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.

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.

Cory Aragon (2009, graduate certificate) has accepted a tenure-track position in social/political philosophy at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

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 indigent death row inmates in their habeas corpus and clemency proceedings, with particular focus on the representation of clients who suffer from mental illness. She has been featured by NBC Nightly News, the BBC, Mother Jones Magazine, and The Atlantic for her work on the case of Buck v. Thaler, stayed by the United States Supreme Court on the day of execution. She is licensed in Texas and Washington DC.

Kristina Schelbert Brown (1994) graduated with a BA in English and a minor in Women’s Studies in 1994. She is the program director for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Forest Institute in Springfield, Missouri [www.forest.edu]. Kristina notes “my journey here from Boulder was very long and windy! After graduation, my husband (R. Tucker Brown ’94 BA in Sociology) moved to San Diego for graduate school where both of our children were born (Taylor, 15 and Kyle, 13). We moved to New York in 2003 for me to return to school for my doctorate at Syracuse University. In 2007, we moved to Springfield for me to begin my faculty position. During this past spring and current summer semesters, I have the pleasure of teaching a diversity seminar on women’s issues. The focus was on specific issues that can present for women in therapy. The most popular assignment is reading the book, Egalia’s Daughters by Gerd Brantenberg, and answering specific questions about if men and women are equal. I was first introduced to this book in one of my Women’s Studies classes at CU – thank you!”

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.

Amandine Catala (2009, graduate certificate) has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Quebec at Montreal. Her position is in social/political philosophy and ethics, with an emphasis on feminism.

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. 

Chelsea Haramia (2009, graduate certificate) was accepted to the International Society for Environmental Ethics Conference this June at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, where she will present her paper titled “Future Generations, Present Responsibilities: What We Owe to Whomever We Create.”

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.”

Pamela Lomelino (2006, graduate certificate) has accepted an assistant professor position with an emphasis on research at Loyola University in Chicago, beginning in the fall 2013.

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.

Shafiqa Mobarez (2010) is currently employed at the ECDC-African Community Center, a refugee resettlement agency based in Denver, as the family liaison. She works with all youth and youth issues including enrolling newcomer refugee youth in school within 30 days of their arrival in the U.S. and troubleshooting any issues that arise once they begin school. She also runs the agency’s scholarship program and runs leadership workshops for the ten high school seniors chosen for the program. This year she has started a tutoring/mentoring program for each scholarship student to
tutor and mentor a new student that just recently arrived. “My favorite class at CU was the Women and Gender Studies’ senior colloquium class my senior year. The class was really fun to attend and allowed for the students to speak their minds about various issues and work together on many different levels to find solutions. My other favorite class was an upper division writing class called Motherhood and Feminism. The discussions were so enlightening and dealt with issues that I had never thought about in the way the class presented them. I know that I will take everything I learned in this class, as with all of my other women and gender studies classes, with me throughout my life.”

Kat Morgan (1988) currently works as an internal and external Organization Development consultant. Her practice focuses on democratizing workplaces by facilitating inclusive group conversations about what matters most. She manages staff training and development for a national nonprofit. She earned her MSW from the University of Denver in 1992, concentrating on macro level practice and nonprofit management. She directed Colorado’s Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Community Services Center before leaving Colorado for the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994. In both Colorado and California she worked in the movement against domestic violence for 15 years. Kat earned her MS in Organization Development in the joint program run by American University/National Training Lab (Washington, DC, 2009). She is a marriage equality advocate, having served as the Board Development Chair on Equality Maryland’s Board until 2008. She and Dr. Daena Petersen, her wife of 19 years, currently live in Vermont where they are thrilled to be legally married.

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.

Shoba Sharad Rajgopal (2001, graduate certificate) has written a book review of South Asian Feminisms, edited by Ania Loomba and Ritty Lukose, that was published in the Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (Vol.18, No.2 2012)

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.

Jamie Coker Scot (1999) now lives in California. She is married to her partner Melissa, and they have a beautiful 4 year old daughter, Samantha. Jamie is the project and development director for ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. Jamie writes, “I have very fond memories of my time as a women’s studies major and my favorite classes were Lesbian Literature and Women’s History. My degree has immensely prepared me for my career in LGBT nonprofit work and I will be forever grateful for my experience in the Women’s Studies Program!”

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) completed an MA in sexuality studies at San Francisco State University this May, with his thesis titled “The Salience of HIV-Positive Identity for Young Gay Men Living with HIV.” Peter notes that “my work as a women and gender studies undergrad was essential in being able to offer a critical intersectional lens to the public health and sociological theory and research that framed my project.” He is currently working on publishing research looking at HIV stigma, relationship dynamics, and race within serodiscordant same-sex male couples which will be presented at the 2012 International AIDS Conference. In the fall, he is attending Vanderbilt University to work toward a PhD in sociology focused on gender and sexuality, medical sociology, and the life course. “I have so many great memories of being a WGST major. Without the mentorship and encouragement I found from the faculty, I would not be where I am today in my career or as a person. I learned not only critical thinking, but what it means to live ethically and thoughtfully while creating change in an increasingly hostile social climate. For that, I will always be grateful.”

Clara Wilbrandt (2004) was hired as an associate attorney by the law firm of Loyce A. Forrest & Associates late last summer. She still focuses exclusively on family law, and can be contacted at (303) 567-7990; 1444 Blake St. Denver, CO 80202.

Eliza Williamson (2009) has recently completed her Fulbright research in Tucuman, Argentina, on alternative models of care in public maternity hospitals and is currently working at the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program in Denver as a field manager (Canvassing/ Community Organizing Department). In the fall she will be starting a master’s/PhD in anthropology. “I fondly remember being a part of the Women and Gender Studies Student Advisory Board (now the Gender Justice League), engaging with both faculty members and peers to organize around important issues on campus and beyond.”

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 (wgst@colorado.edu).

If you are interested in being a networking contact or mentor for current students, please contact our office for more information.

Updated 10/31/11