Watch Commencement Highlights
   • Ann’s Speech
   • Cameron & Sophia’s Speech
   • “Sisterhood” read by Kelly
   • Dr. Katie Oliviero’s Address
   • Entire Ceremony

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Alumni Updates:

Morgan Pardue (WGST & IAFS ’07) recently graduated with a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Maryland in Baltimore after completing her Peace Corps service in Ecuador. She is now working in research to evaluate the effectiveness of social programs. Morgan and her husband are expecting their first baby in September.

Submit your Alumnae/i Updates
for the Fall Newsletter!

Congratulations to the Women and Gender Studies Program’s
Graduating Class of 2014!

Following a procession from the Hazel Gates Woodruff Cottage to the chapel in Old Main, our faculty and graduates joined their family and friends in a beautiful ceremony on Thursday, May 8th to celebrate our graduating majors and minors, graduate certificate students, and our scholarship and award winners.

Each year, students in the Senior Colloquium create a class project, using what they’ve learned in the classroom to positively impact their community. This year they put together an Activism Toolkit which is intended as a guide for those looking to engage in social justice work and create positive change. The Activism Toolkit is available both online and in print form, and we encourage you to explore this compilation of their hard work and passion for activism.

The commencement speaker selected by the senior class was Dr. Katie Oliviero, who has served our program for the past two years as a visiting assistant professor, and has recently accepted an assistant professorship at Dickinson College. She was introduced in a speech by graduating senior Alexis Olson.

The ceremony also featured speeches by students Ann Price, Sophia Surage, and Cameron Elder, each offering their own unique voice and perspective on their collegiate careers, as well as a reading of the poem “Sisterhood” by graduating senior Kelly Milan. Video clips of each speech, and Dr. Oliviero’s commencement address, can be viewed on our YouTube page:

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

We proudly present the Women and Gender Studies
Graduating Class of 2014!:


ShannieRoshanne Kathleen Ebrahimian
Shannie is graduating with a double major in women and gender studies and international affairs with a concentration in the Middle East. She would like to thank all of the beautiful people that have shaped her experience in WGST and especially the Gender Justice League for showing her the possibilities of bridging the gap between scholarship and activism.

CameronCameron Scott Elder
Cameron is graduating magna cum laude in women and gender studies with a double major in English literature. He has been an active participant in the Gender Justice League student practicum since his sophomore year, served as the co-president of Triota Honors Society, and worked as a programming coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center. Cameron will be moving to Chicago, Illinois to work as a high school English teacher as a 2014 corps member for Teach for America. He would like to thank his friends and family for all of their incredible support, as well as the incredible WGST faculty and staff who have helped guide and support him during his academic journey. He would especially like to thank Dr. Katie Oliviero for working with him as his thesis advisor.

GabrielleGabrielle Lorainne Friesen
Gabrielle is graduating with degrees in both women and gender studies and history, for which she received magna cum laude honors, and is also graduating with a certificate in medieval and early modern studies. She would like to thank everyone at the Women’s Resource Center who have pushed her to grow and who have been a source of inspiration. She would also like to thank her family for their support throughout college.

LindsayLindsay Hill Heckmann
Lindsay is graduating with degrees in women and gender studies and English literature. She is eternally grateful for the amazing experiences and invaluable knowledge gained during her time at CU. She would like to send her love and special thanks to the strong women in her family who are here to support her today.

KellyKelly Elise Milan
Kelly is graduating with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in film studies and women and gender studies, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film studies. She was the co-president of Triota with Cameron Elder this year and a former member of the Gender Justice League. Kelly hopes to use the knowledge gained from her three degrees to make films that break barriers of gender norms. She wants to thank all of her professors, friends and family for helping to get her here today.

DanaDana Marissa Myers
Dana is graduating with a double major in psychology and women and gender studies. She has been a volunteer for Counseling and Psychological Services on campus. Next year she will be attending graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania to receive a master’s in the School of Social Practice and Policy. She looks forward to applying all of the skills she has acquired throughout her time here, in her future, and to continue to look at the world through a critical lens.

AlexisAlexis Danielle Olson
Alexis is graduating with a double major in political science and women and gender studies. She has been a member of the Gender Justice League since fall 2013, a community outreach intern for Boulder County AIDS Project, and a volunteer yoga teacher (she’ll soon be teaching yoga at a domestic violence shelter). She plans to get a master’s degree in social work from Metro State University of Denver to become a social worker or counselor in a women’s correctional facility. Alexis says, “I am thankful for the incredible education I have received from the WGST department because it has helped shape my future as a person, the people I help, and ultimately my future career goals in social justice.”

AnnAnn Louise Price
Ann is graduating with degrees from English and women and gender studies as well as the LGBTQ Studies Certificate. She was able to work with some wonderful activist communities on and off campus during her time at CU, and would like to thank those communities and her friends and family for their phenomenal support. Following graduation, Ann will be moving to the east coast where she hopes to continue to work to combat domestic violence in LGBTQ communities. Ann was also recently awarded the Tito Torres Award for Outstanding Student Activism and Leadership by the University of Colorado Chancellor’s Standing Committee on GLBT Issues.

AidaAida Rogonich
Aida is a first generation student, graduating in three years, with bachelor’s degrees in sociology and women and gender studies, and she looks forward to pursuing a master’s in sociology at CU-Denver. She wants to thank her lovely family for supporting her through the years, pushing her to achieve her goals, and creating such a strong Bosnian woman; she says, “I could not have done it without my mom and dad, my brother Adis, and my partner Christopher.”

SkylarJennifer Skylar Schmidt
Skylar is excited to graduate with a BA in women and gender studies. She is thankful for the staff and the friends she has made in the Women and Gender Studies Program for providing support. After taking some time off from school, Skylar hopes to work in adoption and give back to others who face situations similar to hers and utilize the knowledge she had gained here at CU-Boulder.

SophiaSophia Raine Surage
Sophia is graduating with majors in women and gender studies and ethnic studies. She would like to thank her family, friends, and professors who have supported her and mentored her through her undergraduate experience. Sophia is grateful for the opportunity she has had to be a member of the Gender Justice League feminist practicum and she looks forward to taking more steps towards radical positive change wherever she goes.

TamoraTamora Nietha Tanniehill
Tamora is graduating with degrees in both psychology and women and gender studies. She plans to continue her educational pursuits in graduate school after taking a year off to work. Tamora would like to thank her family and friends and professors for all of the support they have shown her over the years.

CaitlynCaitlyn Lea Zimmer
Caitlyn is graduating summa cum laude with a triple major in women and gender studies, English literature, and German. Her honor’s thesis discussed the changing representation of queer sexuality in German vampire film, and she is planning on attending graduate school to expand her research in a cultural studies program. She would like to thank her family for their love and support and her amazing professors for teaching her so much.


WGST Minors 2014

Jessica Carney & Sienna Dellepiane, with Patches.

Jessica Rae Carney
Jessica majored in psychology and minored in women and gender studies. While at CU, she has been involved in Phi Beta Kappa honor society and Triota, the women and gender studies honor society. She is excited to be moving to Spain for the next year, and upon her return she will pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Jessica would like to thank her wonderful family for all of their support in the last four years. She couldn’t have done it without them.

Sienna Rebecca Dellepiane
Sienna is graduating with a degree in sociology and a minor in women and gender studies. She is also a graduate of the two-year INVST Community Leadership Program. Her passion is in intersectional feminism and fighting victim blaming, and she hopes to work with women and children coming from domestic and sexual violence. She has been accepted into AmeriCorps and will be working with the “I Have A Dream” Foundation at Ryan Elementary in Lafayette this coming fall.

Also graduating with a minor in Women and Gender Studies:
Quengail Serwaa Ameyaw
Cristin Araneth Bucio-Perez
Erin Suzanne Calvin
Kellie Ann Flowers
Anthía Francesca Muñoz
Lauren Marie Walsh
Jennie Yu

Graduate Certificate Recipients

Alison Jaggar, Joseph Wilson, Erica Rodriquez, and David Meens

clockwise from left: Alison Jaggar, David Meens, Joseph Wilson, and Erica Rodriquez.

David Eric Meens
David completed his MA thesis in philosophy, titled “Contesting Philosophical Authority in the Belly of El Monstruo: A Case Study in Nonideal Political Theory and Epistemic Democracy” in 2012 under the supervision of Professor Alison Jaggar, and he is currently a candidate for his PhD in Education Foundations, Policy, and Practice under the advisorship of Professor Ken Howe. David’s research focuses on political theory and education policy, specifically the political purposes of public schooling and contemporary school reforms. His work toward the Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies has influenced both the theoretical perspectives and methodologies that inform his research and teaching. In the future he hopes to teach courses in women and gender studies and to continue to support gender equity and justice through his scholarship.

Erica Rodriguez
Erica is a master’s candidate in the Department of Philosophy, with an expected completion date of summer 2014. In her thesis “State Interests and the Language of Neutrality,” she discusses the Supreme Court’s standards of review in abortion cases and suggests that moral considerations require that these standard be revised. Her main area of research is feminist philosophy of law. Erica says, “In pursuit of the WGST graduate certificate, I was given the opportunity to learn from courses outside of my department to explore how justice actually operates in society and what options there are for pursuing solutions.”

Joseph Scott Wilson Jr.
Joseph is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Philosophy. His research interests center around philosophy of mind and social cognition. Joseph says, “The WGST certificate has given me important lenses from which to view cognition and social phenomena, introducing me to important theoretical frameworks and social perspectives that I would not have covered otherwise.”

Also receiving a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies:
Lindsey Morgan Cantwell
Kate Lockwood Harris
Allison Lockwood Rowland

Scholarship & Award Winners

Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship
Given in honor of Lucile Berkeley Buchanan, the first black female graduate of the University of Colorado, this scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates a commitment towards social justice, with preference given to students who are the first generation in their family to attend college.

TeresaTeresa Boness is this year’s Lucile Berkeley Buchanan scholarship recipient. Teresa has long demonstrated her commitment to inclusive social justice. She has extensive experience directing school and community based mentoring programs for at-risk youth. She has volunteered with the American Indian population, particularly with women, in northwestern Nebraska and southern South Dakota as a job coach and tutor. At CU she serves as a board member of the student government’s diversity committee, she is a Career Services Student Advisory board member, and is an active member of the Academic Excellence Program and the Center for Multicultural Affairs.

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. 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.

KatieKatie Raitz, is this year’s Dubofsky Scholarship recipient, both for her academic excellence and high level of civic engagement. She has initiated and participated in efforts on campus and beyond to address reproductive rights, sexual education, environmentalism, anti-racism, LGBTQ rights, and more. She has served on student government, organized numerous events and campaigns, facilitated trainings, testified in front of the state legislature, given keynote speeches on youth activism, started new advocacy/activist groups, and served a mentor and advisor for youth activism. She has already been recognized for a number of prestigious awards, including the Putska Scholarship, the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Scholar of Promise, and most recently the College of Arts and Science’s prestigious Van Ek Award, for outstanding academic achievement and contributions to the university and Boulder communities.

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, and given in her honor to a student who exhibits strong academic achievement and shows a similar commitment to that of Susannah Chase to the study of social justice. This year we had so many strong applicants we decided to give this award to three very deserving recipients.

HibaqHibaq Loyan is a women and gender studies minor, pursuing a major in integrative physiology. On campus, she serves as an outreach coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center. She is also involved in several global health equality causes. Through GlobeMed and their partner Himalayan Health Care she is working to support girls’ education and entrepreneurship in rural Nepal villages. She also volunteers with the Gedo Hospital Relief fund to have a hospital built in her family’s homeland in Somalia that will have a part dedicated to obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health resources more broadly.

CatarinaCatarina Massa is majoring in geography, with a women and gender studies minor, and is a staff writer for the CU Independent where she has written about issues of social justice. Catarina hopes to use some of her personal experiences to help others, to work for gender equality, and to demonstrate to women facing extreme adversity that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Josie Valadez Fraire is a women and gender studies minor, with majors in both ethnic studies and psychology. Josie has been actively involved in learning about and challenging oppression surrounding gender and sexuality. She is a member of MeCha and has been working on the national G & S Council which is focused on bringing issues of gender and sexuality into the conversation of the organization and activism for Chicano/a communities at the local and national level. As a member of a multicultural sorority, she has helped plan the Semana de la Xicana event. She has also been working with Dr. Glenda Russell of CAPS on a research project focused on LGBTQ teachers in the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts.

Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award

Dr. Joanne Easley Arnold

Dr. Joanne Easley Arnold

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 is given to a graduating women and gender studies major to recognize them for outstanding leadership and service to women and gender studies specifically. The award goes 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 nominations.

Shannie-awardShannie Ebrahimian stands out for her commitment to the Women and Gender Studies Program both inside and outside the classroom, and is this year’s recipient of the Joanne Easley Arnold Outstanding Senior Award. While many of our students come to our department later in the career, often adding it as a second major or minor, Shannie came in pretty confident of her interest right from the beginning. While she has always been passionate about social justice, we have seen her evolve in her academics and in her activism. In the classroom, she is always well prepared and engaged. Her academic work is superb and she models classroom leadership with active listening, effective questions, and compelling insights. She is quick to address injustices, but over time has learned to try and do it in a way that calls people into community and works to bridge differences. She can take charge of situations, but she also encourages and supports others to take the lead. She is both a strong advocate and ambassador of the program and has gone above and beyond in helping to build and promote a stronger department.

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Bolder Voices
Women and Gender Studies Program Newsletter
Director: Robert Buffington
Faculty: Lorraine Bayard de Volo, Sam Bullington, Emmanuel David, Janet Jacobs, Alison Jaggar, Deepti Misri, Celeste Montoya, Katie Oliviero
Staff: Alicia Turchette, Valerie Bhat
Please support the
Women and Gender Studies Program!

You can make a tax-deductible donation online at,
or send your check made out to “CU Foundation”,
note “WGST”, and mail to:
CU Foundation, ATTN: Kimberly Bowman,
1305 University Ave., Boulder, CO 80302
or call 303-541-1446.
Contact Information:
Women and Gender Studies Program
University of Colorado Boulder
Hazel Gates Woodruff Cottage
246 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0246
Phone: (303) 492-8923
Fax: (303) 492-2549
Thank you for supporting Women and Gender Studies at CU-Boulder!