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Faculty, students, staff, and friends of the Women and Gender Studies Program at the University of Colorado Boulder gathered together for our annual graduation and awards ceremony on Thursday, May 9th, 2013. As they processed from the Hazel Gates Woodruff Cottage to the chapel in Old Main, our graduates and faculty joined their family and friends in a beautiful ceremony to celebrate our graduating majors and minors, graduate certificate students, and our scholarship winners.

This year, we were honored to have Dr. Scarlet Bowen give our commencement address. Dr. Bowen is the director of the GLBTQ Resource Center at CU-Boulder, as well as an associate faculty member in women and gender studies, and was selected by the students in appreciation of all the guidance and support she has provided to students both academically and personally. Dr. Bowen was introduced by graduating senior Adriana Barsan.

This year’s ceremony featured three student speakers: Mira Winograd, Cassy Gonzalez, and Tessa Williams, all three of whom impressed the audience with their poise, intelligence, and passion. Video clips of each speech, and Dr. Bowen’s commencement address, can be viewed on our YouTube page:

Scroll down for details about our:
Graduate Certificate Recipients
Scholarship & Award Winners

We proudly present the Women and Gender Studies graduating class of 2013!:


AlyssaAlyssa Antun is planning on taking a year off from school to work as an intern in Washington D.C. surrounding public health issues. After that she plans on going to graduate school to get her master’s degree in maternal and child healthcare. Women and gender studies has been a great tool for Alyssa to study her passion of women’s health and the disparities healthcare is plagued with.

AdrianaAdriana Barsan would like to thank her family, friends, classmates and professors, specifically the women and gender studies faculty and staff, Professor Roland and those she traveled with in Cuba, for all the support, inspiration, and opportunities they have provided over the years. In the future, she intends to go on to medical school. In the meantime, she will continue to work at Attention Homes, a non-profit in Boulder, and pursue her doula training.

CatCaitlin Gabriella Carranza is excited to be graduating with a double degree in women and gender studies and anthropology. She would like to thank her family for everything they’ve done over the years. She would not be here or have made it through the difficult times without their continued support and love guiding her.

CeceCece Clarridge majored in political science for three years before discovering that she could major in women and gender studies in her last year. These majors have been complementary for her, with political science allowing her the opportunity to do research on school boards with a professor and gaining a UROP grant, while women and gender studies has increased her involvement in student groups and political activism, particularly within the Gender Justice League. She hopes to pursue a life filled with feminist activism, and to continue her favorite hobby: climbing. She wants to thank her family: Bob, Ursula, and Kay for being there for her when things got rough. She also wants to thank her favorite belayer: Steely, for always catching her when she falls. And a thanks to Lucy for being such a wonderful mentor. She would also like to thank every women and gender studies professor she’s had here at CU for tirelessly teaching her the language of self-empowerment.

CassyCassy Gonzalez is graduating magna cum laude in sociology with a thesis on the need for intersectional preventative measures to combat domestic human trafficking. She will be heading to San Francisco State University for a master’s program in women and gender studies and will be expanding on her undergraduate thesis work. Cassy would like to thank her friends and family, “particularly Mama and Daddy, for supporting and encouraging me to pursue my dreams and passions”.

MeagieMeagan Maddock has spent her time at CU as an activist, leading student groups like Amnesty International CU and Advocates for Choice, and volunteering with the Women’s Resource Center and the Student Worker Alliance Program. She studied abroad in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, where she interned for local feminist organizations, and she plans to return after graduation. She is the recipient of the 2011 Jean Dubofsky Scholarship and the 2013 Van Ek Award. She wants to thank her family for all of their love, support, and laughter.

CrystalCrystal Marshall is graduating with a double major in women and gender studies and political science, with a certificate in peace and conflict studies. She is preparing to take the LSAT and plans on attending law school in the fall of 2014. She would like to thank her mom, Maggie, for everything she’s done these past four years, for always being there, and making sure her experience at CU was nothing short of amazing!

CandiceCandice Mashburn came to WGST from engineering two years ago. She was recently nominated for volunteer of the month at the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) and will become a team captain for their domestic abuse response team (DART) this summer. She is pretty expert at nail art, riding bikes, and being positive. She also asserts that unicorns are real.

EliseElise Matatall is graduating with a degree in psychology and women and gender studies and was awarded magna cum laude for her honors thesis in women and gender studies entitled “Taking the Pulse: Feminist Activists in Belgrade,” which included research from a semester abroad in the Balkans. In 2012 she was awarded the Susannah Chase Memorial Scholarship, she participated in the Kittredge Honors Program, and shouted at big, tall men as a coxswain for the University of Colorado men’s rowing team for her first two years at CU. Elise plans to satisfy her wanderlust by traveling to Manizales, Colombia in July for 7 weeks after which she will begin working for Friends of the Children in Seattle through a yearlong service program. Elise would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone from her extensive “family” for their support during this long journey; biological (or not), professional, academic, and everyone in between.

ReneeRenee Roberts is graduating magna cum laude with degrees in ethnic studies and gender studies, a certificate in the study and practice of leadership from INVST Community Leadership program and a certificate in peace and conflict studies. She worked in the Hallett Diversity Program as a resident advisor and as co-outreach coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center. She served as co-chair of Queer People of Color and president of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority. She was also honored to receive the 2013 Undergraduate Equality and Excellence Award from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE). She would like to thank all of the incredible staff, faculty, friends, and family that have supported her along the way!

MarielaMariela Ruiz is a Xicana native from Boulder, graduating with a double major in ethnic studies and women and gender studies. She was honored as a woman of her generation at the 90th anniversary of the YWCA of Boulder County last year. Mariela will continue working at Women’s Health and spend time with her beautiful 6 month old baby.

KylieKylie Spivak is graduating with a triple major in psychology, sociology, and women and gender studies. She would like to thank her amazing father, Randy Spivak, for all of this support and financial contributions that have helped make her college career so successful. Woohoo! She did it!

LindsayLindsey Tagen is graduating with honors and triple majors in economics, political science, and women and gender studies. Her honor’s thesis focus is the application of international relations and security theories to a feminist construction of the US emergency management sector. Her future plans include ruling the world with her twin sister. She is blessed to have the unconditional support and love of her family and friends, and she could not be the person she is today without them.

ElyseElise Toutant says “don’t live down to expectations, go and do something remarkable. Graduation is not the end its the beginning.” Elyse also thanks the two most amazing women in her life for leading the way, she adores you both.

EmilyEmily Wesley has absolutely loved her last four years at CU-Boulder. She would like to thank her Grandpa, for inspiring her toward social change through all of those Monopoly games, Grandma Sharon for instilling a love of reading, Grandma Glenda for her love of music and singing, Frank for being her Atticus Finch, Kenny for teaching her how to put on that poker face, and her mom and dad for birthing her into this beautiful world. “That’s the best mother in the world sitting up there.” Emily never could have done this without the support and love from all of you.

TessaTessa Williams proudly served as this year’s co-president of Triota, the women and gender studies honors society. She sought adventure in her junior year through a study abroad program in Regensburg, Germany, where she participated in an international intensive language program. She also contributed to activist projects on campus, such as Denim Days, through her allegiance to the Gender Justice League, the women and gender studies leadership practicum. Tessa would like to give a big thanks to her Moral Support Squad, Champions of Personal Growth, Guardians of Sanity, Defenders of Morality and Crusaders of Levity!

MiraMira Winograd is graduating with a double major in women’s studies and sociology. She is graduating summa cum laude for her thesis in sociology that explored college aged students understanding of race through the lens of racial humor. She wants to thank her parents for all of the love and support they have given her throughout her college career.

BetseyBetsey Yadon is graduating with a double major in history and women and gender studies. She studied abroad in England during the spring 2012 semester and it served to increase her desire to see the world. Whatever the future may hold for her, she hopes it will happen in as many different countries as possible.

KelseyKelsey Young is graduating with honors and a B.A. in women & gender studies and psychology, She has had an incredible college experience, in which she learned some really important things from school, but a lot more about herself. Fortunate enough to have already found a full-time job, she will be sticking around in Boulder to work and apply to grad school, while making sure to get in a fair share of relaxation and hiking. Uncertain of what exactly is to come, Kelsey does know that all she wants to really do is help others in some way. She is so thankful for her family and friends, their support and love has been invaluable. Specifically, she would like to thank her parents for how much they have sacrificed for her!

Also graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women and Gender Studies:
Carly Saltzman


LeticiaLeticia Martinez is graduating cum laude in psychology with a minor in women and gender studies in which she is a member of the TRIOTA honors society. She feels that the women and gender studies program here at CU has prepared her for her journey after graduation. She plans to pursue clinical psychology and will focus her interests in women’s mental health. BeckyRebecca Powell is graduating with her bachelor’s in anthropology and a minor in women and gender studies. Her experience at CU wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful staff and faculty of the Anthropology Department and the amazing folks at the Women’s Resource Center. She’s not sure what her next step in life will be, but she’s sure that it will be something wonderful!
ClaireClaire Sunkel is graduating with a degree in psychology. Her future plans include continuing to volunteer at MESA (Moving to End Sexual Assault) and also catching up on some much deserved reading. Other than that “she’s not totally sure,” but promises “it’ll be awesome!” She would like to thank her mom and dad for their love and support throughout the years – and for raising her to be feminist.

Also graduating with a minor in Women and Gender Studies:
Margaret Behm
Madison Goodman
Jessica Hackett
Jessica Kalin
Caitie Miller


Graduate Certificate Recipients

JuliaJulia Gibson is completing her MA in philosophy this semester, with her thesis “Living Together in Communal Ecodependence: An Animated Approach to Interspecies Politics.” Julia says, “Pursuing a graduate certificate in women and gender studies enabled me to be much more intentional about my methodological choices with regards to the ways in which I went about reframing the concept of community and to what ends I did so.” CristinaCristina Goletti is receiving her MFA this semester from the Department of Theatre and Dance. The title of her thesis is “(un)W.R.A.P. Un-doing Writing Research and Performance.” She says, “The classes I took as part of the WGST certificate have been instrumental in considering dance and curatorial practices in a new and more aware manner. I realized the moving body can be seen as a discursive field, where gender, race, class, abilities, age and sexuality play a very important role.”
KatieKatherine Kidd is receiving her MA in English literature this semester from the Department of English, focusing on “representations of the body and desire in contemporary experimental literature.” She is going on to a PhD program in women’s studies and English at the University of Michigan and says this about her experience in our certificate program: “My understanding of feminist theories and methodologies imbues my work with a conscientious and rigorous consideration of my own positionality and stakes in my research as well as the political and ethical dimensions of my work and scholarship in general.” DanDaniel Lowe is currently working on his PhD in philosophy. His dissertation is titled “The Study of Moral Revolutions as Moral Methodology.” He says, “The Women and Gender Studies Graduate Certificate has introduced me to ideas I would have never encountered in my department, helped me rethink what I had already studied, and most importantly, has shown me that feminist concerns are central, and not marginal, to any inquiry into social justice.”

Also receiving a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies:
Annaleigh Curtis
Elizabeth Eger
Amanda Magee

Scholarship & Award Winners

Jean Dubofsky Scholarship

The Jean Dubofsky Scholarship is given annually in honor of the first woman to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court and a Boulder attorney who has worked tirelessly on civil rights issues. We were honored to have Jean here with us at commencement, and we thank her for taking part in our ceremony. This award is given to a Women and Gender studies major and is based on academic record, education and career goals, community and campus service, and a demonstrated commitment to raising awareness of and combating oppression in all its forms. This year we had such an extraordinary applicant pool that we decided to give this award to two deserving students.

CameronCameron Elder is one of two recipients of the Jean Dubofsky Scholarship. In addition to his excellent academic work in the classroom, Cameron is active advocate for gender equality on campus and in the community. He is a member of the WGST’s leadership practicum and student organization the Gender Justice League and the co-president of the women and gender studies honor society – Iota Iota Iota. He is an intern for the YWCA where this summer he will be teaching writing to underprivileged youth. Next year is he joining the staff Women’s Resource Center. KatieKatie Raitz, our second recipient of the Jean Dubofsky Scholarship, is a force of nature. In addition to having one of the highest GPA’s in our department, she is extremely active on campus and in the community. She is a member of CU’s mock trial traveling team, a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, and a campus intern for NARAL where she has coordinated with Advocates for Choice and with Planned Parenthood. She is conscientious about intersectional issues and has participated in advocacy and training efforts to address discrimination against the LGBTQ community and those in racial and ethnic minorities.
Susannah Chase Memorial Scholarship
SophiaSophia Surage is the recipient of this year’s Susannah Chase Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Susannah Chase, a CU student who loved studying the issues of women and gender. This award is given to a student who exhibits strong academic achievement and shows a similar commitment to that of Susannah Chase to the study of women and gender.
Sophia is one of those special people whose leadership comes not in bossing people around, but by inspiring them to act with her contagious enthusiasm and her intense sincerity. She is a diligent student and a seemingly tireless advocate on campus in the community. She has served as a diversity mentor in the Hallett Hall Social Justice Program. She is the outreach coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center. She served as a representative of the CU-Boulder campus and the GLBTQ Resource Center at the Creating Change Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and she is an active member of the women and gender studies leadership program, the Gender Justice League. These are just a few of the organizations Sophia is a part of, but it is not only her activism within them that makes her a great candidate for this award, but in her every day acts of courage and activism, speaking up when she sees injustice, and in her care and compassion for those around her.
Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award
The Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award is named in honor of a professor emerita of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder, for her long term support of the Women and Gender Studies Program. This award, now being given for only the second time, is given to a graduating women and gender studies major to recognize them for outstanding leadership and service to women and gender studies specifically. It is to go to someone that the faculty and staff have admired for their commitment to the program, but for whom there may have not yet been formal recognition in the form of one of our scholarships or award nomination. Like the scholarships, it is a difficult award to give, as there are so many students sitting here in the front of the auditorium who have given so much to this department.
CeceCece Clarridge was awarded the first of two the Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Awards. Cece was a bit of late comer to women and gender studies. She came to us in part out of frustration with what she saw as a gap in her college experience in one of the more traditional majors on campus. This year she threw herself into the major, taking a full course load of WGST classes, joining the student leadership practicum, the Gender Justice League, and playing an important leadership award in her group project in the senior colloquium. This year, even more this semester, I’ve seen this soft spoken person go out of her way, and maybe even out of her comfort zone, to promote the program and the issues important to the members of it. With her quiet determination and earnestness, Cece has earned the respect of us who have gotten to know her this year. TessaTessa Williams was also awarded the Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award. Tessa is also one of those leaders that you almost don’t recognize as such, because she leads in quiet ways. By listening with and open mind, by reaching out with compassion, with enthusiasm, with creativity, and with determination of steel when needed. She leads by example, and she leads with her heart. She has done a lot for this department, especially this past year, and more importantly for the people in it, perhaps in ways she doesn’t even notice. We will greatly miss her smiling face in the Cottage.

Tessa also gave a heartwarming and inspiring commencement speech, which you can view on YouTube!


Jean Dubofsky and Jo Arnold with Scholarship winners Cameron Elder & Katie Raitz Sophia Surage and Rob Buffington Tessa Williams with Jo Arnold Cece Clarridge with Jo Arnold
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Bolder Voices
Women and Gender Studies Program Newsletter
Director: Robert Buffington
Faculty: Lorraine Bayard de Volo, Emmanuel David, Alison Jaggar, Deepti Misri, Celeste Montoya, Katie Oliviero
Staff: Alicia Turchette, Valerie Bhat
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