The Department of Women and Gender Studies is proud to offer several scholarships and award recognitions to our students each year, which were presented at our annual Commencement ceremony in Old Main on Thursday, May 10th, by Dr. Emmanuel David and Dr. Kristie Soares.
The Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship
2018 recipient: Brit Nuckles
This scholarship honors Lucile Berkeley Buchanan, the first black woman graduate of the University of Colorado, who graduated in 1918 with a degree in German. This year is a very special one for this award, both for marking the 100th anniversary of Lucile Berkeley Buchanan’s graduation, and for being the first time the University of Colorado Boulder has publicly acknowledged the wrong done to this extraordinary woman by the university. When Buchanan graduated with honors in 1918, she was not allowed to accept her diploma on the Macky Auditorium stage alongside white graduates of her cohort, nor was she included in the yearbook. She sat in the auditorium, but her name was never called. She lived to be a 105, and yet her remarkable place in CU’s history was never acknowledged until this year, thanks to the efforts of media studies professor Polly McLean, who was the first black woman to receive tenure at CU.
The Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates a commitment towards social justice and who may be the first generation in their family to attend college. This year’s recipient is Brit Nuckles, a double major in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. The scholarship committee was impressed by Brit’s statement, which reflected on their journey to college within a clear intersectional framework. To quote from Brit’s moving statement: “As someone who is bisexual and genderqueer, I feel the injustices faced by the LGBTQ+ community the most personally. While academia and social activists often codify the injustices faced by those not in power, law is how a society puts these understandings into practice. That means that one of the best ways to help many those who face injustice is in the practice of law. After my studies I want to use my academic knowledge of oppression to navigate and change the law in ways to promote justice for those who face injustice.”
The Jean Dubofsky Scholarship
2018 recipient: Jackson Reinagel
This scholarship is given in honor of Jean Dubofsky, the first woman to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court and a Boulder attorney who has worked tirelessly on civil rights issues. It was generously funded by the late Dr. Joanne E. Arnold, professor emerita in Journalism. Jean was unable to join us for Commencement this year, but we very much appreciate her long-standing involvement and support of our department. This award is given to a Women and Gender studies major and is based on academic record, education and career goals, community and campus service, and a demonstrated commitment to raising awareness of and combating oppression in all its forms.
This year the award goes to Jackson Reinagel, a major in Women and Gender Studies, also pursuing the LGBTQ Certificate. An outstanding student, Jackson has nevertheless made the time to pursue a range of activities at CU. This year for example, he led a workshop at the TRANSforming Gender Conference called “Navigating Intersectional Transfeminism”. In his application, Jackson wrote: “I’m particularly committed to anti-racism and bringing together students from across campus to be part of something radically inclusive.” To that end, Jackson was recently active in strategizing with faculty, staff and other students to plan a positive and inclusive celebration of community, at a time when our campus has seen a series of visitors who espouse openly hateful ideologies in the name of free speech. The committee could think of no better candidate for the Dubofsky Scholarship.
Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award
2018 recipient: Maren Rosenbach
Every year, the faculty of Women and Gender Studies has the challenge of determining which student we should honor with the Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award, an award named in honor of a professor emerita of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder, for her long-term support of Women and Gender Studies. This award is indeed a very special one, given to a graduating women and gender studies student to recognize them for outstanding leadership and service to women and gender studies. It is to be awarded to someone that the faculty and staff have admired for their commitment to the program, and for whom there may not yet have been any formal recognition through one of our scholarships or award nominations.
This year’s Outstanding Senior Award was given to Maren Rosenbach. Maren is a “nontraditional student”: a mother who has worked as a nurse then owned and sold a small business. She is committed to social justice and describes her life as a struggle to get to a place where she could choose—and when she returned to college, she chose to major in women and gender studies. In all her roles in life, she believes in not just showing up, but really being present. Although we cannot always prevent human suffering, she never wants to see anyone feel there is no way out of that space. As a means to further her social justice work, she has chosen to study law in the field of ethics and compliance. She has been accepted to the master's program at CU law school and will return to campus next year as a graduate student.
Women & Gender Studies Excellence in Inclusion Award
2018 recipients: Lauren Arnold & Selena Wellington
This award recognizes outstanding student projects that explore issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion at CU-Boulder or in the U. S. more generally. It is designed to help foster an inclusive and welcoming campus climate for historically underrepresented groups in the field of education. Students from across the campus are invited to submit research or creative works for consideration by a committee made up of faculty, staff, and students from our department.
Lauren Arnold’s submission, “What It’s Actually Like to be Black at CU” was read with admiration by many of us when it first appeared in the CU Independent several months ago. The article offered a critical and personal look at the experiences of Black students, particularly Black women, on our campus, from the classroom and the dining hall to student parties. For example, Lauren writes: “In class, race is brought up more often than I expected. … Part of me is overjoyed that these important topics are discussed, but another part leaves class disgusted at conversations we’ve had.” The article concludes with a call for “diversity in both the student population and the faculty.” Lauren is studying Communications and English, with a specialization in Creative Writing.
We also recognized Selena Wellington for their performative piece “when my body becomes the art,” a moving and poetic reflection on the artist’s decision to go on testosterone. In the artist’s words: “The incorporation of my physical body in the piece demonstrates how the ritual of gender is enacted on my physicality. My body cannot be separated from the art.” Selena is in their senior year studying Composition in the College of Music, with an additional major in Psychology, a minor in Creative Writing, and they are earning certificates in Music Technology and LGBTQ Studies.
Their winning projects can be viewed at: https://www.colorado.edu/wgst/2018/05/25/excellence-inclusion-award-winners