Comings and Goings
This newsletter will continue to be put on paper as long as we can find the funds to do so. Written and edited by Karen Lederer. Articles contributed by Arlene Avakian, Linda Hillenbrand, Nancy Patteson. Thanks to Emily Silverman and Ann Ferguson for their contributions. Design and production by Linda Hillenbrand. For a paper copy paper of the newsletter, please call the Women's Studies office at 413-545-1922.
Once again, I write this message with uncertainty. I have no idea what the state of the world, the Commonwealth, the University, or Womens Studies will be by the time this newsletter reaches you. But as I write this message in mid August, things do seem to be even more tenuous than they did last time I was writing to you.
Still . . . there is hope. Last spring faculty, students, and staff waged a huge lobbying campaign. Through the efforts of SAVE UMass, students and their parents sent 10,000 letters to legislators across the Commonwealth urging them to fund the University, and to President Bulger asking that he be more assertive in his support. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff also went to Boston for a rally and lobbying session at the State house. SAVE UMass organized leafleting at commencement. Faculty in their caps and gowns gave out thousands of sheets of information on how to help the university stay afloat to the family and friends of graduates. Clearly, lots of people on and off campus really care about the University and are committed to go the extra miles it now takes to save UMass.
Despite this huge effort, budget news at UMass is worse than ever. Acting Governor Swift vetoed the negotiated pay raises she had once approved for all of the unionized workers in the system. She also vetoed an appropriation for the library, deepening the previous cuts. Avoiding democratic process, Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran did not allow those vetoes to come up for an override vote. The University will begin the fall semester with 12% fewer faculty than it had last year, and students will be paying $1280 more for fewer and larger classes, fewer books and journals, less access to faculty for advising and sponsorship, and a campus that falls more and more into disrepair and dirt, despite the hard work of the remaining buildings and grounds and janitorial staff. We are not now sure how all of these cuts outside of the program are going to affect Womens Studies, but there is no question that we will have fewer departmental courses to offer, our ability to cut through the bureaucracy will be affected by the departure of so many staff who have been here long enough to know how to work the system, and by the general speed up on the campus of serving almost as many students with fewer people.
Within the program, we are diminished by the retirement of Janice Raymond, now Professor Emerita. We know that Jan will continue her scholarship and activism on behalf of women in the world. Like many other faculty and staff, Jan took advantage of the early retirement program and because the money saved by early retirements is not coming back to the campus, most of these positions will not be replaced. We are now down to three permanent faculty, and the director.
But . . . there is some good news. We were able to search for two one-year lecturers and are pleased to have Sima Fahid back again, and welcome Kreimild Saunders. Natasha Pravaz, the last visiting faculty from the Five College Womens Studies Research Center Ford grant, will also be teaching a course for us in the fall. AndAlex Deschamps won the Distinguished Teaching Awarda-well-deserved honor for Alex. Student resident assistants organized a union, the state labor relations board agreed that they had a right to unionize, and now after months of refusing to recognize the union, the University has decided to negotiate with the RAs. This decision is precedent settingUMass undergraduate student workers are the first in the country to be unionized!
We are working on a number of exciting events. On June 14, 2002 the great poet, essayist, and activist June Jordan died after many years battling breast cancer. Womens Studies is working with a number of student groups, programs and departments to organize a memorial and celebration of her life. Save Wednesday, October 2 from 7:00-10:00 in the Campus Center for this event. We will continue our roundtable series: Doing Womens Studies. Once again, Ann Ferguson has been traveling, this time to Cuba, and will speak about this in the fall. We are also cosponsoring an important event in October with the EWC on violence against women and racism.
Some of what we are able to do for our students comes from contributions from alumni and friends which have, in fact, always been vital to the enrichment of the program. Now, more than ever, we are grateful for your enormous generosity.
Whatever this year brings I know that a core of people on and off campus will struggle to maintain what is so great about UMass. I also know that Womens Studies students, faculty, and staff will be in the thick of it again.
Emeritus/Smeritus Well Miss Her
Women's Studies has grown rapidly as a field since the 1970s. This interdisciplinary discipline is rich, mature, and the scholars are productive and committed. Our program has its first retirement of a faculty member who spent most of her academic career in Women's Studies at UMass. Janice Raymond is renowned for her scholarship, her dedicated activism on trafficking in women, her service to the program, and her teaching and advising of many students over the years. Jan has authored many books and articles, served as Women's Studies Director, Director of Graduate Studies in Women's Studies, and served on a host of honors theses, masters and doctoral committees. Jan Raymond retired and is now Professor Emerita of Women's Studies. Jan will continue her courageous work world wide to stop the sex trafficking of women and girls. The newsletter would have to go into extra volumes to cover her many publications, accomplishments and qualities. Farewell Jan and thank you for all your hard work.
Welcome to Kreimild Saunders. Kreimild is a sociologist working on gender and development as well as sexuality and theory who will be teaching in our program for 2002-2003. She most recently taught in New York, and will be here this year teaching Theorizing Womens Issues and a new course Queer Theory: The Reconceptualization of Gender and Sexuality. Welcome!
Welcome back to Sima Fahid who will be teaching again in the program for 2002-2003. Sima has developed a new course Women, Globalization and Cybernetics and will also be teaching Women in Islam.
Welcome to Natasha Pravaz, the last 5 College Ford Fellow through the Five College Womens Studies Research Center. Natasha is in anthropology at York University, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and she will be teaching Bodies, Gender and Performance this fall.
We are pleased to also welcome new TAs for our introductory class Viera Wallace-Lorencova (Welcome back to Viera, she is actually a returning teacher, and has completed our graduate certificate program!) and Stephanie Burrell. Welcome to Kate Dionne who will be teaching Writing for Women's Studies Majors this fall.
We are very pleased to welcome these interesting and accomplished women to our teaching staff this year.
Farewell to Eileen Walsh who taught in the program 2001-2002. Eileen has a 1 year post-doctoral fellowship at Yale with the Council on East Asian Studies to work on a manuscript Living the Myth of Matriarchythe Mosuo based on her research on gender and economic change amongst the Mosuo of south west China. Congratulations and best of luck.
Best wishes also to Nafisa Hoodbhoy who is working on a book of essays about 20 years of politics in Pakistan through the eyes of a reporter. She is under contract with Penguin Putnam Viking.
Farewell and best of luck to departing teaching assistants Stephanie Evans and Julie Gallagher. Thanks for your service to Women's Studies.
Thanks and best of luck to Jeannine Marks who taught program core courses in 2001-2002.
Welcome to another terrific group of new majors: Cara Bedick, Ali Dulka, Liz Forbes, Lisa MacVarish, Jennifer Miller, Kelly Ormond, Jya Plavin, Susie Reddy, Sara Schmidt, Leighanne Scott, Nicole Tominsky and Julia Weiner.
Welcome to great new minors: Tendayi Jena, Kate Iacobucci, Kristal Ornellas, Theresa Nelson, and Lakenya Webster.
Welcome to our new Certificate students. The following students have been accepted into the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies for Fall 2002:
Stephanie Burrell, EdD candidate, Social Justice EducationWe sent off a terrific and large group of students at our May graduation brunch. The world is lucky to get these 26 majors, 17 minors, and 7 graduate certificate students who bring their hopes, dreams, skills and analysis to the problems at hand. We bid farewell to many accomplished students and activists and wish them well.
Mariama Changamire, PhD candidate, Communications
Gabriela Delgadillo, EdD candidate, Center for International Teaching
Kate Dionne, PhD candidate, English
Julianna Leslie, MFA candidate, English
Mariela Eugenia Mendez, PhD candidate, Comparative Literature
Leyla Keough, PhD candidate, Anthropology
Carolyn Shread, PhD candidate, French & Italian
Tashi Zangmo, MEd candidate, Center for International Training
Congratulations to graduating Women's Studies majors: Pam Berkowitz (summer), Brandee Boice, Meghann Boyle, Jolie Braun, Ellen Castleberry, Amy Cronin, Natalie Diaz, Erica Gagne, Erin Greeley, Sarah Hamil, Sarah Huntington, Sarah James, Liz Kupiec, Rose Malfucci, Jessica Martin, Shibani Pradhan, Cory Proud, Lauren Riley, Leighanne Scott, Megan Shackelford, Keri-Ann Tracy, Anne Tummino, Sarah Zammuto.
Best wishes to graduating minors: Stephanie Audy, Mia Carlotto, Michaela Church, Melissa Colby, Jobi Dan Sy, Rachel Elterman, Margaret Flaherty, Maya Garg, Shachar Gillat, Emily Hand, Sarah Holland, Jennifer House, Tara Kumaraswami, Danielle Randazzo, Alysia Rodriguez, Arnold Skretta, and Elana Zingher.
Congratulations to our graduating Certificate students. This diverse group of students overcame both personal and professional adversity to complete their feminist research. Some are enjoying permanent employment while others are continuing to explore their options. While the outcomes differ, the journey has been meaningful and each has touched lives and enriched the world. Our thanks.
The following students successfully completed all of the CAFS requirements and we wish them well:
Kaylen Jorgensen, Tania Mitchell, Stephanie Evans, Priscilla Page, Lynn Couturier , Michelle Paranto, and Nina Beth Huntemann.
A Bright Spot of Good News
Faculty member Alex Deschamps was awarded the Universitys Distinguished Teaching Award. This is one of the highest awards UMass bestows; it is a highly competitive process that includes surveying all the nominees students about the quality of the class and the instruction. The winners are recognized at commencement and the prize carries abundant honor and a cash award. Weve heard from students for years about how Alexs courses challenged, inspired and enlightened them. Weve always known the excellence of our faculty, and how they touch and change student lives. Alex is an outstanding teacher, and the program and our students are lucky to have her. We are glad the University concurs. Congratulations.
There have been many changes in the Library. Materials on Floor 2 of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library (the magazines, journals, and newspapers) have been relocated in preparation for renovations. The Current Periodical Room is now on the Main Floor. Hours in all the libraries have been reduced somewhat because of budget pressures. Many excellent new electronic databases are now available. For detailed information about these changes and more, see the new Library web site (http://www.library.umass.edu), call the Reference Desk (545-0150), or contact your Womens Studies librarian. She is available to meet with individuals and groups to assist with research projects and to support your use of Library and Internet resources. Emily Silverman, 545-0995 or email@example.com.
Daughters to Work Day becomes Daughters and Sons to Work Day
The Ms. Foundation, which began Take Our Daughters to Work Day 10 years ago, has announced that next year the event will be revised to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day to initiate a national discussion about the competing challenges of work and family and the inequalities that women and men face in the workplace. The inclusion of boys is a conscious effort to bring the boys to work alongside the girls and take on the issues that they will both confront in the workplace, explains Marie C. Wilson, president of the Ms. Foundation for Women. This event is sponsored every year on the UMass campus by the Faculty Senate Status of Women Council. Members of the planning committee have raised concerns over whether they will continue to do so now that the event has changed in focus. The national event is scheduled for April 24, 2003.
New software and registration procedures: Many changes are in store for this fall. The record level of retirements will change the landscape of the University in significant ways, and the old student database system will be converted this fall to peoplesoft software. This will entail many changes in course registration and add/drop. Preregistration for Spring 2003 is slated to be web based only, the telephone registration system will not be available. In addition, the new system will be confirmed registration, meaning that once you make selections, you will actually be in a seat in the classrooms. Some waiting lists will be maintained online. Clearly the way students consider registration and the procedures that have been used will be modified. It is CRUCIAL you begin planning and do advising early in the fall, during or prior to counseling week. All majors, minors and prospective majors and minors should check in with Karen Lederer, Chief Undergraduate Advisor in the fall. firstname.lastname@example.org, 545-1922. Make an appointment to meet with your faculty sponsor early to plan your academic program. Come early to be ready for the changeover!
Major applications for the fall semester are due October 31, 2002. Minor applications are accepted continuously. If you need to find a sponsor or have other questions, please stop by.
Women's Studies Honors Students: See Professor Alex Deschamps, honors coordinator to check on honors requirements. Seniors, it is very important that you keep in touch with the honors coordinator throughout your senior year. Make an appointment to check over your classes and projects.
Student input: There are many opportunities for student input in the program, with student representative slots on several program committees. There are 2 undergraduate slots on the executive committee, the main decision making body of the program which meets monthly. Slots are open to declared Womens Studies students. If you are interested in being involved, contact the office.
A reminder to all that applications for 2003 admission into the Womens Studies Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies are due on Monday, March 10, 2003. Nancy is available throughout the fall semester to meet with interested students and faculty to assist with planning or to review the requirements for this graduate program.
The Certificate is an interdisciplinary program designed to enable students interested in feminist scholarship to pursue a coherent, integrated curriculum in the field and to credential them as knowledgeable in Feminist Studies. Admission to the Certificate is contingent upon, (1) prior acceptance to the Graduate School of the University into a graduate degree-granting program; or (2) after completion of a graduate degree and acceptance as a non-degree student.
Contact Nancy Campbell Patteson, Graduate Program/Program Development Coordinator in the Womens Studies office, 208 Bartlett Hall, 545-1922.
Reminder: All past and present Certificate students should keep the office updated on their whereabouts. Please let us know if your address changes, or if a new job has lured you away from the happy valley. We want to keep you on our mailing list and we do get colleagues asking how they can contact you. Send an email to Nancy.
News About Alums of Our Graduate Program!
Where Are They Now?
We are privileged to be a place where students come and share a moment of time with us. While some pass through our program quicker than we would like, all contribute to enrich the texture of our lives and this program. The Certificate program is its students. Our alumni are the fruits of our labor. This newsletter begins what we hope will be a regular feature of keeping up with our alumni.
Although Brenda Bethman is still ABD, she informs us that her job as Director of the Women's Center at Texas A&M keeps her too busy to write...it seems the politics of advocating for womens rights is a full time commitment for her in Texas. Jana Evans-Braziel has left her job with the English Dept. at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to be a Five College Post-Doc. We are thrilled to have her back in the valley. Tossaporn (Pan) Sariyant returned to Thailand and her work with the Department of Non-Formal Education, Ministry of Education. Lynn Couturier had her hands full completing her certificate while switching jobs from Springfield College to a new job as Director of Physical Education at MIT. In a late breaking announcement, Stephanie Evans has just been hired by Brown University to be their Assistant Director of the Swearer Center for Public Service. She will be in charge of Youth and Education programs that Brown students coordinate in elementary, middle, or high schools and community centers throughout the Providence area. Way to go, Steph!
Undergraduate Alumni News
Once again our alums astound and delight us with their stories. Weve been grateful our alums have made it through this difficult year, and we smile at the (sometimes voluminous) happy baby pictures that come though email. This is what weve heard from people in the last year or so.
Lunden Abelson told us last fall that she was in the Dance Movement Therapy program in Applied Psychology at Antioch New England and was working as the evening advocate at the Shelter Program at Safe Passage.
Jayne Barnes is the volunteer coordinator at the YWCA of Western Massachusetts.
Rachel Barber is still coordinating and teaching in the Intensive Learning Community program at Richland College in Dallas. She loves it and comments teaching is the most fun thing I have ever done!
Nashira Baril gave an inspiring talk at our Alumni Career Forum in the spring. She is a Community Health Worker at the Brookside Community Health Center, in Jamaica Plain.
Tina Cincotti wrote last fall she was beginning a new job as the Fundraising Director at Neighbor to Neighbor, a non-profit organization in Boston, and as a part time adjunct faculty member in Sociology at Boston College for the 2001-2002 year.
Susan Crane had a baby, Lily Sarah Anne last November. The birth announcement notes she is angelic, gorgeous and the parents doting and besotted.
Sarah Getoff is living in the valley, doing educational consulting and psychotherapy for couples and individuals.
Shachar Tamar Gillat is the College Outreach Coordinator for the Democratic State party. She wrote of her long hours working in Boston, recruiting young democrats/voters to intern, volunteer or join the staff for the upcoming presidential election.
John Kazlauskas video Speak Up!: Improving the Lives of GLBT Youth is being nationally distributed through the Media Education Foundation. He received the Ozzy Klate Memorial Challenge and Change Youth Award from the Mens Resource Center, and is currently attending New York University for an MA in Video/Film Activism. Last fall he was interning with Michael Moores production company.
Adam Keigwin wrote that he is a Legislative Aide for the Office of Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson in San Mateo, California.
Natalia Lopez is inspired by her work as a Program Associate for the fellowship program entitled New Voices at the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C. The fellowship program is a leadership development program for non-profit organizations including human rights, womens rights, racial justice/civil rights, migrant and refugee rights, international peace and security, etc. For info http://newvoices/aed.org.
Ronna Lytle is currently working as a librarian but is in the process of becoming a high school history teacher.
Nicole Manganelli is the Program Coordinator for the Office of Justice Programs Grant in the Educator/Advocate program at the Everywomans Center here at UMass.
Dena Marger is the interlibrary loan and reference librarian at the University of Maine library.
Megan Murphy was accepted into the Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of nursing, and is looking forward to balancing school, work and parenthood.
Nancy Oriola wrote us in the spring marveling at the many years that have passed since she graduated and moved to New Mexico. She is parenting her 6 year old daughter and adds that keeping feminist thinking and teaching available to young women takes on new meaning. She recently started her own company which offers financial and clinical care management services for adults and their families.
Michelle (Veno) Roberts wrote that in March of 2000 she left a Senior Management position as Sales Manager of the largest Healthcare Staffing Firms in the country to be a stay at home mom.
Trish (Murphy) Sheehy had a second baby in June. Congratulations!
Meher Singh was working at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston in the Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery as a Domestic Violence Advocate.
Jen Taylor wrote that she moved to New York in the spring of 2001, and is seeking a social work job. She is also taking graduate classes part time at Hunter College.
Emily (Callahan) Weiss told us the realities of working at the state house when she spoke at our spring Alumni Career Forum. She is a legislative aide in the Massachusetts State House.
Grad Program grads: We look forward to hearing from our students who have moved on to fulfilling careers, or are traveling the world, or have decided a cabin in the woods is the best place for them. Send your news to Nancy Campbell Patteson at email@example.com.
Undergrad alums: Keep sending cards, emails and letters to Karen Lederer. We love to hear from everyone!
Thank you for the cards, letters, emails, and financial responses to the news about the budget crisis in the state of Massachusetts and higher education. Your sentiments fortify us, and the dollars pay for this newsletter, equipment repairs and upgrades, and T-shirts, buttons and other Womens Studies items.
Nancy M. Arienti
Susan E. Cayleff
Christina M. Cincotti
Dianne Lynch Curley
Linda Adams Leslie
Pancho and Karen Morris
Mary E. Reilly
K. Marilyn Stampa
Laura S. Stanley
Anne M. Wiley
Susan R. Brown-Zimmerman
Linda reports a few differences and additions to the Women's Studies website. Pictures from our graduation breakfast and commencement from May are in the process of being scanned. Click on Faces of WOST to see these pictures and more. The booklet of 5-college faculty whose teaching and research focus on women and gender has always been on the website but now e-mail links have been added and it's been updated to reflect new faculty around the 5-college area. Check the new and improved Links section. We found it necessary to close our e-mail lists last spring due to many unwanted e-mails -- also known as spamming. Closing the lists enables only members of the lists to post. The events listserv, however, is not closed yet. We are currently working on adding a form to the website for easy posting to that list and then it will be closed. Alums and friends please send in your e-mail address so we can add your link to our page!