Women and Gender Studies

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2154

What's Happening in WGS

 WGS graduate Feliece Turner had her capstone paper published in the Winter 2015 Oakland Journal

Feliece Turner, WGS graduate, has been published.  Her capstone paper, "I am not my Hair: A Black Woman's Struggle to Identity through Hair," was published in the Winter 2015 Oakland Journal. Feliece uses autoethnography and Black feminist theory to explore the ways in which societal, cultural, gender and media norms control race representations based on hair. Felice recently won a writing award from Kresge Library for the paper and has return to the classroom on several occasions to share her work. Congratulations to Feliece!

WGS Student Karen Schmitt Wins Frank Lepkowski Writing Award

Karen Schmitt, WGS major, was selected to receive the second prize for the 2015 Frank Lepkowski Undergraduate Research in Writing Award for her paper, "Female Trafficking Victimization: An Oral History." Karen completed the paper in her WGS 405 capstone class in the summer of 2014 with Dr. Jo Reger. In the paper, Schmitt explores how human trafficking occurs in the United States on a daily basis. She documents the lived experience of one woman and juxtaposes her story with scholarship on the gendering and trafficking of girls and women. Karen received the award and a $1,000.00 check from the Oakland University Credit Union. The WGS Program congratulates Karen on earning this very prestigious award. 

WGS Graduate Sarah Moon Publishes Her Capstone Paper in the Journal of Integrated Social Sciences

Sarah Moon, Women and Gender Studies (WGS) graduate, published her WGS capstone paper, “'You are Not Your Own:' Rape, Sexual Assault, and Consent in Evangelical Christian Dating Books,” in the peer-reviewed Journal of Integrated Social Sciences (2014) 4.1 (55-74). In her article, Moon (2014) points out that, despite decades of education, myths about rape still abound in U.S. society. Because of the existence of these rape myths, Moon argues, it is important to question how societal power structures create and perpetuate meaning surrounding rape and sexual assault. By deconstructing the texts of Christian dating books, Moon examines how one major power structure in U.S. society—Evangelical Christianity—addresses rape and sexual assault. Moon found that although Christian dating books do not overwhelmingly support rape myths, they reinforce sexist attitudes—such as benevolent sexism, animalization, and traditional gender role attitudes--that correlate with rape myth acceptance, while ignoring autonomy and consent, and blurring the lines between rape and consensual sex. Taking Moon’s essay as inspiration for a commentary, the editors of the journal state that “the position of influence noted by Moon (2014) of religious institutions on the portrayal of rape or sexual assault in religious based dating texts is a vital point of inquiry” (79) and “Moon’s (2014) research invites critical engagement and the tracing of the specific ways women have been constrained within major world religions” (80). Ms. Moon wrote this paper for her Women and Gender Studies Capstone class in 2013 and presented it at the Meeting of the Minds Conference in May of 2013. Dr. Jo Reger, Director of Women and Gender Studies, served as her Faculty Sponsor for the article. The Women and Gender Studies Program congratulates Sarah Moon and Dr. Reger on this impressive accomplishment.

WGS Major Wins Critical Difference Scholarship
The Women and Gender Studies program is pleased to announce that Karen Schmitt, a senior majoring in WGS, was awarded the 2014 Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship, which is given out by the Women of Oakland University (OU). Karen is most deserving of this award. The Women of OU Critical Difference Scholarship Committee note that Karen is "a fine example of the type of student the Women of OU wish to reach -- students with the right mixture of diligence, talent, and sense of commitment!” The scholarship committee applauds her accomplishments and appreciates the “opportunity to partner with Karen to make a critical difference in her future." The scholarship covers the student’s summer tuition and enables her to finish the Bachelor’s degree she started in 1976. The WGS Program is proud of Karen and congratulates her on this wonderful accomplishment.