October 2016 newsletter from Women's and Gender Studies @ ISU
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From the Director: Dr. Ann Oberhauser

What a month it has been!  Gloria Steinem’s visit to campus was the topic of conversation for weeks before (and after) she arrived on Oct. 11th to give a talk at Stephens Auditorium. She proved that she can still deliver an inspirational speech and left everyone spellbound with her message about the impact of racism and sexism on society, how to create effective social movements, and the importance of being true to yourself. Women’s and Gender Studies students and faculty were invited to a gathering before her talk where she agreed to a few selfies and casual talk with the participants.

Other activities in the program this month include the reorganization of Tri Iota, the Women’s Studies honorary society, with Sam Nimmo and Maddie Baker as the new student leaders. Dr. Michèle Schaal is the faculty supervisor for this group. Watch for more news about this group on campus.

October is also time for spring 2017 course registration and WGS has lots of great courses for students.  We have a few new ones such as WS 450 Human Trafficking, WS 350 Women of Color, WS 435 Women and Development, and WS 360X Asian American Women.  Check out the spring schedule for more information and exciting courses.

Finally, the topic of privilege in the classroom was addressed by panelists at a noontime talk this month. The group discussed recent political events and a growing awareness of ways to confront stereotypes on campus.  See the article by leader Mike Goebel in this newsletter for more about this initiative.
As Gloria Steinem states in her latest book My Life on the Road (2015),

“When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. Taking to the road—by which I mean letting the road take you—changed who I thought I was.”
Take a new road or explore a different direction … and you too will experience life in a new way.

Dr. Ann Oberhauser
Director, Women’s and Gender Studies
Student Highlight: Rebecca Haroldson
Rebecca (Becky) Haroldson  is a Ph.D. student in Sociology with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She is also a WGS Teaching Assistant for WS 201 (online and face-to face). Haroldson enjoys learning about people and especially the way inequalities shape people's experiences through media and narratives. Her most rewarding part of the program was the Feminist Theory class where she learned to think critically about theory. Her recommendations to other students include reaching out and taking advantage of Women's and Gender Studies faculty since they are supportive and knowledgeable scholars.
Round Table Discussion: Confronting Privilege in the Classroom
Dr. Michael Goebel, lecturer in Women’s & Gender Studies, organized a roundtable discussion in early October titled “Confronting Privilege in the Classroom." The impetus for the discussion stemmed from increasing concerns among faculty regarding a change in classroom culture at Iowa State concerning issues of privilege. In recent years, many professors have addressed issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability in their various disciplines, however, some students show increased anger when pushed to confront their own privilege. Many of our classrooms are spaces where discovery and introspection take place, thus it is imperative that we effectively frame these discussions and develop strategies to mediate issues as they arise.

During this discussion, faculty participants talked about examples of actual classroom issues that had arisen in previous semesters and their reactions, responses, and reflections about these situations. The group mapped out some best practices for how to frame a discussion about privilege to create a more inclusive environment. The session ended with a rich Q&A where attendees were able to broach specific topics or issues they previously encountered and get feedback from others. The Women’s & Gender Studies program is planning a follow-up session and workshop for the Spring 2017 semester. Look for more details on our website and Facebook!
Faculty Highlight: Dr. Stacy Cordery
The Women’s and Gender Studies program would like to extend a warm welcome to one of our newest faculty members, Stacy Cordery. Dr. Cordery came to ISU this fall as a Professor of History and an affiliate faculty member in the WGS Program and the Carrie Chapman Catt Center. She has backgrounds in both theatre and history and is currently teaching HIST 222 (Modern U.S. Survey).

Before coming to ISU, Dr. Cordery served 22 years at Monmouth College in Illinois where she served as Coordinator of the Women’s Studies program, Chair of the History Department, and Curator of the Monmouth College Archives.

In regards to her own research, Dr. Cordery has published two books about Theodore Roosevelt. Her third book is a biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, an influential woman in Washington, D.C. who played a role in the capitol city and beyond for six decades. Her most recent book was a biography of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. She was the first historian to write the biographies of these two important women and thus wrote them both back into history. She is currently working on a book about Tipper Gore and the culture wars of the 1980s.

In her first few weeks as ISU faculty, Dr. Cordery has given the keynote address at the Theodore Roosevelt Symposium at Dickinson State University in North Dakota, a talk about Juliette Low at the USDA in Ames, and a presentation on First Ladies in Savannah, Georgia.

The WGS program would like to congratulate Dr. Cordery on her move to ISU. We look forward to having her as part of the community!
Featured Alumna: Abigail Darge-Weeks
Abigail Darge-Weeks received two undergraduate degrees from Iowa State University, English and Women's and Gender Studies with minors in Music and American Indian Studies. These fields brought together her interests in culture and art, specifically in understanding ways to express identity in literature. Abigail stated that her WGS classes "taught that my perspective and experience were valuable and worthy of sharing." These features give students a voice and an opportunity to freely express themselves.

One of her most memorable experiences in the program is being valued as a scholar and as an artist. She is happy she participated in WGS's events and classes since they occupied a central role in her experience at ISU. She especially enjoyed taking Gender Justice (WS 160), taught by TA Kathleen Gilliam. Abigail is currently a MA in Fine Arts student in the Creative Writing and Environment program in ISU. She teaches English 250 and has benefitted from the WGS program for teaching her some of the methods that encourage students to write structurally and critically. She recommends that current WGS students take advantage of the interdisciplinary culture of the program by taking classes of interest, developing critical thinking skills learned in the program, and working with faculty members through independent studies.
What WGS Means to Me - Sam Nimmo (Junior, WGS and English major)
Iowa State's WGS program has taught me how to open doors.  Before I decided to switch my English major to a dual major, I spent a lot of time trying to apply an intersectional lens to everything I wrote or read.  When I realized that the lens was always there in front of me, I filled out the paperwork with my adviser.  It was the most rewarding decision I've ever made.

I'm now in my second semester in WGS and have come a long way from wanting to write short stories. I get to listen to things outside of my own voice.  My studies have taught me that listening is key and advocacy is vital.  The WGS program has helped provide answers to a lot of my big questions, and has allowed me to keep asking more.  It's helped me keep learning how to look around me to see a bigger picture, one that includes representation for everyone. 

Since I've been at Iowa State, I've been lucky to take part in different applications of women's and gender studies.  I've helped develop workshops on gender inclusive language, presented at a conference about my own experiences transforming gender, and met some truly inspiring figures.  However, nothing has been more amazing to me than being able to be a part of the wider WGS community.  I know the rest of my time here will be spent among extraordinary people, and powerful voices!
Campus Partners
International Students and Scholars Office
The International Students and Scholars Office aims to provide immigration and cross-cultural expertise within a welcoming and supportive environment for international students and scholars throughout their university experience.

The ISSO helps students with their immigration process, U.S. employment regulations, and provides answers to commonly asked questions in regards to cultural, financial, personal, and social concerns.
To schedule an advising appointment please contact:
Student advising appointment:
Campus Events
Women's Leadership Retreat- Nov. 5th, 7:00 p.m., Sun Room, Memorial Union
The Women's Leadership Retreat brings students together to network with each other, as well as female leaders at Iowa State and the central Iowa community. Participants will have the opportunity to hone their leadership skills, engage in interactive discussions and networking sessions, and reflect on their own leadership qualities and what they have to offer in their respective roles at Iowa State and beyond.
More info: Margaret Sloss Women's Center

Inclusive Classroom Faculty Development Workshop- Nov. 9th, 1:10 - 4 pm, 2030 Morrill Hall
Today's university classrooms are more diverse than in the past. With this diversity of students comes the need to ensure the learning environments associated with courses are inclusive and designed to support all students. This faculty workshop includes online learning modules and an interactive face-to-face workshop focused on creating an inclusive classroom environment.
More Info: Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Fighting Modern Slavery Lecture- Nov. 9th - 7 pm, Sun Room Memorial Union
Yonas Tesfay & Josiah Carter share their experiences dealing with the complex issue of modern child slavery and explain how their organizations are finding solutions through social entrepreneurism and sustainable practices.

Rap, Race, Reality & Technology- Nov. 16th - 7 pm, Great Hall Memorial Union
Chuck D, the leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy, delivers a powerful message about race, rage and inequality.
Undergraduate and Graduate Resources
Student Organization Marketplace
The Student Organization Marketplace is an online tool where recognized student orgs at ISU are able to extend their business to the internet and more effectively reach the larger Iowa State community and beyond. You can use the Marketplace to sell event registrations, collect membership dues and receive non-charitable donations. Email  or website
Research Opportunities
Undergraduate students at Iowa State are provided with many opportunities to work alongside faculty on a variety of research projects. Research opportunities provide students with practical experience in a hands-on environment and can dramatically enhance one’s resume. More information for both paid and un-paid research opportunities can be found at

Study Abroad with WGS
Looking to study abroad this summer? Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. By studying abroad, students have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land. The ISU Women’s and Gender Studies Program and affiliated faculty offer several classes that are oriented towards foreign languages and literature, international development, women’s global leadership, and more.

Summer 2017 WGS International Programs
  • Human Trafficking and Women’s Empowerment in Thailand and Vietnam (Summer 2017)
  • Gender and Sustainable Development in Tanzania (Summer 2017)
For more information, visit
Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition - 2 - 5 p.m.  November 15th  - 1213 Hoover Hall
3MT® is an oral presentation of a student's research to an audience of non-experts. Presentation time is strictly restricted to three minutes, and one visual image (slide) with no animations is permitted. A panel of judges will determine winners. More details on 3MT is available at
The winner will be funded to represent Iowa State University at a regional competition in Indianapolis, on April 7, 2017.  In addition, first-, second-, and third-place winners will be awarded scholarships of $500, $250, and $100 respectively.

PAG - Professional Development Grant
Professional Advancement Grants (PAG) are provided to graduate and professional students by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) to help defray expenses related to professional meeting and conference travel ($180). The deadline for an application is 5:00 pm on the 15th of the month prior to the month of the conference.
Center for Communication Excellence
Grant Writing Seminar Series provide writing tips and strategies for graduate students to use as they compose grants in general or for particular national organizations.  
  • Introduction to Grant Writing (Nov 7)
  • Finding Funding (Nov 8)
  • Preparing Grant Proposals for NIH (Nov 10)
  • Preparing Grant Proposals for USDA/NIFA (Nov 14)
  • Preparing Grant Proposals for NSF (Nov 17)

WGS Newsletter edited by Elisa Cardenas and Danielle Wolf
Facebook- WGSisu
Twitter - WGS_isu
Copyright © 2016 Iowa State Women's and Gender Studies, All rights reserved.

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