Comings and Goings
We are pleased to welcome Arlene Avakian as the new director of Womens Studies. Arlene brings a wealth of experience as a teacher, scholar and activist to the program. She has been involved in all phases of the development of UMass Women's Studies, and has shaped the University in her committed involvement on a host of University and community committees, conferences, teach ins and events.
As I begin my term as director the first thing I want to do is thank Ann Ferguson, the outgoing director, for leaving the department in such excellent shape. Most importantly, we have an outstanding new tenure track faculty member. We also have a new state of the art copy machine. Ann's commitment to the continued growth of Women's Studies in a difficult fiscal climate, and her prodigious energy resulted in many gains for us beyond the two mentioned. Never put off by the difficulty of a project, I think Ann actually believes that she can squeeze blood out of a turnip, and she was amazingly successful in finding creative ways around the many fiscal and political obstacles she faced during her tenure. Though now back to being half-time in Women's Studies, I know Ann will continue to come up with lots of projects for Womens Studies, but I also know that once we decide to do something she will put in the work to make it happen. Ann Ferguson has enriched this department enormously with her vision, energy, and good will. Women's Studies owes her an enormous debt.
I also want to bid farewell to Kathleen Zane and Kanthie Athukorala who has taken a position at the School for International Training in Brattleboro. Kanthie and Kathleen brought an important perspective to the Department that will be missed. We wish you both well.
A warm welcome Banu Subramaniam, our new Assistant Professor (see item in comings and goings on page 2) As a zoologist/geneticist Banu will expand our interdisciplinarity to include the sciences. We are looking forward to this challenge, and we are excited by Banus interest in the connections among race, gender and science. I also want to welcome Eileen Walsh, an anthropologist who comes to us from Temple University. Along with new people we are pleased to have Sima Fahid return once again this year. And finally, we welcome back Janice Raymond who was able to be on leave for two years because of her successful grants(wo)manship. We hope to hear about her important work studying worldwide trafficking in women.
This Fall marks my 31st year of involvement Women's Studies. I moved to Amherst in the Summer of 1973 because of the strength of the women's movement what we used to call Women's Liberation in the Valley, and to enter graduate school. I was appointed as the graduate student representative to the Women's Studies Subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Committee on the Status of Women, the group that wrote the proposal for a two-year pilot program in Women's Studies, because I had been the Executive Director of what was then called Female Studies at Cornell. Since that time I have been connected to the program as a staff person, a lecturer, an associate professor, and now as professor and director. I will draw on this experience, and on the networks I have developed at the University and in the Five Colleges during my appointment as director.
One of the things I am interested in doing is building and expanding community among faculty, students, and staff. At the end of last semester I had preliminary discussions with graduating seniors and 187 Teaching Assistants about how we can make them feel more connected to the department.
We will follow up on some of the excellent ideas that came out of these sessions, and continue to solicit more input from both undergraduates and graduate students. I also intend to call on our old friends, faculty and staff who helped create Women's Studies, as well as new faculty who are doing Women's Studies work in their departments to discuss ways in which we can foster more interaction among us about our teaching, research and scholarship. While I have some ideas for ways to nurture more interaction among Women's Studies people, I am also very interested in hearing from you.
Is there something you think Women's Studies ought to be doing? Call or email me with your ideas.
We will also be undertaking a curriculum review this year. In 1993 we revamped the curriculum, changing the focus of many of the required courses, eliminating some requirements, adding new requirements as well as changing some of our procedures for the major and minor. In the Spring the Executive Committee decided it was time to see how well this set of courses and procedures are fulfilling the goals we agreed on almost a decade ago. We have already begun this evaluation by finalizing a questionnaire for our alumni and interviewing our graduating seniors before they left last May. We will be contacting current students, faculty and staff in various venues to see what is working and what needs to change.
While much about the coming three years at the University is uncertain at best, I am looking forward to building on the strengths Women's Studies has developed over the years, and creating new initiatives that will help to build a stronger and more interactive Women's Studies community at the University.
Have a great fall semester,
We are very excited to welcome our new faculty members: Special Welcome to Banu Subramaniam: Banu has joined our faculty as an assistant professor in a tenure track position. Banu has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology/Genetics from Duke University and a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. She was a visiting Professor at University of California/Irvine and a Research Assistant Professor in SIROW (Southwest Institute for Research on Women) at the University of Arizona. She has prestigious fellowships and assistantships and taught courses on issues of gender and science, sexuality studies, critiques of science, and feminist theory. Banu's research interest is in the relationship between gender, race, colonialism and science. Banu impressed the Womens Studies community with her extensive knowledge, theoretical background, warm personal style and feminist critique of science, and her scientists critique of feminism. We welcome her warmly, and anticipate her contributions to the program in the years to come.
Greetings to Eileen Walsh: We are very lucky to welcome Eileen Walsh who will be in the program this year (2001-2002) as a visiting lecturer. Eileen did her doctoral work at Temple University in Anthropology having studied minority groups in China. Eileen's teaching experience is broad, and she is excited about joining our program. Welcome! Eileen will be teaching WOST 301 Theorizing Women's Issues and WOST 392C Women in China this fall.
The Five College Women's Studies Research Center is in the midst of a 4 year project called Institutionalizing Global Women's Studies funded by a large Ford Foundation grant. Grant funds bring 2 to 3 international scholars to the center each year for residences where they work with five college scholars. This semester UMass Women's Studies is fortunate to have 2 of the visiting scholars teaching in our program. We welcome Alev Cinar, Ford Associate from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey (Political Science). Her research centers on Forging Images of Women, Building a Nation: From Islam to Secularism in Turkey. We also welcome Benjamin Odhoji, Ford Associate, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya (Comparative Literature). His research focuses on Homelessness at Home: African-American and Franco-phone West African Women's Autobiographical Writing. Welcome!
We extend best wishes to our visiting lecturers as they move into other positions. Kanthie Athukorala is now an Assistant Professor in Global Issues in Intercultural Management at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. Kathleen Zane is completing her MSW work at Smith College and will be doing an internship at a child trauma clinic at Baystate. Thanks for your contributions to the program.
Ann Ferguson is back to her joint faculty position between Philosophy and Women's Studies. She is the Graduate Certificate Program Director. We look forward to hearing about her talk about her summer teaching and traveling in China. Jan Raymond has returned from her multi year grant research in sexual trafficking of women. We look forward to having her teaching again, and to learn more about her research.
As always, fabulous and fascinating new students entered our program in Spring 2001.
Welcome to the following new minors: Michaela Church, Emily Hand, Sarah Holland, Rebecca Lowe and Lenora Wilcox.
Warmest greetings to our new majors: Brandee Boice, Jolie Braun, Pamela Berkowitz, Meghan Boyle, Amy Cronin, Phaedra Davis, Samantha Einhorn, Sarah James, Melissa Goodman, Sarah Hamil, Erika Mellstrom, Shibani Pradhan, Hilary Rathbun, Lauren Riley, Alex Shaw, Lynn Simonds, Kate Sivel and Rebecca Squiers. As always, these students bring a diversity of interests, backgrounds and goals to enrich our program.
Welcome to the incoming class of Graduate Certificate students: Gloria DiFulvio - Community Health Studies, Jolane Flanigan Communications, Ariana Ghasedi - Labor Studies, Kirsten Isgro Communications, Kaylen Jorgensen - CIE, School of Education, Tanya Kachwaha - Social Justice Education, Tania Mitchell - Social Justice Education, Maria Stehle - Germanic Languages, and Nicharee Thiemklin Nursing.
Welcome to the new TAs for WOST 187: Chizu Sato, Kirsten Isgro, Julie Gallagher, and welcome back to: Stephanie Evans and Gabriela Delgadillo. Welcome back to Jeannine Marks who will again be teaching WOST 293C - Black Women and Work in the U.S. Welcome to the new TA for WOST Junior Year Writing: Amy Wilkins
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to celebrate our graduates at a festive brunch at the end of May. Each graduate got a rose and a t-shirt as well as other goodies. In addition to our graduates, our esteemed faculty were awarded bread and roses for all their hard work. Our outgoing program and musical director Ann Ferguson was awarded a special trophy in recognition of her untiring leadership for Women's Studies.
A warm and sincere congratulations to our recent graduates from the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies: Tossaporn Sariyant - Pan is a doctoral candidate in the School of Education's Center for International Education. She will finish her degree in January, 2002 and will return home to Thailand to work with the Department of Non-Formal Education, Ministry of Education to empower rural and indigenous women. Chizu Sato - Chizu is a doctoral candidate in the School of Educations Center for International Education. Her work focuses on gender and adult literacy and her interests are on international development, third world women, and postcolonial feminist theory. Chizu spent the summer in Japan and Nepal.
Best of luck to our graduated majors: Nashira Baril, Amy Buswell, Maryann Cinelli, Sara Currier, Amanda Cusimao, Sarah Tillett Dunton, Jeannette Herman, Lucy MacMillian, Jennny Kurtz, Nicole Manganelli, Alexis Martin, Erika Mellstrom, Kristina Meuse, Tessa Munasinghe, Risha Nathan, Elana Premack, Carolyn Ruszala, Alex Shaw, Rebecca Squiers and Liz Thompson.
Congratulations to our graduated minors: Cherilyn Johnson, Jaime LaRoche, Allison Gerlip, John Kazlauskas, Chanel Dubofsky, Rachel Frederickson, Faith Vanderhoop, Dushyanthi Satchi, Sarah Newell, Sara Norman, Kathleen Chanen, Melanie Haslam, Kari Enge, Erika Lawson, and Nazia Haque.
We look forward to hearing of your many accomplishments.
As always, we welcome student input in the program. There are student seats on most of the Women's Studies committees. If you are interested in being involved, contact the office.
We love to hear how your programs are progressing. We can help you with counting Womens Studie's credits and requirements, as well as checking general education and college requirements. Double majors between Humanities and Fine Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences need to be particularly careful about college requirements Questions? See Karen in the office.
Major applications are due in with a sponsors signature by Oct. 31, 2001 to be added to the major this semester. Orientations will be held mid November.
Honors? Scholarships? If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunities, Ask in the Women's Studies office or visit the Commonwealth College in Goodell. The website of honors is www.comcol.umass.edu and includes links to scholarship information through the ONSA office (office of National Scholarship Advisement) Commonwealth college also has information on student research fellowships and community service learning opportunities. Check it out.
Potential Womens Studies minors: applications are accepted at any time. If you've taken Women's Studies classes and are interested in taking more and getting university recognition for your focus in Women's Studies come by the office. The minor is 18 credits and can include courses that also count toward your major.
Potential graduate certificate students: applications are accepted at any time. The deadline for Fall 2002 admission is March 10, 2002. Questions? Interested? Contact Nancy Patteson, grad program coordinator.
DOING RESEARCH? NEED HELP?
Go to the Library's Web site, for full-text databases, online journals, e-books, and assistance from helpful librarians. Contact the Women's Studies librarian, Emily Silverman (545-0995), to schedule individual research consultations, library tours, or classes.
Special thanks to our fabulous donors:
Each month when the list of donors arrives, we are thrilled to see the mix of community members, parents of students and alums, and of course our alumni. It is a boost to our confidence and a boost to our meager coffers. We use these donations to finance events, t-shirts, buttons, etc. Many thanks to:
Leslie K. Breault
Diane Lynch Curley
Donna J. Grant
Diane and James LaRoche
Linda Adams Leslie
Mary E. Reilly
Michelle M. Sheridan
K. Marilyn Stampa
Anne W. Wiley
Dear fellow alums:
It is so great to leaf through the fat folder of letters, cards, and emails you've sent to us. There are joyous birth announcements and pictures of growing kids, emails from new graduate program participants, official notices of new endeavors. In the 2 years since I've written this column, your accomplishments keep mounting. This is the alumni news from Fall 1999 to present. Please forgive lapses or errors, and keep those cards, letters, emails, and visits coming. Your accomplishments inspire our current students.
Elizabeth Allyn writes that she got a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy and is working in an inpatient psychiatric unit. She adds that she loves her work.
Elena Azzoni enthusiastically wrote last fall that she was in San Francisco in the Masters program in Womens Spirituality at New College.
Robin Bartlett is working at the Unitarian Universalist Association as the assistant to the Director of Ministry for Ministerial Fellowship in the Boston area.
Danielle Burger is teaching in an elementary school on Long Island. She is making a difference, one child at a time. Danielle attached to her email photographs of her class Womens History Bulletin board.
Jessica Cates began work as a Policy and Program Specialist in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in late 1999.
Emily Callahan is a legislative aide for Jim Marzilli, Massachusetts State Representatives from Arlington.
Maryann Cinelli is now the operations and program manager for the Civil Liberties and Public Policy program at Hampshire College.
Liz Cohen moved to Los Angeles last summer and is using her entertainment law background as the Director of Business and Legal Affairs for New Media and EMI Recorded Music, North America.
Norma Dana just began a new job as a Family Service Advocate, Child Abuse Unit, Northwestern District Attorneys Office.
Rebecca Dobkins sent a beautiful birth announcement about the arrival last summer of her son Elijah. She writes: We are so happy to be parents in this most amazing way. Elijah's young birthmother chose us as his adoptive parents and we will maintain contact with her (we think a very feminist model of adoption.) She added she was up for tenure and was reducing her schedule to be at home for the year 2000-2001.
Ellen Donoghue is volunteering at A Safe Place, a domestic violence agency on the island of Nantucket. She is entering the Masters in Public Health Program at Boston University's School of Public Health in the International Health Department this fall.
Cheri Ehrlich completed her Masters in Teaching Art Education at Tufts and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. While in school she worked as an intern in the European Decorative Art Collection at the Museum. This year she taught studio art and ceramics at Andover High School and loved it. This summer she is participating in the New York to Boston AIDS ride, a fundraising bicycle ride.
Jeanne Fuqua dropped by this spring. She is in her second year at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.
Gina Gombar dropped us a note to say that she just recently passed the bar in Massachusetts.
Adam Keigwin wrote a while ago that he was in graduation school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and involved in the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Jenny Kurtz will be working in the housing system at Smith beginning this fall.
Nicole Lisa wrote some time back that she was working in New York at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy.
Barbara Lowenthal (now Barbara Lowenthal Tereso) is the Vice President of an executive recruiting firm located in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Sherri Martin was working as a retirement services specialist at Fidelity Investments as of last year.
Claudine Mallory wrote last fall that she taught (as part of Teach for America) 3rd grade in Washington D.C. and that it was exciting and challenging.
Andrea Montalbano contacted us a while ago to let us know that she was working as an administrative assistant at Planned Parenthood on Long Island.
Megan Murphy wrote that she was enjoying raising her daughter and preparing to go to nursing school.
Christine Murphy got her M.Div from Harvard in 1997 and then enrolled in the UMass Boston graduate program for Dispute Resolution. She spent some time working for the Unitarian Universalist Association as a national organizer in faith based anti-racism work.
Elana Premack was off after graduation to be a Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign Hillel.
Cece Sullivan spoke at our career forum in the spring. She is the Nutrition Program Specialist at the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger in Burlington.
Rachel Tanenhaus also spoke at the spring career forum about her work as an information specialist in the New England Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center in Boston.
Jen Taylor wrote last fall that she had entered the Women in Politics and Government Program at UMass/Boston.
Mimi Turchinetz also returned to the career forum and described her work as an attorney and living wage administrator in the Office of Jobs and Community Services in Boston.
Gwendolyn Wong dropped by to say hello. She is working as a course coordinator for the economics department at Harvard.
Adrianne Zahner came back to campus over a year ago to lecture about her experiences as a student at the Chicago-Kent School of law.