Students engaged in conversation in the Women's and Gender Studies program's WAGE Center
My experiences in Women's and Gender Studies have been really great. I enjoy all of the professors. A lot of the things that my Women's and Gender Studies degree provides me are the skills and tools I learned in the classroom, specifically around activism. Women's and Gender Studies has helped me build a lot more confidence in myself. - Jordan, Class of 2020
Through the Women's and Gender Studies degree, you really do come to understand that people have different experiences and they are just as important. You learn to listen and understand what's happening around you. I really felt engaged in every course I took. I was understanding more about community and communication - Liana, Class of 2020
It’s priceless—the value of Women’s and Gender Studies in my life. I feel like I found myself. I simply bloomed into the person I was meant to be. If I had not taken these amazing classes, I might not have felt as empowered. If you ever have the opportunity to major in Women’s and Gender Studies, it will change your life. - 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. It is one of the most important sources of why I broke out of my shell and became the person I am today. - Hannah, Class of 2018
I am writing this note from the liminal time-space of COVID-19 which makes it difficult to recall the time before the pandemic. Our faculty, staff and students rallied to help each other through the winter and spring quarters, but job loss, illness, anxiety, social disruption and EWU’s institutional crisis have taken their toll…and we are still only at the beginning of this crisis. It is impossible to know what the next year will bring, and what I will write for that annual report. I do know that we will continue to find ways to support each other in our teaching, learning, community engagement, and health and wellness.
Acknowledging all of these challenges, it remains important to recap our accomplishments this year. We grappled with two large projects – the continuation of the revision of our curriculum and the reorganization of Academic Affairs. This fall we are launching our revised major and new program name, Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies (GWSS). The revised GWSS major follows some of the best models we found in types of courses offered, expansion of student choice, and clearer pathways to completion. It brings our sexuality/queer studies courses into our core curriculum, thus demonstrating our commitment to this field, following student requests, and in keeping with national trends. It also maintains our dedication to cross-listed interdisciplinary electives with a 15-credit requirement.
The three other diversity program directors and I attended many meetings and had many conversations about EWU’s reorganization and the proposed consolidation of the diversity programs. We heard from our constituencies how much they valued our autonomy and we carried this message forward to administration. After considerable pressure from students and community members, President Cullinan opened a process in June to find “an equitable solution for a structure that is acceptable to all parties.” We are grateful to everyone who has been engaged in this process and are hopeful for a positive outcome this summer or fall.
I am grateful to be part of such a dedicated, smart, and compassionate team. Please reach out to me with any questions, suggestions, ideas--or just to chat. Physical distancing should not mean political/social isolation. We miss all of you.
Dr. Judy Rohrer
In last year's annual report, I wrote to you about the history of the WAGE Center, the changes we have faced over the years, and the growth in attendance at our co-curricular programs. Frankly, thinking in terms of growth and numbers feels impossible for me in this historical moment. One thing that remains the same from last year's note is change. And what seismic changes last year brought!
Some of the highlights of the year are included below. We started the year off strong with presentations by Pui-Yan Lam, PhD and Abigail Scholar. These events were followed by our first Feminist Activist Poster Contest among Visual Communication Design students. I always appreciate the opportunity to support the scholarship of EWU faculty from across campus through the Contemporary Issues in Feminist Research and we had five well-attended events in the fall and winter. Just before COVID-19 struck, we were able to break our record of completion certificates for the Activist in Residence (AiR) program again with 21 awarded.
Our spring events for Sexual Assault Action Month were to be focused on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls again this year. Throughout the summer, fall, and winter, we collaborated with Health, Wellness, and Prevention, EWU's Director of Native American Affairs/Tribal Liaison, Nicole DeVon, and some very passionate students, as well as a Research Working Group led by Margo Hill from Urban Planning. Additionally, we collaborated with the music program to bring world renowned cellist, Angela Ahn, to perform, speak, and provide a master class. Sadly, these events would not work in a virtual setting and they had to be canceled.
Meaningful connection came with a unique set of challenges in the spring, but we continued to serve our students, staff, and faculty wholeheartedly from a distance with virtual office hours. Technology added a layer of complexity between all of us that was difficult to navigate at times, but we took these difficulties in stride. I look forward to finding new ways to work together next year. Thanks to our use of Zoom over the last three years, I was able to provide many informal trainings on Zoom to the EWU community and the larger community in late winter and early spring.
Last, but certainly not least, we had three amazing student employees, Jennifer Contreras, Jazlyne Miyazaki, and Frances Grace Mortel, who made our fall and winter events possible. In part because of their work to help us publicize our events on campus social media, we reached students from 53 different majors at our events! In the spring, they all worked on helping us complete our "Intersectional Responses to COVID-19" webpage. Jennifer has been with us for two years now and is also a Women's and Gender Studies major.
I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring for the WAGE Center and am always happy to connect with you virtually or in another physically distanced way any time you would like to reach out.
We were so pleased to collaborate with Sonja Durr, MFA, to host a Feminist Activist poster contest for her Visual Communication Design 3 Design for Social Change students. The amazing results are hanging in the WAGE Center now! First and second prize were awarded.
Submitted posters reflected feminist social justice activists/advocates across race, class, gender, age, sexuality and ability backgrounds. Students created artwork that features historical or contemporary leaders from local, regional, and global levels who work(ed) with various diverse communities of struggle.
It was the 34th year of our Contemporary Issues in Feminist Research series! 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. 151 people were in attendance at the five presentations hosted in the 2019-2020 academic year. Live-streaming was continued as a standard practice this year, allowing a larger audience to attend.
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 seven years, the Activist in Residence has provided guest lectures, class presentations, panels, and workshops.
Based on student interest in activism around immigration, Lili Navarrete from Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho (PPGWNI) was invited to be the 2020 Activist in Residence.
Lili organized six events, panels, and workshops focused various aspects of immigration activism. These events were quite popular, with a record number of 21 certificates being awarded. The events and workshops included a documentary, lessons on coalition building, data analysis, and lobbying to shape public policy.
Lili Navarrete immigrated to Spokane with her family from Mexico City in 1988. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs and minors in Economics and Business Administration. Advocacy is central to her career. She is the Director of Public Affairs and Raíz at Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho where she fights for reproductive rights, immigrants, and marginalized communities. She is the Vice President of Hispanic Business/ Professional Association and was recently appointed by Governor Inslee as a Commissioner on Hispanic Affairs. As a member of the Spokane Immigrant Rights Coalition and the Washington Immigration Solidarity Network, she helped steer passage of the Reproductive Health Care Access For All Act and fights against racial profiling in Spokane.
Photos by Frances Grace Mortel
During spring quarter, our WAGE Center work study students contributed to the creation of our new "Intersectional Responses to COVID-19" site. Topics covered there are disability justice, economic/labor justice, housing justice, Indigenous responses, international responses, intimate partner violence, policy ideas, resources, and self care and community care.
Our work study student, Jennifer Contreras, who is also involved in the Scary Feminists and Planned Parenthood Generation Action, organized our efforts to participate in the Denim Day social media campaign during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Denim Day is a global effort to bring attention to myths about consent and sexual assault. An Italian court case in the 1990s found a rapist not guilty because the survivor had been wearing tight jeans during the assault. The court believed that she would have had to help remove the jeans and thus gave consent. The finding sparked global protest and the founding of Denim Day on a Wednesday every April.
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.
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.
Candace was appointed to the EWU Women’s and Gender Commission by President Mary Cullinan in 2018. She completed her two-year term on June 30, 2020. Candace was appointed by President Mary Cullinan in March 2020 to the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Task Force subcommittee on institutional infrastructure.
Candace is working on her MBA at EWU. She plans on graduating in spring 2021. During winter quarter, Candace took a class titled “The Art and Science of Sustainable Management and Responsible Leadership” taught by Dr. Heidi Connole. Students were charged with analyzing issues using frameworks to address problems in unique ways. Candace focused on increasing the Women’s and Gender Studies program’s number of minors. As a result, Candace authored a proposal that uses a collaborative approach and engages multiple stakeholders. This research and data driven report offered 10 recommendations for the program. She will be working to implement these ideas in the fall.
Along with a fall and winter sabbatical, a mention in National Geographic's September, 2019 article "How Tampons and Pads Became So Unsustainable," by Alejandra Borunda, and teaching the new course Gender, Representation, and Popular Culture 250, Dr. Elizabeth A. Kissling's Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies is scheduled for publication. Dr. Kissling is Associate Editor with Inga Winkler, Breanne Fahs, Katie Ann Hasson, and Tomi-Ann Roberts and Editor, Chris Bobel.
Dr. Kissling presented "Menstruation as Radical Politics: Forging Inter-Movement Connections between Menstrual Health and [Un]Likely Feminist Activisms," and "Bodies On the Line" at the National Women’s Studies Association conference in November.
Dr. Kissling's manuscript A New and Unsettling Force: Counterhegemonic Framing of the Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call for Moral Revival is in preparation for submission to Interface.
In addition to being interviewed for a Korean newspaper early in the year, a chapter from Dr. Mimi Marinucci's book Feminism is Queer, is now being translated into Turkish published as "QUEER FEMİNİZME YÖNELİK NOTLAR," trans. into Turkish by Atilla Barutcu, ViraVerita, Issue 11.
Dr. Marinucci developed and taught a new gen ed course, Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies (WMST 220, soon to be GWSS 220) during winter quarter.
Dr. Marinucci also completed the chapter "Loving Isaac" for the forthcoming volume Exploring The Orville edited by David Kyle Johnson and Michael Berry (McFarland & Company, in press) and the chapter, "The Twilight Zone as Philosophy 101" for the forthcoming Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy edited by David Kyle Johnson (Palgrave Macmillan, in press).
Additionally, Dr. Marinucci served on four MA thesis committees and mentored one student's presentation for the EWU Student Research and Creative Works Virtual Showcase.
In addition to directing the Women's and Gender Studies program, advising all of our majors, and teaching, Dr. Judy Rohrer published two scholarly articles this year: “Compulsory Civility and the Necessity of (Un)Civil Disobedience” (Journal of Academic Freedom) and “’What a Native looks like’: Academic Feminist Spaces, the Logic of Elimination, and Survivance” (Feminist Formations).
She also published seven popular articles on issues including impacts from COVID-19, white resentment, and immigration politics.
She was a member of the Program Committee and organized two panels for the American Studies Association annual conference held in November 2019 in Honolulu.
She also presented two papers at the Ethnicity, Race and Indigenous Peoples conference at Gonzaga University.
Other trainings, conferences and research plans were interrupted by COVID-19.
Along with mentoring current and former Women's and Gender Studies students and serving on two Masters thesis committees, Dr. Jessi Willis developed, revised, and taught numerous courses this year:
Dr. Willis also worked collaboratively with Dr. Rohrer on researching and revising how the GWSS program’s introductory curriculum will be delivered in our revised program major launching fall 2020.
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
Bipasha Biswas, Social Work
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 $2000 to fund publicity for our new minor in Sexuality and Queer Studies. We used the funds to license art, design, and print minor cards and place ads in local print media to announce the minor.
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, however, our office hours will be held virtually in fall quarter.
207 Monroe Hall
532 Study Ln
Cheney, WA 99004