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Research, Awards, Celebration at Women's and Gender Studies/Women's Commons Banquet

Research, Awards, Celebration at Women's and Gender Studies/Women's Commons Banquet

The 24th annual Women’s and Gender Studies and Women’s Commons end-of-year banquet offered a packed schedule for all in attendance. It consisted of academic research presentations, dinner, a WGS program update, a Women’s Commons year-in-review video and recognition for two award winners as well as graduating seniors.

Women's & Gender Studies/Women's Commons 2019 Banquet

Student poster and oral presentations were given by nine students in the Advanced Gender Studies 495 class offering — and not all are Women’s and Gender Studies minors — on a range of topics.

Kayla Beauregard, a philosophy major and WGS minor, did her research on “Testing the Applicability of Performativity to Race”; Bee Carucci, an English major with a creative writing emphasis, studied “Identity in the Church: Heterosexual Love, Biological Gender”; Miranda Cavanaugh-Fernandez, a real estate major and non-profit enterprise and philanthropy minor, discussed “Stolen Futures,” regarding child marriages; Sofia Janssen, a political science major and WGS minor, looked at “Tattoos within Gender and Society”; Kelsey Kehoe, a psychological sciences major and WGS minor, researched “It’s Nothing Less Than Human Torture: Intersex Genital Mutilation and Conversion Therapy”; Grace Strumpfer, history major and minors in Classical Studies and WGS, presented, “Paragraph 175 and Gender: The Legal Case”; Kelly Wilson, double major in English and Spanish and a WGS minor, examined “Patterns of Cultural Production from Science Fiction to Sex Robots: A Feminist Critique of the Capitalist Consumption of the Female Form”; Casey Wolatz, a Theology and Religious Studies major with minors in WGS and Philosophy, spoke about “Contraception, Catholic Social Teaching, and Feminism”; and Rayn Kauanoemaliekamea’I’Omakamae Young, a sophomore whose major is undeclared, focused on “Celebrating a Place in the Middle.”

The banquet portion of the evening took over from there with welcoming comments from USD’s Center for Educational Excellence Director and Psychological Sciences Professor Sandra Sgoutas-Emch, PhD. WGS Director and Theology and Religious Studies Professor Evelyn Kirkley, PhD, had a long list of activities and accomplishments for the program to announce. Erin Lovette-Colyer, director of gender identity resources and director of the Women’s Commons, reflected on 2018-19, a year in which the fourth floor of the Student Life Pavilion became a focal point for the Commons area and an important gathering space for the campus community.

The evening concluded with two awards presentations and a celebration of USD’s Class of 2019 graduates of the WGS minor program.

First, the Dr. Linda A. M. Perry Award for outstanding achievement and dedication to the WGS program to graduating senior Kelsey Kehoe. Perry was the WGS program’s founding director. The second award was the Martha C. Watson Award for academic achievement in WGS. The award, named in honor of former WGS Director and Philosophy Professor Lori Watson’s mother. This year’s honoree is junior Annabel Gong.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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