 scholarship. If you are interested in participating in this program or would like to find out more contact Chelsea Trowbridge at

Calling the thought-provoking, the humorous, and the quirky—we want to read your writing! Starting in the spring of 2017 we will be publishing the work of ISU students and faculty. We ask for quality and intrigue in up to 3 poems or flash fictions, or prose up to 500 words.
Please submit your work to no later than March 3rd, 2017

WGS Newsletter edited by Elisa Cardenas and Sabrina Shields-Cook
Facebook- WGSisu
Twitter - WGS_isu
Copyright © 2017 Iowa State Women's and Gender Studies, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp