March 2016 newsletter from Women's and Gender Studies @ ISU
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From the Director: Dr. Ann Oberhauser
It is mid-semester at Iowa State University.  Many people have hit their stride as they keep busy with classes, research, and other activities on campus.  Women’s and Gender Studies course enrollment and majors and minors are at an all-time high as we continue to build the program.  This is also a good time to pause and gather our thoughts before mid-term exams and spring break in a few weeks.

We would like to share several milestones that students and faculty have recently accomplished in our program.  Sarah Chase Crosby successfully defended her MA thesis in English Literature.  Mike Goebel defended his PhD dissertation in Cultural Studies at George Mason University.  And Itzel Padron Zuniga won an award from the Sociologists for Women in Society for her activism on campus.  Their success is partly due to the support of colleagues and students – a definite strength of this program.
Finally, our spring conference “Transforming Gender and Society” on April 9th is in the final stages of planning.  Participants from around Iowa will gather to showcase undergraduate research and projects.  This is also an opportunity to network with faculty and students from other universities.  We’ll show them some Cyclone hospitality in Ames!

I have heard from many of you since we began writing the newsletter last fall.  Thanks for reaching out and reconnecting to the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at ISU!!.
Faculty Highlight: Christiana Langenberg
Congratulations to WGS Advisor and lecturer Christiana Langenberg, Advisor and Lecturer, Department of English and Women’s and Gender Studies for receiving the Louisville Literary Arts 2015 prose prize for her nonfiction essay "This is How it Could Have Gone Instead of How it Went"! The award was announced in November 2015 as part of the Louisville Literary Arts.  They noted the extraordinary quality of all applications and the difficulty the Blue Mesa Review editor-in-chief (Brenna Gomez) and fiction editor (Jason Thayer) had in choosing a single winner for the $500 dollar prize and publication in the Blue Mesa Review.

Christiana Langenberg has also published a bilingual collection of stories (Half of What I Know) in addition to receiving the 2010 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction finalist (Here is What You'll Do), the Chelsea Award for Short Fiction, and the Drunken Boat Panliterary Award for Fiction. Her work has also appeared in a variety of publications such as the Huffington Post, Dogwood, New South, Green Mountains Review, and the American Literary Review. Congratulations Christiana!
Student Highlight: Itzel Padron Zuniga 
The Women's and Gender Studies Program is proud to announce that Itzel Padron Zuniga, third year undergraduate in Women's and Gender Studies Program, received an Undergraduate Social Action Award from the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS). This national award, given during the SWS winter meeting in Memphis, TN, recognized Itzel "for her coordination of a student demonstration meant to challenge rape culture and victim-blaming rhetoric." Membership to SWS is included with this award and Itzel stated that she "looks forward to future SWS meetings where she can serve on the Social Action Committee to reward other students for their activist work." Dr. Ana Prokos, professor in Sociology at ISU, praised Itzel's great accomplishments, stating that "She was one of only three recipients of this national award from SWS . . . . [which] is Sociology’s largest organization dedicated to gender scholarship [and] publishes the well-respected journal Gender & Society."

Along with this honor, Itzel has been active on ISU campus, working as a research assistant for the Sociology Department and volunteering at the Margaret Sloss Women's Center, where she is currently interning. Additionally, she wrote that "as a member of Iota Iota Iota - the women’s studies honorary and activist organization- [I have] been a part of events such as the 'Gender Inequality Bake Sale' and other events focused on identifying our privilege and challenging oppression."
Featured Alumnae: Dr. Keila Tyner, Trained Image Consultant
Keila Tyner is our selected alumnae for this month. She graduated from Iowa State University with her Ph.D. in Textiles and Clothing and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. Her research focused on social and psychological aspects of dress, appearance, and the body, particularly from a feminist perspective. 

She describes her experience in WGS as positive and she said she loved all her courses and faculty. Additionally, she enjoyed teaching WS 201 and "found it rewarding to see other students open their eyes to the important role gender plays in our culture and the myriad ways in which gender inequities shape understanding and perspective." Keila currently works in the fashion industry in New York City. She also works with Driven Professionals, which develops professional content to empower women working in organizations within male-dominated fields. Her work in this organization focuses on leadership, confidence, and energy management.

Keila encourages students and ISU "to think outside the box and see how they can bring feminism, feminist theory, and gender studies to more unexplored areas - there is always a connection, it just needs to be articulated."
Campus Partners: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs & Career Centers
The Iowa State University Office of Multicultural Student Affairs’ mission includes “Utilizing a student-centered approach, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) advocates for and supports Iowa State University's domestic students who self-identify as African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Latina/o, and/or Multiracial.”

MSA supports multicultural students in their academic as well as community development, recognizing and promoting diverse communities, opportunities, and ideas for student success. Additionally, the MSA office works with partners across the University, “fostering a campus climate that recognizes, appreciates and shares a mutual understanding of respect for all cultures in addition to supporting students' academic, cultural, personal and social development.” Alongside these partnerships for academic and leadership development, the MSA strives to provide empowering opportunities to encourage student involvement in social justice.

MSA has various resources to help multicultural students, including professional development and tutor funding, scholarship opportunities, emergency loan applications, and programs like the Academic Program for Excellence and Multicultural Vision Program. Along with the website (, you can connect with MSA through email and social media. Also, sign up for the MSA newsletter and/or check out their Twitter feed:

Various clubs, groups, and organizations are also affiliated with and may be supported by the Office of Multicultural Student affairs, including the Multicultural Student Leadership Council, Men of Color Collective, and the Womyn of Colour Network.  The Womyn of Color Network is “an organization for underrepresented, minoritized womyn and their supporters who come together to form bonds of support and empowerment for womyn at Iowa State University.” They have bi-weekly meetings as well as a retreat in September for their members. For more information, visit
Student Organization Spotlight: Iota Iota Iota

Iota Iota Iota is the Women's and Gender Studies honorary and multi-issue activist organization with gender inequity at the core of their mission. Their goals are to build community among WGS majors and minors and to engage with students of all majors who have a passion for social justice and activism. In the past, Iota Iota Iota has put on a "Gender Inequality Bake Sale" and organized activities focused on identifying privilege and oppression. They are currently working on creating a zine about intersecting identities and resistance which will be released later this semester. If you are interested in joining Iota Iota Iota email or come to a meeting! They meet every Monday at 7 PM in the Margaret Sloss Women's Center.
Upcoming Events
Lecture Series
March 3 (Thurs.) 4 pm, 2019 Morrill Hall, Kathy Edin "The Future of Healthy Families"
Kathryn Edin is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology and Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on the lives of families in poverty. In particular she studies the domains of welfare and low-wage work, family life, and neighborhood contexts.

March 7 (Mon.) 8 pm, Great Hall, Memorial Union, Mary Robinson "Redefining Global Security"
Mary Robinson, the first woman elected president of Ireland, is the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Change. She is founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, providing leadership, education and advocacy to secure global justice for those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change - the poor, the disempowered and the marginalized. Robinson previously served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Her memoir, Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice, chronicles her career as a young lawyer crusading for women’s rights.

WGS Brown Bag Lunch Series
March 3 (Thursday) 12:10-1 pm, 208 Carver Hall
Leah Wilson "Employing the Erotic in Dorothy Allison's Cavedweller"
Undergraduate and Graduate Resources
In the middle of winter, summer seems a long way off; however, deadlines are coming fast when it comes to future opportunities for summer internships and new experiences for next semester. Check out the Study Abroad Center to see how you could add your gender issues interest to school and work opportunities around the world:

April 9th (Saturday) Iowa WGS Conference “Transforming Gender and Society” at ISU
Join participants from Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Programs around the state of Iowa to present topics that include original research, creative work, pedagogy, activism, and thematic discussions. Presentations may take the form of papers, readings, displays, or dramatic readings.  We especially welcome scholarship utilizing cross-disciplinary approaches and/or employing issues in diversity. Deadline for abstract submissions is March 22, 2016.  For more details, contact  or visit .

Planning on continuing on for your doctoral degree at ISU? Visit the following link for more information and applications on Graduate College Scholarships:

Learn about CELT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) events, workshops, learning communities, and more for graduate students, faculty, and staff by exploring the following:

As deadlines loom, make sure to check out the thesis resources available through the Graduate College ( ) as well as utilizing library resources ( and checking out what specific workshops are available through your individual departments or programs.

The following information is written by the Queer Graduate Student Association:
The Queer* Graduate Student Association (Q*GSA) is open to all Iowa State University graduate students who identify within the LGBTQIAA community. Our main purpose is to provide social opportunities to connect ISU LGBTQIAA graduate students across disciplines. In addition, we also create opportunities for graduate students to network with each other in both personal and professional capacities. Professional possibilities could be research collaborations, helpful strategies for teaching, or other career related items.
If you are interested in learning more about all the great Q*GSA events, please send an email to Dan at, so we can add you to our email listserv! We also encourage you to follow us on Twitter@ISUQueerGSA  and like us on Facebook (ISU Queer Graduate Student Association).

Newsletter edited by Elisa Cardenas and Sarah Chase Crosby
Copyright © 2016 Iowa State Women's and Gender Studies, All rights reserved.

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