Alumni News and Updates
Here is just a sample of the multiple career paths that our graduates have pursued.
Clearly, the sky is the limit with a degree in women and gender studies.
(New updates are in red)
Ingrid Alongi (1997) received a master’s degree in women’s studies in 2001 from San Diego State University. She now has a software engineering company called Quick Left (www.quickleft.com) in downtown Boulder that specializes in consulting for startups and builds internet-based software applications. She rediscovered her love for cycling with the opening of Boulder’s indoor velodrome and began competing in track cycling. Last summer, she competed in the Masters Track National Championships in Colorado Springs and won four medals, including a National Championship jersey, and set a national record in the Team Pursuit. Follow her on Twitter @electromute.
Nina Amble (1993) has been a consultant, manager, and researcher at the Work Research Institute in Oslo, Norway since 1997.
Pam (Hahn) Barth (1995) is living happily in Durham, NC, with her husband Chris and their son Daniel. After a decade writing computer code by day and volunteering as a mediator on weekends, she returned to school and earned her Master’s in City Planning. She’s now working at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center in the area of pedestrian and bicyclist safety for K-8 students. She would love to hear from fellow alumnae.
Janell Bauer (2009, graduate certificate) has taken a tenure-track assistant professor position in organizational communication at James Madison University in Virginia. She began her position in fall 2010.
Kate Black (2005) is a staff attorney at the Texas Defender Service, a non-profit law firm in Houston, Texas. She specializes in the representation of death row inmates in their state and federal habeas corpus proceedings.
Kristina Schelbert Brown (1994) is currently an assistant professor of marriage and family therapy at the School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute in Springfield, Missouri. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice at the Robert J. Murney Clinic who specializes in women’s health issues including endometriosis. Dr. Brown is married to fellow CU graduate Robert Tucker Brown (1994), and they have two children, a daughter, Taylor (13), and a son, Kyle (11).
Stefanie Carroll (1999), MNM, recently accepted a position at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law as the new administrative director of academic programs. She serves as the chief administrator for the Constitutional Rights & Remedies, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Workplace Law and Corporate/Commercial Law programs. She previously won an “Outstanding Woman’s Award” from the Institute of Women’s Studies and Services at Metro State College.
Andra (Cooper) Chikova (1998) is a co-chair and co-founder of the annual Huntington’s Disease Walk in Denver. She is also a co-chair for the greening effort of the Marriott Business Council.
Cynthia Cook (2000) joined the US Foreign Service in 2008 and is currently posted to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia as a public affairs officer at the US Consulate there.
Kelsey Draper (2008) is attending graduate school at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and studying for a master’s degree in social anthropology. She is focusing her research on women, children, and poverty/development.
Kim Dvorchak (1991) graduated from the City University of New York School of Law in 1995. She was a public defender in Colorado Springs and New York City and then moved back to Colorado after having twins. She is now the executive director of the Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition, a new non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring excellence in juvenile defense and justice for children and youth in Colorado’s juvenile justice system.
Brook Engebretson-Horton (2004) lives in Northglenn, Colorado with her partner and lab child Phoebe. She recently received her master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University. She works for The Gathering Place in Denver, Colorado, the city’s only daytime drop-in center for women and children who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. Since 1986, they’ve existed to support these individuals by providing a safe daytime refuge and resources for self-sufficiency. Brook notes “I utilize both of my degrees often in my work and passion. I am thankful for Women and Gender Studies for making sense of my life and cultivating a passion and career for me.”
Christa Fjellestad (2006) is now working as an elementary school teacher in a title 1 school predominantly with language learners, after having completed at CU-Boulder both an elementary teaching certif icate (in the fall of 2006) and a master’s degree in educational equity and cultural diversity (EECD), with an emphasis in linguistically diverse learners. She bought a house in Boulder in 2007 and will be backpacking in Europe for a month this summer.
Olympia Frascone-Stefanski (2000) is currently working as an ELA (English Language Acquisition) teacher in a Title 1 school in the Cherry Creek School District and is participating in the collaborative co-teaching model.
Lauren Gorence (2004) is currently getting her master’s degree at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California to become a primary care physician assistant. She is a second year PA student right now. She hopes to specialize in women’s health when she graduates.
R. Avy Harris (2008) spent 8 months teaching English on an island off of South Korea and then moved to Ethiopia, where she spent several months facilitating conservation projects and community-based ecotourism through the Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Alliance. She is currently traveling through Tanzania as an overseas educator for Carpe Diem Education, where she leads groups of students on semester long service-learning trips as part of a gap year experience in East Africa.
Liza Hensleigh (2005) works in the CU-Boulder Study Abroad Programs office within the Office of International Education. She manages programs in Latin America, Spain, & Portugal. She is also pursuing a master of public administration part-time from CU-Denver.
Beth Ellen Holimon (1994) opened “Bee Write” and “Executive Bee” for nonprofit consulting and grant writing. She has been busy in the last few years with projects in medical research, executive association management, and opening a charter school.
Sarah Johnson (2005) received a master of library and information science from the University of Denver in 2009 and is now a children’s librarian at Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library in Broomfield, CO. Her main focus is early literacy programming and working with the toddler age group. She creates library programs to help parents and caregivers learn about early literacy and the impact they have on their children’s lives as their first teachers. Another professional goal of hers is creating opportunities for children to become active in their community, so they too realize that they have an impact on their local and global community. She has been married for almost two years and she and her husband are expecting their first son this month (August 2010). She values her WMST degree and knows that it has instilled an outlook in life that continues to have impact almost daily.
Annee Knight (1998) is currently the exhibits manager at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Petaluma, CA.
Heidi (Peterson) Knuth (1989) has lived on the western slope of Colorado for the last 18 years, and has worked for over 20 years with low income, physically and mentally ill, and frail elderly in a variety of jobs. For the last three years she has worked for the county as an adult services case manager, assisting clients with medicaid programs that provide resources to help them to live in their home/community instead of being placed in a nursing facility, unless that is the option they need. She notes “It is stressful but rewarding. I am also a single mom of two great kids, 13 and 16. Whoever said teenagers are difficult…nah, they are awesome.”
Sarah McCall (2007) is the major gifts officer at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C., the nation’s leading organization that identifies, trains, and supports openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender candidates, campaign staff and officials. Sarah also serves on the executive committee of Women’s Information Network (WIN), Washington’s premiere, 1,200+ member professional and social networking organization for pro-choice, Democratic women, as the advisory council director. Follow her on Twitter @SarahM2036.
Linda McCarthy (1990) received a doctorate in social justice education in 2003 and has been teaching at Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts since 2004. She has guest-edited at the journal Equity and Excellence in Education.
Lauren McCulloch (1998) has returned to Boulder to study law at CU after working abroad in international development and human rights. She hopes to continue her work for human rights through the legal profession.
Lindsay Miller (2007) is currently living in Boulder, CO and working as the spanish bilingual nonviolence educator at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence. SPAN is a social justice, human rights organization committed to ending violence against women, youth, and children, through support, advocacy, education, and community organizing. Lindsay also designs and sells her own jewelry, teaches dance classes, and leads wilderness courses.
Stephanie Murib (2003) worked at the nonprofit Women for Women International in Washington, D.C., coordinating their programs in Bosnia and Kosovo, and is now pursuing a PhD in political science at the University of Minnesota.
Rachel Ours (2007) is the community affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, one of the largest and most successful Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country. She is also serving on the founding board of directors of Equality Inland Empire, a grassroots 501(c)(4) nonprofit that works to ensure the dignity, safety, and equality of all LGBTQ residents of southern California’s Inland Empire. Rachel states that “the organizing skills and social justice theory I learned in CU’s WGST department are absolutely invaluable to the work I do every day.” On a personal note, Rachel and her partner are celebrating their first anniversary as domestic partners this May.
Sadie Rose Pace (2005) is currently working at Zuma Natural Foods in Mancos, CO. She also volunteers for Renew, a domestic violence and sexual assault hotline. She is the secretary for the Mancos Public Library Board of Trustees and is on the Mancos Centennial Scholarship Fund Committee.
Danielle Pacik (1995) joined the law firm of Hinckley, Allen and Snyder, LLP as an attorney in their Concord, New Hampshire office in July 2011.
Heidi Petersen (1992) received a PhD in philosophy in 2006. She is now self-employed in two enterprises, “Heidi’s Healings” and “Coming Home, LLC”. She has been organizing and participating in a speaker series in Longmont, CO called PsychicSpeak.
Shannon Perez-Darby (2005) works as the youth services program manager at an amazing non-profit supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender survivors of domestic violence (www.nwnetwork.org). “I often joke that I’m one of the few people I know to actually (and practically) use my women’s studies degree. I feel continually grateful to make a living wage doing work I’m passionate about. I often reflect on the support and education I received at CU’s Women Studies Program and how helpful that support was in bringing me to this work.”
Shelley Popke (1993) completed an MA in Russian and Central European History and is now the Executive Assistant to the Dean at The Women’s College of the University of Denver.
Christine Rhoades (2008) graduated with a BA in women and gender studies as well as sociology in the winter of 2008. She then attended the University of Chicago and graduated with a master’s degree in social sciences. She is currently living in Los Cabos, Mexico, and is teaching literature at a bilingual private school. Her goal is to develop a non-profit project which offers youth sexuality counseling in her area.
Michelle Richardson (2000) studied civil rights and constitutional law at American University, Washington College of Law. She has been lobbying for the ACLU on national security issues for three years as a Legislative Counsel.
Virginia Sanprie (2009, graduate certif icate) will be joining the communication arts and sciences faculty at Metro State College of Denver as tenure-track assistant professor of speech communication. Virginia received her PhD from CU-Boulder in December 2009 and her graduate certif icate in women and gender studies in May 2009.
Beth Schwarting (2000) has worked in freestanding birth centers around the world. She received a master’s degree from the University of California San Francisco and is now working as a certified nurse midwife in northern California.
Rachel Smith (1998) recently opened a counseling practice focusing on women and gender issues with off ices in Denver and Arvada. She has special interests in reproductive mental health and trauma and is excited about this new venture!
Kristie Soares (2009, grad certificate) is pursuing a PhD in comparative literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently hard at work on her research on 20th century Cuban feminist writers.
Allison Stark (2001) is the Director of Intermittent Services for an large non-profit that serves adults and children with developmental disabilities in Chicago. She received her master’s degree from the University of Chicago and is currently working on a master’s degree in non-profit management. She married fellow CU alum Brodie Austin in 2004, and they welcomed Baird Stark Austin into the world in March 2009.
Allison Titley (1995) has been with Women’s Cancer Advocacy, Resources and Education (WomenCARE) for six years, working with women and their families and helping manage the organization. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA, has an awesome 11-year old son, and gets “home” to Colorado each year to visit friends and “drink in” the mountains that she misses each and every day.
Kristi Tredway (1998) graduated from CU with majors in both women’s studies and philosophy, and in 2001 earned an MA in religious studies. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Maryland in physical cultural studies in the Department of Kinesiology. She is studying the cultural, social, and historical aspects of sport and physical activity, with an emphasis on gender performance and women’s tennis, especially where those two intersect.
Vicki Van Antwerp (2009) has been attending CU-Denver working towards a master’s in criminal justice and has been teaching. Her master’s thesis is focused on women in SWAT teams. Since women in SWAT is an issue that is rarely addressed within empirical literature, she is hoping that her thesis can help shed light on how women’s experience on SWAT is vastly different than their male counterparts.
Peter Vielehr (2008), after working for two years at Northern Colorado AIDS Project, has just started a master’s program in human sexuality studies at San Francisco State University.
Eliza Williamson (2009) just finished backpacking around South America and has received a Fulbright research grant to study in Argentina next year. She has been working for a year as a community organizer for RAAP, Denver’s rape crisis center. She will be spending most of this year in Argentina on a Fulbright fellowship, conducting an ethnographic study of a maternity hospital that takes a woman-centered approach to perinatal care.
Peter E. C. Wilson (2006) is working on his MFA in new media from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is also working full-time as the lead designer for one of the larger tour companies in the city. The skills he learned while in the Women’s Studies Program have become an inherent influence on his design aesthetic, and these skills are being employed to develop inclusive online user experiences.larger tour companies in the city. The skills he learned while in the Women’s Studies Program have become an inherent influence on his design aesthetic, and these skills are being employed to develop inclusive online user experiences.
Natalie Ziemba (2010) will be leaving for Samoa in October to do community development and teach English with the Peace Corps.
If you are an alumna/alumnus of the Women and Gender Studies Program and would like to update your information on this page and wish to be included in the next newsletter, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are interested in being a networking contact or mentor for current students, please contact our office for more information.