On Friday, May 12, 2017, the Department of Women and Gender Studies celebrated the accomplishments of our graduating majors, minors, graduate certificate students, and scholarship and award winners. Joined by their family, friends, and the WGST faculty in the chapel at Old Main, we were proud to confer degrees to 17 majors, 25 minors, and 11 graduate certificate students.
For the Major in
Women & Gender Studies:
Jocelyne Becerra Garcia
Jocelyne is a first-generation Latina double majoring in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. During her time at CU she worked at the Women's Resource Center and Pre-Collegiate Development Programs. She also volunteered at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence and will be working with them as a Bilingual Shelter Advocate after graduation. She will forever be thankful to the Women and Gender Studies department for supporting and guiding her on her journey to be bold enough to think that she is capable and worthy of pursuing dreams that seemed impossible.
Savannah Hope Ducharm
Savannah is graduating with a double major in Women and Gender Studies and International Affairs, and the certificate in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a member of the Gender Justice League, the Triota Honor Society, and a staff member at the Women's Resource Center. She would like to thank her fellow feminists, Professor Montoya, and the staff at the WRC for making her a better feminist. Future plans include growing old and senile in a warm place.
Isabella Marie Fry
Isabella is a double major in Women and Gender Studies and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in Creative Writing, and is also getting certificates in LGBTQ Studies and Public Health. Isabella writes, “I am so glad to have found a major that has allowed me to grow so much, and I would like to thank Sam Bullington especially for not only introducing me to feminist and queer theory but for being so affirming and supportive to all his students; his classes changed my perspective on life every time I took one. I would also like to thank my friends for all their support and encouragement throughout the years; I would never have made it without them.”
Caitlin is graduating with a double major in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies, and a minor in Sociology. She is currently volunteering at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence as a children's volunteer. She would like to thank her mom for supporting her throughout her time at CU, her friends for helping her become the feminist she is today, and all the sexists of the world for giving her something to fight against. Caitlin's life after graduation will include continuing to work with victims of domestic violence and adopting more cats.
Stephanie Jean Hopkins
Stephanie is graduating with degrees in both Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. She would like to say thank you to her mother and incredible friends for supporting her and helping her through this. Future plans include getting a proper night's sleep for once, attending the University of New Hampshire's political science graduate program to which she has been accepted, and doing her damnedest to make the future a little more caring.
Matthew Thomas Kiriazis
Matthew is graduating with a double major in Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies. He would like to thank his parents for their emotional support, the faculty and staff of the department for their critical and thoughful work, and all friends, comrades, and activists that strive for a better world. He plans to devote his time to activism and further academic participation.
Phoebe is graduating with a double major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Women and Gender Studies, and plans to pursue a certification in clinical lab science. She would like to thank her parents, Renee, the women of Tri Delta, and all of her friends for the support through the years.
Steve Alexander Marcantonio
Steve is graduating with a double degree in Women and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies, with a minor in Leadership. He has spent the last three years doing sex education activism, and plans on applying for graduate programs this fall. He would like to thank all of his professors for educating him so well. When he came into college he wondered, “what am I?”, and now he wonders, “what is ‘I’, anyway??”
Gena is graduating with dual degrees in Women and Gender Studies and Political Science. She has been a member of the Gender Justice League, the Gender Studies honor society Triota, a court advocate with the SafeHouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, and the president of the Gay Straight Alliance. She'd like to thank the family she was born with, and the family she's made here for all the support. Also Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Future plans include becoming a Real Housewife of Boulder County.
Kristen Ashley McNeill
Kristen is graduating with degrees in Women and Gender Studies and Psychology. While at CU, she worked as a resident advisor and served as the Vice President for the Colorado chapter of an international non-profit. After graduation, she is travelling to Egypt to work with Syrian refugees and then plans to attend law school.
Samantha Emelie Miller
Samantha is graduating in the fields of women and gender studies and political science. As president of the Women and Gender Studies honor society, Triota, and member of the Gender Justice League, she is grateful for the friends, mentors, and family who have supported her along the way. Future plans include dismantling white heteronormative male supremacy and chewing gum. Spoiler alert: she's all out of gum.
Kat graduated in December 2016 with a major in Women and Gender Studies and a minor in Religious Studies, and plans to begin a graduate program in the fall to earn a Masters of Social Work. She received the Lucille Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship, the Jean Dubofsky Scholarship, and cum laude Latin honors in Women and Gender Studies. She served as the President of Triota, the Women Studies honor society, as a member of the Gender Justice League for four semesters, and as a student employee in the cottage for two and a half years. Kat would like to thank Professors Sam Bullington and Celeste Montoya, members of the GJL, guardian angels/administrators Alicia Turchette and Valerie Bhat and especially her mom, her favorite person in the whole world!
Sydney Blair Rich
Sydney is graduating with a degree in Women and Gender Studies and has also served as a member in the Student Association of Pre-Health Professionals. She has plans to attend nursing school in the near future and is confident that she will maintain a dedication to women's health throughout her career. Sydney would like to thank her parents and grandparents for providing her with the opportunity and means to receive a college education, as well as her professors and classmates for the chance to grow and learn from such inspiring individuals. She would like to especially thank her older sister, Jordan, for the endless support and unconditional love she has given her throughout her college experience. Without all of you, none of this would be possible!
Garrett Matthew Rose
Garrett is graduating with degrees in Women and Gender Studies and English Literature with a certificate in LGBTQ Studies. During his time at CU, he acted as the president of the Gay Straight Alliance, and worked at the Gender and Sexuality Center on campus. Garrett's been extremely lucky to receive the Positive Future's scholarship for his work with HIV/AIDS, the S. Antoinette Bigelow scholarship through the Women and Gender Studies department, and the Trotsky Writing scholarship from the English Department. He'd like to thank his Mother for supporting him through it all, Scarlet Bowen for being a wonderful mentor through his four years, and all of his friends and fellow graduates that have made it such an enjoyable experience. His future plans include moving into his Mother's basement and adopting at least three more cats, but he's hoping for more.
Erica Claire Zwahlen
Erica is graduating with degrees in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. She spent two years in the Gender Justice League and is immensely grateful to the Women and Gender Studies department for providing a supportive community in which to grow and thrive for the past four years. She would like to thank her parents for their endless love and encouragement and her fellow graduates for their constant friendship and inspiration.
Video: 2017 WGST Commencement
VIDEO: Jocelyne Becerra Garcia begins the ceremony with a poem
Student Commencement Address
VIDEO: Sammie Miller presents her
Student Commencement Address
For the Minor in
Women & Gender Studies:
Kat Baiardi is graduating in three years with a double major in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Kat has received the Chancellor's Scholarship for the duration of their time here and has been a member of the Gender Justice League and a Peer Leader for the Gender and Sexuality Center. Kat would like to thank all of the other members of the Gender Justice League, as well as some amazing professors for helping them along their feminist activist journey. Kat would specifically like to thank Professor Montoya, Professor David and Professor Misri for continually expanding their understanding and commitment to social justice and intersectional feminism.
James is graduating magna cum laude in Classics, with a second major in Biochemistry, and minors in Leadership and Women and Gender Studies. He is a four-year rower for CU's crew team, and will be pursuing a career in medicine after graduation. He appreciates how WGST contributed to his other academic fields, and is very grateful for his family's support.
Emma Nicole Easterly
Emma is double majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is planning on going to graduate school and studying social neuroscience.
Ashlyn is a first generation graduate with degrees in English Literature and Women and Gender studies. She plans on pursuing a master's in Gender Studies and becoming a professor.
Laura Mae Goldstein
Laura Goldstein is graduating with a major in Sociology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Laura is graduating with distinction, after making the dean's list each semester, and being involved in various groups and activities including Triota Honors society, Collegiate Scholars, and more. She would like to thank her friends, family and the women and gender studies staff members for all that they have helped her with.
Nichole Rae Hagen
Nichole is majoring in Environmental Design with minors in Business as well as Women and Gender Studies. She would like to thank her Mom for providing her with support throughout her college experience, writing “I would not have been able to do it without her”. She will be traveling to Ecuador on a volunteer trip to rebuild houses for families that have been affected by earthquakes.
Ayako is graduating with a degree in journalism and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She also completed an internship at the Women’s Resource Center, which develops leadership and public speaking skills, as well as an opportunity to understand and engage in gender equity and social justice work.
Audrey Nicole Lenker
Audrey is thrilled to be receiving a bachelor’s in Sociology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. During her time at CU, she acted as co-president of Triota, the Women and Gender Studies honor society, and performed in The Vagina Monologues, through which her admiration of women and their strength grew tremendously. Audrey spent her final semester studying Swedish culture at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. She wants to thank her mom, dad, brother, and Karl Marx for making her the woman she is today.
Jessica Marie Mazzuca
Jessica is graduating with a degree in psychology and minor in women and gender studies. After her first women and gender studies course, Jessica writes that it became clear that it was absolutely necessary to continue with these classes. They provided her the emotional support and the vocabulary she needed to understand the issues she faces every day. Jessica would like to say thank you to all her professors who nourished her education and encouraged her thinking, and thank you to her family and friends for all their love and support.
Olivia is an Integrative Physiology major and a Women and Gender Studies minor. She would like to thank her parents for their support throughout her academic career—and says she couldn't have done this without them. The women and gender studies department has taught her more than she could ever imagine and she is forever thankful to be a part of such a loving, inclusive, and intelligent community.
Also completing the Minor in Women and Gender Studies, but not in attendance:
Camille N. Anderson
Sierra L. Barnes
Mary McHugh Boyd
Molly F. Dignan
Isabella Gonzalez Jatar
Brianna Jean Norbury
Danielle Sarah Pinkus
Nichol Marie Walloch
Caitlyn Marie Willard
Graduate Certificate in
Women & Gender Studies:
Cassandra Mary Frances Gonzalez
Cassy is graduating with a master’s degree in Sociology and a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies, with her thesis “Race, Gender, and Domestic Human Trafficking: An Intersectional Description of Human Trafficking Cases at the State Level.” Cassy notes that the WGST Certificate has provided her with a knowledge of how to conduct feminist-based research wherein issues of gender that are interconnected are analyzed, rather than simply "adding women" to the research, and how to use inclusive methodological approaches.
Patrick Michael Johnson
Patrick has completed his graduate certificate along with a PhD in Media Studies with his dissertation “Digital Coming Out: The Politics of LGBTQ Culture in Social Media”. He notes that he graduate certificate has been incredibly influential in informing both the theoretical framing and methodology for his dissertation, as well as helped him to decide to ensure that there is a public scholarship portion of the project to help the LGBTQ community.
Kathleen M. Kryczka
Kathleen completed her bachelors in Film Studies and master’s degree in Art & Art History this past December, with a thesis on Iranian cinema. Kathleen notes that the Women and Gender Studies certificate has contributed to her scholarship in viewing all cinemas with a feminist lens as a primary focus.
Olivia Henderson Meikle
Olivia has completed her graduate certificate along with a master’s degree in English. Her research area is the writing of British and American women living and traveling in China in the early 20th century. Olivia notes that the WGST graduate certificate has been the most important part of her degree. She says it has been absolutely crucial in her endeavor to bring more women's voices and women's lives to the light, and she hopes to teach women's studies at the college level herself next year.
Shannon Eileen Marie O'Sullivan
Shannon is graduating with our graduate certificate and a PhD in Media studies with her dissertation “Frontiersmen Are the “Real Men” in Trump’s America: Hegemonic Masculinity at Work on U.S. Cable’s Version of Blue-Collar Reality”. Shannon notes that the WGST graduate certificate has been foundational to the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of her dissertation and wider interdisciplinary research agenda.
Heather Marie Stewart
Heather is receiving her master's in Philosophy along with a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her research areas are primarily bioethics, social and political philosophy, and feminist philosophy. Her thesis, advised by Dr. Alison Jaggar, was titled: "Institutional Uptake: Extending Theories of Uptake Beyond the Interpersonal." Heather says that completing the WGST certificate has helped expand her familiarity with more diverse approaches to feminist methodologies and theories, which she can bring to bear on her philosophical work moving forward. Specifically, it allowed her to dive further issues to the gendered dimensions of global justice, an area of personal philosophical interest.
Also completing the Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies, but not in attendance:
Jared Bahir Browsh
Elizabeth K. Eger