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Friday, September 24, 2021

Fine Arts

Open house informs and increases awareness

The Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program kicked off its spring with an open house Tuesday.

With the support of Friends of Women’s Studies, the WGSS offers two academic minors in women and LGBT studies and a graduate certificate in women’s studies.

The director of WGSS, English professor Elizabeth Gregory, welcomed all faculty and students to learn about the program and it’s contributions.

“The open house is the same as any open house,” said Gregory. “It gives people a chance to get together with colleagues, interested students and supporters who are interested in our program.”

The program is in the process of developing a major for these studies. So far, the program has a positive review in terms of their faculty and affiliated courses. The classes are cross-listed with other departments but WGSS plans on making these classes focus with the program. FWS president Susana Monteverde said the classes from the program could help students in their everyday life.

“It helps students think critically about the roles of women, even for men,” said Monteverde. “It gives young people the opportunity to be activated in advocating for themselves.”

FWS is a community organization that raises money for the program. Table Talk is an event in which Houston women of various professions lead conversations with guests. Table Talk and other community events proceeds go to scholarships for undergraduates and graduates.

The Post-Doctoral Fellowship invites recent doctoral graduates to come to the University and talk about the research they’ve done. American studies doctorate Rachel Quinn is a new member to the program. She is now working on a research project on Dominican women and other transnational identities.

“My goal is to educate students so it can hopefully improve the quality of their lives,” Quinn said.

With the events and classes the program offers, students are becoming more interested into getting a minor in these studies. Psychology and anthropology junior Peighton Wagner says the program is great for students.

“I think it’s very interesting, and I’m very interested in the LGBT studies,” Wagner said. “I’m going to dive more into this program and learn more about it.”

Graduates who have a major in social work, law and other public relations can have a minor in these studies, which can help them in the future, Gregory said.

“Every person should take these courses because it helps you cope with the obstacles people face everyday,” said Gregory. “You can either be subject to it or you can be part of changing it in the ways that is a problem.”

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