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WGSS Alumni Are Leaders in Their Fields

  • Portrait of Jena Self Garrett

    Jena Self Garrett

    2021 graduate certificate

    Jena took a huge leap of faith after completing her WGSS Certificate. She opened her own business in downtown Bloomington, The Energy Hut (200 W. Monroe St, Ste 104 - inside Fox and Hounds salon building) serves herbal tea and protein shakes! She tells us that she uses her feminist toolkit to continue navigating life, relationships, and interactions with individuals each day!

  • Portrait of Loretta Addo-Danso

    Loretta Addo-Danso

    2021 graduate certificate

    As a current legal advocate for survivors, she has been able to apply the theories and lessons gained from WGSS in her work with survivors! She will also be starting her PhD in Criminology at the University of Delaware this fall. Loretta looka forward to conducting more research on gender based violence, feminism and intesectionality theory in hopes that her studies helps shape policy making and implementation in the country and worldwide.

  • Portrait of Paige Rogge

    Paige Rogge

    2021 graduate certificate

    Paige completed her MSW internship at Gateway Family Services of Illinois and was hired as a clinical therapist specializing in the treatment of women and youth with complex developmental trauma. Her therapy clients include a handful of inspiring LGBTQ+ teens who continue to teach her about the beauty of our diverse humanity. She uses Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, as well as other neuroscience-based therapies, to help clients process and cope with traumatic stress. She credits the WGSS program graduate certificate for her unique insight into the sturggles her clients face and her ability to make an impact in her corner of the world.

  • Portrait of Radiance Campbell

    Radiance Campbell

    2019 Minor

    Recently completed her first year at Georgetown Law and began her position as a Lane Evans Home Court Fellow at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. She is thrilled to continue working on issues of housing justice and becoming a part of the legal and organizing community Washington, D.C.! She is a Blume Public Interest Scholar.

  • Portrait of Alexandra Daggett

    Alexandra (Xan) Daggett

    2019 Minor

    Alexandra (Xan) Daggett taught ELA for three years at Eisenhower High School in Decatur, IL. They were a founding member of the district's LGBTQIA+ committee, and in Spring of 2022 won sponsor of the year for Gay-Straight Alliance. Xan has since left the teaching profession and returned to ISU as a Masters student, as well as the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program's Graduate Assistant and F.L.A.M.E.s new advisor. After graduation, they hope to earn a rold directily supporting high school and college students in the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • Portrait of Chloe Kasper

    Chloe Kasper

    2018 Minor

    Chloe just accepted a position as Business Communications Specialist at Ace Hardware in Oak Brook, Illinois. Chloe tells us that she uses her WGSS minor studies to inform her experience in agency, nonprofit, and corporate communications. Chloe is a member of the Association for Women in Communications (AWC). She recently won the AWC's Advancement Fund Grant to attend the 2022 AWC National Conference, "Versatility: Elevating Your Voice in Changing Times." She also leads the AWC Book Club.

  • Portrait of Misia Grzybowski

    Misia Grzybowski

    2018 graduate certificate

    After graduating with her WGSS Certificate and a Masters' in Psychology and College Student Personnell Misia took a job as Senior Specialist for Peer Education and Advocacy in the Health Promotion and Wellness Office. She advises and supports to incredible student groups: Student Ending Rape Culture (SERC) and the Student Wellness Ambassador Team (SWAT). "I so often find myself returning to the books, theories, and lessons we learned in our WGSS classes and weave them in throughout the educational opportunities I help create for my students."

  • Portrait of Kaitlyn Tossie

    Kaitlyn Tossie

    2017 graduate certificate

    Kaitlyn Tossie (MS '17) is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kansas. She has also recently been appointed as Managing Editor of the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. Her dissertation explores how American playwrights remember and memorialize twenty-first century American traumas such as 9/11, the war on terror, and the Sandy Hook shooting. She expects to graduate in Spring 2022.

  • Portrait of Venise Keys

    Venise Keys

    2016 graduate certificate

    Venise was accepted to the Wild Yams: Black Mothers Artist Residency for 2022. This innovative studio collaboration designed to support, uplift, and encourage sustainability and arts equity for Black Mothers and caretakers on Chicago's south side.

  • Portrait of Emily Johnston

    Emily Johnston

    2016 graduate certificate

    Emily Johnston (PhD '16) is the Associate Director of the Dimensions of Culture Writing Program at the University of San Diego, where she is also a lecturer. She has received two teaching awards. She was nominated for both the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award and recently awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award (2021). Her co-authored study on teaching empathy in first-year writing courses was accepted for publication by College Composition & Communication.

  • Portrait of Kevin Mell

    Kevin Mell

    2016 minor

    Started his first year in the DePaul University College of Law, where he is a student member of the National Lawyers Guild. He is also a trained Legal Observer who monitors police conduct during organized actions and ensures that activists who are arrested during a protest are given access to a pro bono attorney.

  • Portrait of Fabiola Rosiles

    Fabiola Rosiles

    2016 minor

    Currently pursuing her master's degree in women's and gender studies at DePaul University in Chicago, where she focuses on analyzing systems of oppression towars people of color in academic spaces and the experiences of Latinas in the academy.

    Serves as graduate assistant with Take Back the Halls, a teen dating violence prevention and community activism program, and works with the DePaul Women's Center.

  • Portrait of Brooke Barnhart

    Brooke Barnhart

    2015 minor

    Completed her first year in the Gender and Women's Studies Master's Program at University of Wisconsin - Madison.

    Served as a teaching assistant for both Introduction to LGBTQ Studies and the Introduction to WGS course.

  • Portrait of Emma Belz

    Emma Belz

    2015 minor

    Emma is pursuing her Master's degree in College Personnel Administration at Illinois State University and is currently working as a graduate assistant in Heartland Community College's Office of Engagement. She is an intern in Health Promotion and Wellness working on survivor support services and violence prevention education. She also volunteers with Stepping Stones.

  • Portrait of Malia Haanio

    Malia Haanio

    2015 minor

    Recently returned from China where she taught kindergarten and 1st grade English language.

    Accepted a position in a domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organization in Denver, Colorado.

  • Portrait of Matt Rillie

    Matt Rillie

    2015 minor

    Matthew works at Columbia College in Chicago as the Coordinator of Student Support and Engagement in Student Diversity and Inclusion. He works to create and grow networks of support and education to help students explore how their identities impact how they navigate the world. He also advises Columbia Pride and the Trans Student Union, the two main LGBTQ+ student support groups on campus. His WGSS education at Illinois State University has been a foundation of his work. He attests so much of his critical thinking and intentional work to his time in the program.

  • Portrait of Flourice Richardson

    Flourice Richardson

    2015 graduate certificate

    Flourice recently accepted an assistant professor position at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC. She will be assisting in the development of a technical writing program.

  • Portrait of Tomas Bolivar

    Tomas Bolivar

    2014 minor

    Admissions Counselor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He uses his WGSS knowledge every day to craft diversity initiatives for a new recruitment protocol.

    Recently accepted into the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Master's Program at Loyola.

  • Portrait of Erin Frost

    Erin Frost

    2013 graduate certificate

    Erin Frost, (PhD '13; MA '09) is an associate professor of English at East Carolina University. She recently co-edited (with Michelle Eble), a collection of article titled Interrogating Gendered Pathologies (Utah State University Press, 2020). The collection uses a range of complementary and intersectional theoretical approaches, to examine rhetoric's role in healthcare, how it differs depending on patient embodiment and the ways nonnormative bodies are pathologized.

  • Portrait of Tyler R Flockhart

    Tyler R Flockhart

    2012 graduate certificate

    Tyler R Flockhart (MS '12) credits his love of sociology to his time as ISU and the courses he took with Dr. Gerschick. He is currently an assistant professor of sociology at Viterbo University where he teaches a range of courses on family, sex and gender, race and ethnicity, juvenile justice, research methods, and institutional inequalities. His research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), racially conservative and extremist groups, inequalities in parent-LGBTQ child relationships, and homophobia and heterosexism in popular television shows.

  • Portrait of Kelly Smith

    Kelly Smith

    2012 graduate certificate

    Kelly has been a Faculty Director and college instructor for the past ten years. She recently joined the Learning Engineers Group in the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she consults with content experts, instructors, and administration to design engaging course for students. She and her husband are busy raising their two kids. You can still find her training for races, and outside of the stadium during tailgate season.

  • Portrait of Danny Matthews

    Danny Matthews

    2011 minor

    Assistant Director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center within the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at University of Illinois.

  • Portrait of Erica Thurman

    Erica Thurman

    2009 minor

    Writes and manages grants and contracts with the National Partnership for Women and Families, in Washington, D.C.

    Has had six book chapters accepted for publication in a three-book series on race and American television.

    Blogs at Life Behind the Veil.

  • Portrait of Jenna Goldsmith

    Jenna Goldsmith

    2008 minor, 2010 graduate certificate, 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Award Winner

    Jenna earned her PhD in English from the University of Kentucky in 2016. She recently returned to ISU as the Assistant Director and Academic Advisor for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Previously after serving as Senior Instructor of Writing at Oregon State University Cascades in Bend, Oregon. She has published three poetry chapbooks: Genisis Near the River (blush books, 2019); Suppose the Room Just Got Brighter (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming); Title Nine (Press 254, 2022). In 2020, she received the prestigious Illinois State University Outstanding Young Alumni Award. She serves on the ISU Alumni Board of Directors.

  • Portrait of Katelyn Wood

    Katelyn Wood

    2007 minor

    Katelyn Hale Wood (BA '07) is an assistant professor in theater history and performance at the University of Virginia. She has a new book Cracking Up: Black Feminist Comedy in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Century United States. It was release in June and they tells us: 'It's been a joy to finally see the book out in the world!'

  • Portrait of Andrew Anastasia

    Andrew Anastasia

    2006 minor

    Andrew was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of English at Harper College. He was a member of the 2019-2020 Social Justice Leadership Cohort at Harper and completed his final project on developing equity-based, trauma-informed curricular infusions for faculty to implement across campus. Recent conference presentations and invited talks have included creating trauma-informed composition classrooms and working with white, heterosexual, cisgender fragility in the classroom through understanding psychosomatic responses to discomfort and cognitive dissonance.

  • Portrait of Sarah Ehlers

    Sarah Ehlers

    2004 minor

    Sarah Ehlers (BA '04) is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Houston. She is the author of Left of Poetry Depression American and the Formation of Modern Poetics (2019) reports that she has spent the past year adjusting to online teaching. She recently began her term as the director of Graduate Studies in the English department at UH.

  • Portrait of Jody L Herman

    Jody L Herman

    1999 graduate certificate

    Jody L. Herman (BA '99) was recently promoted to Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute, a research center at the UCLA School of Law focused on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. Her work focuses on the prevalence and impact of discrimination against transgender people. She's currently serving as co-principal investigator on the 2022 U.S. Transgender Survey and is working on several papers examining the relationship between mental health indicators and access to gender-affirming care for trans adults. She is also working on updated estimates on the size and demographic characteristics of the U.S. trans population and two NIH-funded studies that seek to improve sexual orientation and gender identity mortality data and the health and experiences of nonbinary youth. Based in Los Angeles, she splits her time between LA and Peoria, IL, where she grew up.