Faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends gathered together in Old Main Chapel on May 10, 2018 to celebrate our graduates and recognize our scholarship and award winners. This year, we had 22 students graduate with a bachelor's degree in women and gender studies, 28 earn a minor, 6 receive the undergraduate certificate in women and gender studies, and 5 students complete the graduate certificate.
For the Major in
Women & Gender Studies:
Lorena Aguilera Santana
Lorena is an international student from Mexico, graduating with a double major in women and gender studies and sociology, with a certificate in leadership studies. Lorena received the 2018 Jacob Van Ek award, and magna cum laude Latin honors in sociology. She would like to thank her family, partner, and friends for all their support and encouragement.
Nadia is graduating with degrees in sociology and women and gender studies, a minor in ethnic studies, and certificates in public health and LGBTQ studies. They have been active in Gender Justice League, Triota Honor Society, and worked as a program coordinator at the CU Women’s Resource Center. Nadia is also a 2018 Jacob Van Ek award winner.
Kate has earned degrees in both women and gender studies and English literature. After graduation she will be pursuing a master's in English literature at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She plans to write a master’s thesis that includes a feminist and queer examination into British Romantic female novelists.
Ellen is graduating with a degree in women and gender studies, a minor in sociology, and an elementary education certificate. After graduation, she plans to teach elementary school and advocate for social justice in her classroom and beyond.
Joshua has completed degrees in both sociology and women and gender studies, as well as the LGBTQ certificate. They are a member of the Triota Honor Society. Joshua read their poem "Utopian Futures" to open up our commencement ceremony.
Abigail Madeline Levitt
Abby is graduating with degrees in both women and gender studies and psychology, with a certificate in LGBTQ studies. She was a learning assistant for two semesters in the class Women's Mental Health. She would like to thank her Mom for keeping her together, her grandpa for being an encouraging force in her life, Dr. Tina Pittman Wagers, and Dr. Emmanuel David for fostering a love for Queer Studies. She is planning on attending graduate school in the fall of 2019.
Stuart Rayne Matson
Stuart is graduating with a BA in women and gender studies, a minor in sociology, and an emphasis in creative writing. Stuart has also earned the Certificate in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has enjoyed the opportunities to dive into and strengthen her writing at CU, with various topics from researching sexual assault on CU's campus to continuing her work on her rock opera. After graduation she plans to travel the world. Stuart would especially like to thank Sarah Massey-Warren, Robert Buffington, and Glenda Walden.
Zoe has earned a major in women and gender studies and a minor in creative writing. She is a member of Triota Honor Society, a Chabad student board member, and a staff member at the Gender and Sexuality Center. After graduation, she plans to move back to California, moisturize her skin, and continue to educate herself and others on how to make this world a more compassionate place. She would like to thank her mother and father for giving her unwavering love, support and trust; as well as every friend, family member, and stranger who has willingly sat through a (probably unprompted, yet painfully in-depth) analysis of The Discourse™ and maybe even changed their perspective on issues because of it.
Adriana is graduating with both double majors in women and gender studies and psychology as well as double minors in sociology and ethnic studies. She is a member of Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority Incorporated, and studied abroad in Alicante Spain for the fall 2017 semester where she completed an internship at the local Red Cross, helping women who have experienced domestic violence. She would like to thank her family and friends for the unconditional support, and would also like to thank the Department of Women and Gender Studies for helping her find her voice on such a large campus.
Emma Louise Morgan Presley
Emma has earned a major in women and gender studies, a minor in political science, and certificates in LGBTQ studies and applied business. She served as the president of the Triota Honor Society, president and event coordinator of the Gay Straight Alliance, was an active member of the Gender Justice League, and worked with Boulder's Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence as both a children's advocate and domestic abuse response team member. Emma would like to express her immense gratitude for her family, both given and chosen, for their unconditional love and support. She would also like to thank the entire Department of Women and Gender Studies, especially Professor Montoya and Joanne Belknap, for their mentorship over the past four years.
Oriana Marie Richmond
Oriana is graduating with a degree in women and gender studies, and minors in Spanish and political science. She was the 2017 recipient of the WGST Jean Dubofsky Scholarship, and is the president and founder of Buffs for Reproductive Rights, a Planned Parenthood Generation Action student group that works to make sure all students at CU Boulder have the access to exercise their reproductive rights to comprehensive, safe, and affordable healthcare. After graduation, she will be working as a community organizer with Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. She would like to thank her parents Angel and Dan Richmond for always supporting her goals and giving her the tool box she needed to achieve them. She truly appreciates the sacrifices that you have made for her so that she was able to go to college and graduate today. She would also like to thank her friends and her girlfriend for giving her so much love every day, and making her college experience worth much more than a degree.
Priya is graduating with degrees in sociology and women and gender studies, along with a minor in leadership. Priya was recognized with the outstanding senior award from Panhellenic council. She would especially like to give thanks to her parents.
Nicole Marie Rosato
Nicole is graduating with a degree in women and gender studies, a minor in sociology, and has also earned a Certificate in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies. After graduation she plans to spend some time recuperating in Indonesia before attending law school in California, (hopefully Pepperdine!), and to continue her volunteer and advocacy work with victims of intimate partner violence.
Maren Grace Rosenbach
Maren is graduating with a degree in women and gender studies, and is also a member of the Triota Honor Society. Maren says it has taken her 22 years to reach this moment, and she could not be prouder for never giving up, for believing in herself, and for having the courage to be in spaces that went against "normative" timelines. She would like to thank Professor Bayard de Volo for her guidance and kindness, never letting her feel like she did not belong. She is grateful to all the WGST staff, faculty, and peers for giving her a language to express her internal feminist trait that needed releasing; to her community college educators particularly Maryann Grim and Kathleen Hefley; her rockstar friends and family for their constant encouragement and love; to Gianna and Sydney, who inspire her to walk through this world with fierceness and brilliance by example, and lastly, she would like to thank Fletcher for teaching her that she is worthy and for showing her unconditional love.
Shannon Gisela Small
Shannon is graduating with degrees in women and gender studies, and humanities with English emphasis. They are the co-president of CU Humanities club and the Aro&Ace student group. After graduation Shannon plans to take a year off before going to graduate school. She would like to thank her father, as well as all her friends, for giving her the support and environment she needed to succeed in university over the last four years.
Alyssa has completed degrees in both communication and women and gender studies. She worked as a resident advisor in Libby Hall for two years, including one year as the senior resident advisor, and helped found To Write Love on Her Arms at CU, a student group advocating for mental health awareness. After graduation she plans to continue working in collegiate residence life.
Jacqueline is graduating with a major in women and gender studies, a minor in ethnic studies, and a certificate in LGBTQ studies. Jacqueline transferred to CU from Front Range Community College, is a member of Triota Honor Society, and received the Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship in 2017. They also worked as a rape crisis advocate at Moving to End Sexual Assault and the Colorado Organization for Victim’s Assistance. Jacqueline would like to thank Dr. Misri for finding them where they were. Like Sara Ahmed writes of first reading Audre Lorde, Dr. Misri’s classes have been their feminist lifeline: “just enough to bear my weight, pull me out, and help me survive.” They would like to thank Dr. Emmanuel David for venturing into and dwelling with their amorphous archival project. Their support has challenged them, in the Muñozian sense, to feel hope, glimpse utopia, and conjure possible futurities. They would also like to thank Alicia Turchette & Valerie Bhat for their laughter and care across semesters, Beth Whalley for their life-world of queer love, their parents for their unfathomable support, and their sister, Gab. “I, too, overflow.”
Allegra has completed degrees in both women and gender studies and ethnic studies and certificates in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies and LGBTQ studies. She would like to thank her mom for being a feminist inspiration in her life and her dad for always being accepting and incredibly supportive. She would also like to thank her best friends for their friendship and the amazing faculty in the department for guiding her through her journey at CU.
Katie has completed her degree in women and gender studies. After graduation she plans to help elect millennials to congress, because she is tired of watching old white men ruin this country and the world. She would like to thank the women and gender studies department, and specifically Dr. Celeste Montoya, for their time, dedication, and patience, and for demonstrating to her just how personal the political truly is. She would also like to thank her family, born-with and chosen, for guiding her with love, strength, and compassion. She writes, “Every ounce of me that is good is because of you.”
Also completing the Major in Women and Gender Studies, but not in attendance:
Audrey Anna Jorgensen
Amanda Xavier Trejos
Congratulations Class of 2018!
Video: Commencement 2018
2018 WGST Graduates
Beginning the Graduation Processional
Faculty and Graduates Process to Old Main
"Utopian Futures": Josh Kirby
Joshua Kirby reading opening poem
Graduates, Family & Friends in Old Main
Student Address: Zoe Nefouse
Student Address: Adriana Portillo
Student Address: Jacqueline Tillman
Student Address: Katie Wallace
Commencement Address: Dr. Celeste Montoya
Grad Caps: Katie Wallace
Grad Caps: Shoshana Pollack & Bex Schmelzel
Grad Caps: Priya Robb
WGST Commencement 2018
For the Minor in
Women & Gender Studies:
Faye has earned a bachelor’s degree in economics as well as the minor in women and gender studies. She is a member of the Triota Honor Society, a MESA Hotline Volunteer, has been on the Dean’s list, and is a Colorado native.
Tyler is earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies as well as the minor in women and gender studies. She plans to pursue a master’s in public policy focused on gender violence. Tyler would like to thank everyone in the women and gender studies department, as well as her friends, family, and partner.
Shoshana is graduating with a degree in sociology, a minor in women and gender studies, and the certificate in LGBTQ studies. She has been awarded both the Jim Downton Award, and the Lasting Legacy Award. After graduation, she plans to spend some quality time with her cat.
Bex has earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a minor in women and gender studies, the certificate in LGBTQ studies, and they made the Dean’s list multiple semesters. Right after graduation they are starting a job as a tour actor/director with Missoula Children’s Theatre, where they will be traveling to a different U.S. city every week to teach children the art of theater and how to continue to find their voice beyond the stage. Bex would like to thank their family for constantly supporting them in their identity and their passions. They would also like thank Shoshana Pollock and Sam Bullington for radicalizing them and activating their hunger for social change.
Taylor is graduating with a degree in international affairs and minors in business and women and gender studies. She is a member of the Delta Gamma Fraternity, and studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After graduation, she plans to soak up some sun in San Francisco and enjoy freedom from homework but eventually continue her education. She is interested in inclusive immigration law reform and the study of gender, conflict and peace. She would like to thank her family for encouraging and supporting her education and the faculty that inspired her to become a more intersectional and thoughtful feminist.
Danny Ronan Sussman
Danny has completed dual degrees in both psychology and sociology, the women and gender studies minor, and the certificate in LGBTQ studies. They are the founder of the campus BYOG (Bring Your Own Gender) student group. After graduation, his two-step plan is to co-teach feminism to beluga whales with Dean Spade, and then to ruin the sanctity of marriage. He would like to thank the Gender and Sexuality Center, Scarlet Bowen, and Morgan Seamont for their continual support and opportunities to get involved.
Also completing the Minor in Women and Gender Studies, but not in attendance:
Krystle Michelle Aaraas
Katherine Lee Andrews
Riley Eizabeth Barr
Clare Marie Daley
Zoe Elizabeth DeBrohun
Ashley A Garg
Rachel Nicole Grammes
Eliza Mary Granahan-Field
Joseph James Hearity
Carly Noelle Herrmann
Lacey Marriah Lucas
Cassandra Jane Rippy
Rosellen Mary Sell
Ana Paola Solorzano
Kaitlin Anne Starr
Zoe Elizabeth Whitley
Global Gender &
Kayla Marie Hardin-Lawson
Stuart Rayne Matson
Jordan Karron Romick
Nicole Marie Rosato
Allegra Torkelson Twichell
Graduate Certificate in
Women & Gender Studies:
John has completed a master’s degree in English literature as well as the Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. He notes that the certificate has allowed him to effectively question the methodologies and theories practiced in English literature research, focusing not only on how feminist readings shape our relationships with texts, but how we can impact communities outside of academia as well.
Ximena Keogh Serrano
Ximena has completed the Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies while earning a PhD in Spanish and Latin American literature, with her dissertation “Embodying the In-between: Queer Subjecthoods and Imagined Be-comings in Transamerican Narrative and Film”. Ximena notes that the WGST graduate certificate has deepened her knowledge of critical theories and feminist practices, invigorating continuous trans-disciplinary movement and reflection in her work. The dedicated mentorship and intellectual rigor of the WGST faculty have facilitated ever-dynamic modes of reading, teaching, and being in the world—elements which spill into her current writings and visions of future scholarship.
Hillary is on the PhD track in sociology, and has completed her master's thesis this year: "Taking Risks and Taking Care: Identity Formation in Young Adults with Chronic Health Conditions". Hillary writes that the certificate program has given her an ability to recognized gendered patterns of micro-relationships, such as embodiment, and larger structural forces. It has also exposed her to feminist methodology, which has proven very helpful to her work.
Also completing the Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies, but not in attendance:
Graduate Certificate students on stage