Women's and Gender Studies students pictured from left to right: Zoë Hjelm, Jordan McGee, Jennifer Contreras, and Vieyn Davis.
Upon finding Women's and Gender Studies, I knew I no longer would drop out and instead would double major because I found my passion, support, and so much growth. - Noahloni, Class of 2019
In WGS I feel like I found myself. I simply bloomed into the person I was meant to be. - Hanncel, Class of 2019
My experience with the WGS program and the WAGE Center was everything I needed it to be and more. The faculty and staff went out of their way to ensure that my goals for my education were being met. They are dedicated to their students and most importantly, listened when something wasn't quite clicking. This program has been the most collaborative I have been a part of and it's better off for it. I have nothing but kind words for this program because it is one of the most important sources of why I broke out of my shell and became the person I am today. I would recommend for anyone to take even just one class or seminar these programs have to offer. - Hannah, Class of 2018 and WAGE Center Leadership Intern
My first year as Director of Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) has been exhilarating and challenging. Dr. Sally Winkle’s retirement left some very big shoes to fill. Luckily, in her nearly two decades dedicated to building the program, Dr. Winkle cultivated an amazing group of faculty and staff who are invaluable to the program. Furthermore, she skillfully wove a strong network of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members who are invested in the work of WGS. We are all grateful for Dr. Winkle’s continued leadership with the Activist in Residence Program, and her involvement as emeritus faculty.
The College of Social Sciences (CSS) honored Dr. Winkle’s retirement, and built on the foundation she constructed, by augmenting faculty resources for the program. Not only was I hired as the first full-time Director (Dr. Winkle was half-time), but Dr. Elizabeth Kissling was able to move fully into WGS after having been split with Communications Studies for years. This gives the program a much more solid faculty base.
I spent a good deal of time this year learning administrative systems, meeting people, attending meetings, and familiarizing myself with campus. I tried to do more listening than talking, and one theme I repeatedly heard was that EWU is a university with a lot of potential. I agree, and think WGS, along with the three other diversity programs, is well-positioned to help the institution grow into that potential.
It is for this reason that WGS has begun a comprehensive review and revision of our curriculum. We engaged students through surveys, tapped into the wisdom of affiliated faculty, consulted with folks leading the new General Education (GenEd) plan, and worked with the CSS Dean’s office. We employed Dr. Chris Valeo’s well-honed facilitation skills to lead us in an all-day curriculum review retreat. Externally, we called in resources from our networks, identified model Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies major curriculum, and researched regional and national trends.
I’m happy to report that based on all of this data-gathering and deliberation, we have taken a number of innovative steps. In response to student demand, we are launching a minor in Sexuality and Queer Studies in Fall 2019. We are also developing three new courses that will be part of our revised major: Transnational Feminisms, Issues in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, and Gender, Representation and Popular Culture. We have lots more work to do, but we are determined to meet our goal of launching our revised major in fall 2020.
We look forward to another successful year and thank you all for your continued support!
Dr. Judy Rohrer
The Center has been part of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at EWU since 1977. We opened our doors as the Women’s Center, later became the Women’s Studies Center, and, most recently, the Women’s and Gender Education (WAGE) Center in 2017. In the 2018-2019 academic year, I’ve been honored to continue the work that our founders—including Pat Coontz, who once called the Center “an oasis in the midst of institutionalized mediocrity”—began 42 years ago. Times have changed as our Women’s and Gender Studies program has become more celebrated and embraced by the university. Since those early years, our focus has shifted from primarily non-academic activities to well-established academic co-curricular programs.
I am pleased to report that our events continued to grow last year, as you will find in the “By the Numbers” infographic below. 100+ people were in attendance when we kicked off the year with a reception to welcome our new director, Dr. Judy Rohrer. In the winter, our Activist in Residence (AiR) program celebrated its most successful year yet with Rowena Pineda serving as a great example to students from all across campus. AiR had nearly three times the number of participants this year and over two times the number of completion certificates awarded. In the spring, we continued our work supported by Women’s Funding Alliance with another successful presentation of the NEW Leadership program, attended by 30 students. We were pleased to support the scholarship of EWU faculty and staff from across campus with a strong year for Contemporary Issues in Feminist Research (CIFR). Additionally, over 200 people attended our Sexual Assault Action Month (SAAM) events with Deborah Parker.
We reached more students and community members this year through our continued meaningful collaborations. Partnerships with Health, Wellness, and Prevention, American Indian Studies, and Disability Studies helped us bring three outstanding speakers to campus in the spring. I was happy to collaborate with Spokane Public Libraries on activities surrounding their two Drag Queen Story Hour events and to speak on their educational panel about drag.
We made use of technology as a way to broaden our reach in 2018-2019. In order to increase participation by our EWU Spokane and EWU Bellevue students, staff, faculty, and community members, we offered Zoom broadcasting of our events. This approach has been successful with four to twelve electronic participants at each event.
The incredible contributions of our student staff, majors, minors, participants, volunteers, and leaders help to make our programs so successful. We had two wonderful student employees, Aide and Jen Contreras, who made much of what we accomplished possible. Students who engage with the WAGE Center often become active on campus as well as in their home communities.
Here’s to all of the big things to come! Go Eags!
Contemporary Issues in Feminist Research (CIFR) has been an ongoing program of Women's and Gender Studies for 33 years. Students, faculty, staff, and community members attend these noon-time talks hosted two or three times per quarter. The CIFR talks by EWU faculty or staff focus on some aspect of feminist research broadly defined. These presentations illustrate how intersectional feminist theory and methods can be incorporated across different fields. 274 people were in attendance at the eight presentations hosted in the 2018-2019 academic year. Livestreaming was introduced as a standard practice this year, allowing a larger audience from EWU's distance campuses to attend virtually.
The Activist in Residence (AiR) program, connects students, faculty, and staff and builds bridges between academics and activism. This collaborative program supports a local or regional activist who brings their skill and expertise in organizing, community engagement, and activism to the Eastern community. Each winter for the last six years, the Activist in Residence has provided eight to ten activities, including guest lectures, class presentations, panels, and workshops.
Based on student interest in issues of health and wellness, Rowena Pineda from Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) was invited to be the 2019 Activist in Residence.
Rowena organized seven events and workshops focused on public health. These events were quite popular, with a record number of 20 certificates being awarded to participants who attended four or more. The events and workshops included a documentary followed by a panel discussion by local health activists, a lesson on Photovoice as a form of participatory research, a detailed explanation of an equity tool used by SRHD, and an overview of health impact assessments.
For the first time, AiR participants were also able to join electronically via livestreaming. This helped particularly on the snowiest and coldest days of the program and enabled EWU Spokane students and community members to join us throughout the winter.
Deborah Parker, a member of the Tulalip Tribes, joined us as the keynote speaker for Sexual Assault Action Month in April. Parker’s keynote address, Indigenizing Social Justice: Sexual Assault Activism and Human Rights drew a crowd of over 140 people. She took the audience on a journey from hope to action as she told her story of involvement in activism at the local, tribal, state, and federal levels.
Following the keynote, Parker facilitated the workshop, Activating our Inner Voices to Create Social Change. The 62 people who joined this workshop were simultaneously nurtured and challenged toward taking action on their own societal concerns.
Women’s and Gender Studies and the WAGE Center appreciated an ongoing collaboration with American Indian Studies and Health, Wellness, and Prevention for a successful Sexual Assault Action Month. Both units provided an abundance of food for the events.
The Women’s and Gender Studies program brought two Disability Studies scholars to Cheney for a spring event. Despite heavy rain, the event was well-attended.
Feminist Disability Studies: A Conversation, organized and moderated by Dr. Judy Rohrer, featured Dr. Nirmala Erevelles and Dr. Alison Kafer in a lively and informative dialogue with an audience of 29. The wide-ranging conversation touched on many issues, including ableism within the academy, building community, resisting academic tendencies to absorb and appropriate knowledge from marginalized communities, and tensions between disability activism and the institutionalization of Disability Studies.
WGS is grateful to the Disability Studies program for inviting Drs. Erevelles and Kafer as keynote speakers for the Pacific and Western Disability Studies Symposium. Feminist Disability Studies: A Conversation served as a kickoff to the symposium.
For the sixth time, the WAGE Center was pleased to organize and host this all-day intensive college women’s leadership event in the spring. The 30 selected participants spent the day attending workshops, hearing from local and regional leaders, and discovering and building their own leadership skills.
Lisa Brown, Washington State Commerce Director, joined us as the keynote speaker. Many additional campus partners joined the group for a terrific lunch during her address.
Participants completed the day with their own leadership presentations. At the end of the program, students provided excellent feedback to guide the Center's efforts in creating leadership development opportunities for future participants.
Candace Martin is the Women’s and Gender Studies Program Coordinator as of February 2016. She has a BA in English, Psychology, and Women’s and Gender Studies from Case Western Reserve University. She is starting her MBA at EWU this fall.
Some of Candace’s job duties include advising minor students, managing seven budgets, creating marketing materials, coordinating travel, overseeing course evaluations, and recruiting new majors and minors to the program through targeted outreach.
In 2018-2019, Candace was a member of the Spokane International Women’s Day planning committee. She was appointed to the EWU Women’s and Gender Commission by President Mary Cullinan in 2018.
In June, Candace did 47 hours of training with Lutheran Community Services to become a certified crisis response advocate. She volunteers with their organization in her free time.
Dr. Elizabeth A. Kissling presented on her book, From a Whisper to a Shout: Abortion Activism and Social Media at the National Women's Studies Association conference in November. She was on the panel, "Nevertheless We Persisted: Stories of Struggle and Strategies for Survival in Academia at the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender in October. Kissling was quoted in "What Is the Point of a Period?" by Virginia Sole-Smith in Scientific American. Her WGS Capstone Class presented the research-based workshop, "Relationship Safety for Everyone" to over 30 EWU community members. Students received acclamations from participants and expert guests. Dr. Kissling served as a guest reviewer for Feral Feminsism and Signs. She was also the Faculty Senate Representative for Women’s and Gender Studies/American Indian Studies/Africana Studies/Chicanx Studies.
Dr. Mimi Marinucci served as guest editor of a special issue of The Journal of Homosexuality focused on the question, "What's in a Name?" Dr. Marinucci also published "Taking Exceptions Seriously: Essentialism, Constructionism, and the Proliferation of Particularities" in The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Feminism. In addition, Marinucci presented on "Singularity and Sex Robots" and contributed to the panel "Will Robots Rule the Universe?" at the Science Fictions, Popular Cultures Academic Conference at Hawaiicon. This material was further developed for an invited presentation on "Morality and Machines" at Spokane Community College's Hagen Foundation Center for Humanities. This research gave rise to an innovative new course, "Gender, Sex, and Robots," being offered for the first time in Fall 2019.
Dr. Judy Rohrer had one journal article accepted for publication in the Journal of Academic Freedom (“Compulsory Civility and the Necessity of (Un)Civil Disobedience”), and another placed under review. She was invited and joined the Program Committee for the American Studies Association Conference to be held in November 2019 in Honolulu. For that conference, she organized a roundtable of national experts on “Confronting White Nationalism” and a panel she will participate in titled “Unsettling Settler Claims in Hawai’i.” She presented papers at the National Women’s Studies Association conference in Atlanta and at a Right-wing Studies conference at UC Berkeley. Dr. Rohrer was invited and participated with other WGSS chairs from the region in a “Panel on Intersectionality” following Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw’s public address at Gonzaga University in March.
Dr. Jessi Willis focused their time and energy on the development of core program curriculum. They participated in the program revisions of the WGS major and minor. Specifically, Dr. Willis placed an emphasis on development of the First Year Experience course – "Ways of Seeing, Ways of Being." This course is a stepping stone for inviting new undergraduates into feminist work and social justice studies. They further developed and revised the course curriculum for the Genders, Sexualities and Bodies course. This course emphasizes historical and cultural understandings of bodies and behavior as they are linked to structural and symbolic systems of privilege. Dr. Willis' primary research focus over the past year has been on scholarship development of educational materials addressing transgender and non-binary visibility within the classroom.
Our Affiliated Faculty are professors who express a commitment to the advancement of Women’s and Gender Studies at EWU. If you are interested in joining our affiliated faculty, contact Dr. Judy Roher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deirdre Almeida, American Indian Studies
Kerryn Bell, Sociology and Criminal Justice
Justin Bucciferro, Economics
Patty Chantrill, Communication Studies
Catherine Girard, Art History
Kayleen Islam-Zwart, Psychology
Ryan Parrey, Disability Studies
LaVona Reeves, English
Liz Rognes, English
Natalia Ruiz-Rubio, Spanish
Julia Smith, Anthropology
Deb Svoboda, Social Work
Beth Torgerson, English
Christina Torres García, McNair Scholars
The WGS program and W.A.G.E. Center have a combined budget which we judiciously stretch to fund the bulk of our curricular and co-curricular work. We are grateful for the strong support from the College of Social Science Dean’s office and from the EWU Foundation office. In order to supplement those funds, we also apply for grants and solicit donations.
WGS received $1,715 to fund new initiatives in course marketing and design. We used the funds to license art, design, and print course flyers.
Sally Winkle, PhD, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and German, Emerita, has been the central figure in the establishment of a thriving Women’s and Gender Studies program at Eastern Washington University. In her role as the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program (1999-2018), Sally A. Winkle not only taught, but also mentored many students in their educational, personal, and professional pursuits. Sally has also advised countless students, staff, and faculty, not only at EWU but in Women’s and Gender Studies programs across the Northwest. Sally received both the EWU Trustee’s Medal and the Timm Ormsby Faculty Citizenship Award in 2014. Under her leadership, Women’s and Gender Studies hired its first tenure-track faculty member, created a Gender Studies certificate, developed an undergraduate major, expanded course offerings, worked with many affiliated faculty, and created the Activist in Residence program. Sally has been generous with her support and encouragement of students, junior faculty, and staff members, celebrating their achievements and helping them to overcome setbacks. She is a mentor, a role model, and a friend.
This endowed scholarship is intended to be part of Sally Winkle’s legacy at EWU. Our motivation in establishing this endowment is to continue to honor her and Women’s and Gender Studies scholars for years to come. The scholarship will support Women's and Gender Studies students at EWU.
Activist in Residence (AiR) is a program of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Women’s and Gender Education Center at Eastern Washington University. AiR connects students, faculty, and staff and builds bridges between academics and activism. AiR supports a local or regional activist who works with numerous student groups, programs, and units throughout the university and the community. During fall and winter quarters, the Activist in Residence scholar facilitates activities such as guest lectures, class presentations, panels, and workshops, to educate and inspire students and community members to participate in civic activism. AiR engages students in learning about and practicing activism through class presentations, panels, workshops, and other events focused on social, political, environmental, and economic justice.
Established by an initial $5000 gift, this endowment is intended to ensure that the program continues in perpetuity.
Your donation to this fund will support our important co-curricular programs. Women's and Gender Studies is known for doing a lot with a little. We would like to be able to go above and beyond what the state budget allows with our programs in the future.
Judy Rohrer, PhD, Director, Women's and Gender Studies, email@example.com, (509) 359-2409
Candace Martin, Program Coordinator, Women's and Gender Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org, (509) 359-2847
Lisa Logan, MA Women's and Gender Education (WAGE) Center Manager, email@example.com, (509) 359-2898
We are located in Monroe Hall 207. Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the academic year.
207 Monroe Hall
532 Study Ln
Cheney, WA 99004
You are invited to use our space to study, hang out, or hold your next meeting. The WAGE Center lounge is wheelchair accessible and scent-free. Contact Lisa to use the WAGE Center Lounge for your next meeting or event.