Dr. Bonnie MoradiDiversity and inclusion was a prominent theme across campus this year. Questions about what this theme means and how it is enacted at UF were at the heart of student protests and activism, they were a focus in the substantial faculty hiring initiative across campus, and they were integral to the search for UF’s inaugural Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) this year. In this context, it was particularly important that this year’s National Women’s Studies Association Chairs and Directors meeting engaged participants in a critical analysis of current diversity and inclusion discourses and our field’s responsibility to transform these discourses and practices through our teaching, research, and service.


“I believe that on each of these dimensions, such a focus moves us from simply getting different people to the table (diversity/ inclusion) to striving for fair and ethical systems that promote care, foster trust and help more (all) people thrive (equity/justice).”
-Dr. Bonnie Moradi


Some of the key points that I took away from attending this conference were that diversity and inclusion efforts fall short if they reduce this issue simply to celebrating group differences or to increasing numbers of people placed in various categories, without naming race, gender, sexualities, and other SYSTEMIC POWER INEQUALITIES as the fundamental structures that require critical analysis and transformation. The latter focus calls for centering a mission of equity and justice. How might a focus on establishing systems, procedures, and practices that foster equity and justice shape our general education curriculum? our student recruitment and advising efforts? our hiring and retention of faculty? our valuing of faculty research, teaching, and service? our support and opportunities for staff? our commitment to experiential learning, internships, and study abroad? What problems and solutions begin to emerge when we center equity and justice as institutional goals? I believe that on each of these dimensions, such a focus moves us from simply getting different people to the table (diversity/ inclusion) to striving for fair and ethical systems that promote care, foster trust, and help more (all) people thrive (equity/justice). Here, I borrow Dafina Lazarus Stewart’s (2017) questions drawing this distinction:


  • Diversity asks, “Who’s in the room?” Equity responds: “Who is trying to get in the room but can’t? Whose presence in the room is under constant threat of erasure?”
  • Diversity asks, “How many more of [pick any minoritized identity] group do we have this year than last?” Equity responds, “What conditions have we created that maintain certain groups as the perpetual majority here?”
  • Inclusion asks, “Is this environment safe for everyone to feel like they belong?” Justice challenges, “Whose safety is being sacrificed and minimized to allow others to be comfortable maintaining dehumanizing views?”
  • Inclusion celebrates awards for initiatives and credits itselffor having a diverse candidate pool. Justice celebrates getting rid of practices and policies that were having disparate impacts on minoritized groups.


I think of our Center accomplishments this year with this frame in mind. We are delighted to have hired Dr. Jillian Hernandez (joins us in the fall) whose research and teaching engages art as social justice activism, centering the experiences of women of color. Dr. Hernandez adds to our units’ strengths on the intersections of class, gender, race, sexualities and on feminist praxis. Another example of striving for equity and justice through our work is the continuing growth of our experiential learning offerings through internship, practicum, and student research. Last year, we placed 32 students in research experiences and 116 of our majors, minors, and graduate students in internship and practicum experiences focusing on justice issues such as violence against women, campus climate, and health equity. In addition, Center faculty organized or participated in events focused on social justice activism through art, activism and health in intersex communities, inequities in health care access and outcomes, reproductive justice, take back the night, and more. Many of our new courses for next year also center equity and justice, including Sexual Ethics, Social Justice Praxis, LGBTQ Movements and Activisms, and Women and Entrepreneurship, all offered in fall 2018. Last but not least, we are particularly proud of our students (see pages 4-6) who presented their work and won major awards for their equity and justice-focused research and community engagement. We thank you all for your continuing engagement with the Center and our work toward greater equity and justice!


Lazarus Stewart, D. (March 30, 2017). Language of appeasement. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https:// www.insidehighered.com/ views/2017/03/30/colleges- need-language-shift-not-one- you-think-essay.

This spring, an impressive number of Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research (CGSWSR) core and affiliate faculty members received grants to develop transformative new courses. These grants advance internationalization and interdisciplinarity, and they connect research with teaching to address pressing themes, questions, and challenges.

Internationalizing the Curriculum Grant

These grants from the UF International Center (UFIC) are designed to internationalize UF undergraduate courses as part of the Learning Without Borders initiative.

  • CGSWSR core faculty member Dr. Maddy Coy received the Internationalizing the Curriculum grant for her Violence Against Women course. This course is now part of International Scholars Program.

Interdisciplinary Team-Teaching in the Humanities Grant

These grants from the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere are designed to encourage faculty members across departments or colleges to collaborate in the classroom to offer undergraduate interdisciplinary courses on topics related to the humanities.

  • CGSWSR core faculty member Dr. Trysh Travis, with colleague Dr. Rachel Gordon, received the Interdisciplinary Team-Teaching in the Humanities grant to develop a course on Women and Religion in Popular American Fiction.

UF Mellon Intersections Research-Into-Teaching Grants

Organized by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, these grants support cross-disciplinary research to inform the creation of interdisciplinary courses and creative activities that engage students in and beyond the classroom to address major challenges.

  • CGSWSR core faculty members Dr. Tanya Saunders and Dr. Manoucheka Celeste received the Intersections Mellon Grant for Intersections on Global Blackness and Latinx Identity. Members and Affiliates of this research group include CGSWSR core faculty member Dr. Jillian Hernandez, CGSWSR affiliate faculty members Dr. Lillian Guerra and Dr. Paul Ortiz, and other colleagues Drs. Sharon Austin, Efraín Barradas, Christopher Busey, Coco Fusco, Benjamin Hebblethwaithe, Bryce Henson, Agnes Leslie, Michael Leslie, and Nick Vargas.


  • CGSWSR affiliate faculty member Dr. Anna Peterson with Co-convener Dr. Jaime Ahlberg received the Intersections Mellon Grant for Intersections on Ethics and the Public Sphere. Members of this research group include CGSWSR affiliate faculty member Dr. Whitney Sanford, and other colleagues Dr. Elaine Giles, April Hines, and Kim Walsh-Childers.


  • CGSWSR affiliate faculty member Dr. Jodi Schorb with Co-convener Stephanie Birch received the Intersections Mellon Grant for Intersections on Mass Incarceration. Members of this research group include CGSWSR affiliate faculty members Dr. Elizabeth Dale and Dr. Katheryn Russell-Brown, and colleagues Drs. Lauren Pearlman and Heather Vrana.


  • CGSWSR affiliate faculty member Dr. Betty Smocovitis with Co-convener Dr. Eleni Bozia, received the Intersections Mellon Grant for Intersections on Technologies of Space and Time. Members of this research group include CGSWSR affiliate faculty members Dr. Ken Sassaman and Dr. Ying Xiao, and colleaugues Drs. Angelos Barmpoutis, Will Hasty, and Morris (Marty) Hylton III.

Taylor Burtch (MA, 2018) graduated with her MA this spring term. In March, she defended her MA project, “From Theory to Praxis: Supporting Gender-Responsive and Intersectional Programming at PACE Center for Girls” under the mentorship of Dr. Kendal Broad-Wright. Next fall, she will begin the PhD program in Higher Education and Administration here at UF, and she will hold a graduate assistantship with the College of Education. Taylor extends her greatest thanks to the Center for Gender, Sexualities & Women’s Studies Research for allowing her the space to grow both personally and intellectually as a feminist scholar.

Angelica Jazmin Carlos will defend her MA project in the summer of 2018, which involved the production and creation of videos that are intended to teach adolescents and young adults about intimate partner violence (IPV). Along with the videos, she has written a paper that discusses her positionality, the importance of IPV education, and how it relates to the field of Women’s Studies. Angelica will be joining the doctoral program in Sociology at Washington State University after her time at the UF.


The UF Presidential Service Award, UF Outstanding Service Learning/ Community Based Learning Award, and UF Outstanding Service Among Graduate Students are managed by UF’s David and Wanda Brown Center for Leadership & Service They recognize students who “dedicate themselves to promoting social justice, community awareness, and civic engagement on campus and in the community.”

Aishwarya Krishna Iyer (MA, 2018) defended her thesis on the need for gender budgeting in the United States and her Doctor of Juridical Science degree from the Law School. Before graduating, Aishwarya received the UF Presidential Service Award, UF Outstanding Service Learning/ Community Based Learning Award, and UF Outstanding Service Among Graduate Students award. She received these honors for her extensive internship and volunteer work, including developing a database for a program that would provide education on social entrepreneurship to high school-aged girls and working with the UF Vendor Diversity initiative to expand their training for women. Aishwarya went home to India in late April to get married, and will return to the U.S. to start her new job in July as an International Tax Consultant at the multi-national accounting firm of Price, Waterhouse, Cooper in New York City.

Eva Newbold (MA, 2018) graduated with her MA in Women’s Studies this spring. She defended her thesis titled “‘Even I Don’t Know Who I Am:’ the Search for a New Scottish National Identity in the Poetry of Jackie Kay.” In March, Eva presented her research titled, Representations of Girlhood in Wartime: The Effects of the Iraq War on American Girlhood as Explored in the Novel Dear Blue Sky, at the Annual Lewis and Clark College Gender Studies Symposium. Eva will be taking a gap year to take time to read and travel before continuing her education.


“My time at the Center has trained me to think intersectionally, and to consider my own subjectivity and position of Power as a teacher.”
-Mallory Szymanski


Mirela Cardinal attended her first NWSA conference this year. She will be working on her MA project, which explores the discourses available on YouTube produced by queer YouTubers from Brazil and the public reactions. She will analyze the content in the videos and the comments section about queer experiences in Brazil. Over the summer, Mirela plans to compile and annotate sources, start to collect and analyze her data and write a draft of her paper.

Corinne Futch also attended her first NWSA conference this year. This summer, she will commence working on her MA Project, a podcast about women’s health and oppression. She hopes to use this work as a bridge for academia and activism. Corinne is excited to TA for Dr. Guyer this summer and to learn about health disparities.

Meaghan MacPherson will continue research on her thesis tentatively titled “#Surviving on Twitter.” Her research focuses on the intersection of hashtag feminism, affect theory, and survivor discourse in the #MeToo movement. Her summer plans include working, outlining her thesis, and working on her blog.


Marcella Murillo Lafuente (Center in fuchsia) receives a Graduate Student Teaching Award

Marcela Murillo Lafuente presented her research at two national conferences. With several other UF students and Center alums, she presented at NWSA. At the Popular Culture Association (PCA) conference, she presented a paper she wrote in one of her women’s studies seminars. The paper was so warmly received that a journal editor approached her to submit a manuscript for peer-review for possible publication. In addition, Marcella received an NWSA Travel grant and the PCA’s Schoenecke Travel Grant, as well as a UF Graduate Student Teaching Award. This summer, Marcela will work on the data collection for her thesis. Her project studies the domestic practice of laundry using a feminist analysis. She aims to contextualize the historically challenged relationship between this domestic task and feminism through scholarly readings and her study.

Anthony Dustin Rollins is finishing his second year as an MA- PhD student in the Center and is continuing to focus his research on intersectionality and contemporary HIV/AIDS Activism within a queer context. His thesis will address the Sexual Liberation Narratives of Queer College Men using Tuvada as Pre- exposure Prophylaxis. He is excited to continue contributing to the Center and queer intersectional scholarship.

Karleen Schlichtmann attended NWSA and presented with Center faculty in a roundtable on Black Health Matters. She also had a busy spring semester during which she received her Peer Sex Education Certification from Planned Parenthood, and served as a panel member for Planned Parenthood Generation Action “Decolonizing Sexual Health.” This summer, Karleen is looking forward to working on her thesis on existing research about and resources for Black women living with HIV. She is also starting an internship and spending time with her family.

Jane Stanley began work on her MA project this semester. It is titled “Women in Comedy” and will take the shape of a blog with information regarding the impacts and feminism of various female comedians. Jane will also work with the Gainesville Girls Rock Camp over the summer, where she hopes to gain experience in feminist activism.

Matthew Stern was another first time NWSA attendee this year. Matt will continue research on his thesis project under the mentorship of Dr. Tace Hedrick and Dr. Maddy Coy. His thesis will explore the impacts of images of violence against women in contemporary mystery television shows and video games. He plans to spend the summer reading feminist scholarship about violence against women and analyzing the texts he plans to write about.

Hannah Tabor will be a BA/ MA student, working on an MA project to create a college- level course titled “Feminist International Relations” to bring the fields of Gender Studies and International Relations together. The course will examine how Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies knowledge can improve the field of International Relations to become more intersectional and transnational. Her summer plans include compiling research so she can begin designing the course during the fall semester.

Nik Wiles continues work on their MA project, a memoir- style book that hopes to tackle discussions of gender identity in the context of parenting. Nik recently presented a working chapter from their book at the 37th Annual Lewis & Clark Gender Symposium. It is their goal to present further working chapters of the book at other conferences as they move into their second year of the program.

Alexandria Wilson is continuing as an MA-PhD student and is excited to TA for the Center this summer. Alexandria was awarded a Rothman Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities and a Fulbright Research Grant, both to conduct her dissertation research on “Framing Exploitation: feminist frames and anti- trafficking policy in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.” Alexandria will be moving to Eastern Europe at the end of the summer to begin her dissertation research in Slovakia. She will also continue working on her MA article in which she looks at how women’s organizations in Eastern Europe are resisting the new upsurge in gender backlash and rising resistance to women’s rights in the region. Alexandria has a forthcoming book review which will be published in the May issue of the European Journal of Women’s Studies.

headshot of blonde woman with savvy hairdo

The Center congratulates Dr. Mallory Szymanski on her new position as an Assistant Professor of U.S. History in the Division of Human Studies at Alfred University in Rochester, New York.

Dr. Szymanski received her B.A. in English and History from UF in 2006, and then received her M.A. in Women’s Stud- ies from the Center in 2008. In 2017, she earned a Ph.D. in History from UF. Dr. Szymanski’s dissertation, “Sexual Dysfunction as the ‘National Disease of America:’ Neurasthenia and the Medicalization of Men’s Sexual and Emotional Health in the Gilded Age,” explores how a popular late-nineteenth century medical diagnosis known as neurasthenia, or nervousness, camouflaged a national conversation about men’s sexual health in the U.S.

Dr. Szymanski has taught numerous classes for the Center since 2012 and many students joined the Women’s Studies major through her inspiring teaching. At Alfred University, she says, “I want to offer classes that appeal to two audiences: the already-committed history major and the student who believes history is irrelevant to their lives. This is a tough balance to strike, but Alfred University has a diverse student body, so I’m excited to see what they bring to the table.”

When asked about what she learned from the job search process, Dr. Szymanski highlighted that it is important not to dwell on rejections or take rejections personally. On this, she says, “Each search committee has its own set of ideas about who they want to hire, and these are often unstated and undetectable. An applicant can control the quality of their work and application materials, but whether these will be deemed a good fit by the search committee—well, that’s out of the applicant’s hands. It was so important for me to keep these things in mind as I put myself out there to be evaluated. I applied to over 50 positions, and got plenty more rejections than invitations to interview, so I learned early on to let the outcomes go.”

Dr. Szymanski also learned that camaraderie with other scholars on the job market is important. She says, “It helped so much to have a coterie of people who were at similar career stages with whom I could share challenges and triumphs, review application materials, and practice interview techniques… I took a lot of comfort in hearing other people’s stories about interviewing, and I learned a lot about what to expect from those who have recently been through the process.”

Dr. Szymanski believes that earning her M.A. in Women’s Studies and teaching for the Center for six years has given her an “interdisciplinary edge” that opened doors for her in the job search. This led her to her position at Alfred University, where she will blend History and Women’s Studies together in the courses she teaches. Furthermore, Dr. Szymanski says that her time at the Center has trained her to “think and teach intersectionally, and to consider my own subjectivity and position of power as a teacher.”

When asked what advice she would offer to other feminist scholars on the job market, Dr. Szymanski emphasized that because “there are lots of good ways to pursue an academic career,” it’s important for a feminist scholar to determine what job search strategy will work best for them. Dr. Szymanski also offered advice for graduate stu- dents in Women’s Studies: “cultivate relationships with faculty who give you critical and comprehensive feedback on your writing. And as soon as possi- ble, come to see that kind of feedback as an act of generosity and care, not of derision or condescension.”

The Center is sad to see Dr. Szymanski go, but we are very proud of her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck at Alfred University.

Alum’s Research Examines Race and Gender in Science and Science Fiction

closeup selfie of beaming young woman     Karina A. Vado graduated with the MA in Women’s Studies in 2014. She began her PhD studies as a Florida Education Fund McKnight Doctoral Follow in UF’s Department of English in 2015. Karina’s research lies at the intersections of science fiction studies, science and technology studies, and critical race and gender studies. She has since advanced to candidacy and is currently at work on her dissertation titled, “Mapping Bloodlines, Engineering Utopia: Genetic Futurities and Race Mixture in American Speculative Fiction.”

As I was the only child of Nicaraguan immigrants, my parents were less than enthused about my wanting to pursue an MA in Women’s Studies. They couldn’t understand why I’d want to dedicate my life to researching “esoteric” issues given what they saw as the inevitable economic instability that comes with earning a non-STEM degree. Despite my parent’s initial reluctance, I decided to pursue the MA to gain a better understanding of how the intersections of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and sexuality inform(ed) the literary and cultural contributions made by people—especially women—of color in the Americas. Though I graduated from the program close to four years ago, the Women’s Studies question ofhow to merge feminist theory with feminist practice to critically address our most pressing social issues has stayed with me and has influenced how I approach my research questions, as well as the myriad intentional pedagogical strategies I employ inside and outside the traditional classroom.

Thanks to the interdisplinary education I received in the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research (CGSWSR), my research on the politics and representation of mixed-race corporeality in (proto)genetic American science fiction is informed by my on-going training in the history of science (particularly of the life sciences), biological anthropology, and medical sociology. Approaching the study of science fiction literature in this manner allows me to differently engage in the important task of historically unpacking and problematizing the “science” in science fiction (SF), particularly in that of 20th century and contemporary multi-ethnic and feminist SF.

Likewise, the pedagogical training I received in the CGSWSR from the brilliant Dr. Carolyn Kelley prepared me to bring this very same interdisciplinary (and social justice inflected) focus to my classroom. I urge my students to examine and question texts’ ideological assumptions through this ever-necessary vantage point. For instance, in my upper-level English course entitled, “Extrapolating Race and Science in African American and Latinx/Chicanx SF,” my students are asked to read excerpts of scientific narratives such as Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man. We then trace how colonial grammars of race, gender, and sexuality not only animate the scientific discourses of the period but also inform and shape the generic conventions of early white masculinist SF. Through this always interdisciplinary, always intersectional, and always historically, socially, and politically situated reading of literature, I encourage students, as I saw Dr. Kelley do during my time as her TA, to be stronger and more socio-politically aware critical thinkers, writers, and civically engaged agents.

Aside from the invaluable research and pedagogical preparation I received in the CGSWSR, my MA experience encouraged my aspirations to be actively involved in social justice efforts outside of the university classroom. I currently serve as the Senior Coordinator of PODEMOS, a two-semester initiative offered by Hispanic- Latino Affairs that consists of an academic success program in the fall semester (Latino Educational Advancement Program, LEAP), and a professionalization program in the spring semester (Personal Opportunities and Diverse Experience Resource, PODER). Designed to assist first-year Latinx students acclimate to higher education, the program offers many of the bi-weekly academic, research, and professionalization workshops that I wish I had as a first-generation Latina college student. The program is entering its fourth semester and has tripled in numbers during this period, bringing us one step closer to increasing the amount of Hispanic-Latinx people in the United States who have earned a bachelor’s degree.

Ultimately, I credit the combination of research, pedagogical, and professionalization opportunities that the CGSWSR offered me in starting and influencing (to this day) what I hope will be a long and fruitful career as an activist- scholar.

Francesse Lucius graduated with her BA in Women’s Studies in 2009. Currently, she is an attorney with Children’s Legal Services / Department of Children and Families.

I became interested in Women’s Studies in high school when I took a class on Women’s Studies and Literature. I had just moved to Florida from Haiti and had an amazing English teacher who inspired me to fully live my potential. In her class, she had us create a booklet of our life, career, and personal wishes for the next 10 years. This project prompted me to research colleges. I decided on the University of Florida because their pamphlets were nicer and it is the best school in the State. I looked at majors and minors offered at UF and to my surprise, the school offered a major in Women’s Studies. It was a sign!

I still have my 10-year wishes booklet. About five years ago, I found it in my mom’s garage and my tears would not stop flowing. I tell this story because it reflects my experience as a Women’s Studies major at UF and the idea that representation is important. When my White high school teacher taught a class focused on feminist writers, the majority of whom were Women of Color, that was all I needed to imagine myself leading a well- meaning life and reaching higher. This is the same experience I had in my Women’s Studies classes at UF. The work was difficult. The curriculum was heavy. But, I loved every book, every lecture, and every discussion on intersectionality, biopolitics, food politics, and reproductive health. I felt empowered, I felt strong, and I had endless opportunities to serve my community and make a difference.

After graduating from UF, I obtained a position with a domestic violence shelter in South Florida. After a year, I enrolled at the University of Miami School of Law. My background in Women’s Studies set me apart in my classes. I had developed strong critical thinking skills and a self-reliant and humble attitude that contributed to my success in Law School. I was able to look past the fluff to focus my decisions and thought-processes. The road to my Women’s Studies degree was not smooth. It was full of uncertainty. My first semester, I was advised that I would not find a job with the degree and should double- major in Political Science. I also was unsure about job possibilities, but once I entered the job market, I realized I had something that most other applicants did not: I had extensive experience through internships as well as my classes such as my service- learning class with Professor Anantharam.

Today, I’m a Florida licensed attorney and in my work, I continue to use what I learned from my Women’s Studies degree. My work involves families, children, community partners, extensive trauma and everything that comes with tragedy. It is pivotal that I have an understanding of intersectionality and community advocacy to best serve the families in their time of need. My advice to current majors is to capitalize on the rich opportunities that the Women’s Studies major provides and to connect with the local community because these opportunities boost your thinking, skills, and résumé.

Embracing the Transition from Student to Preceptor

Cathaerina Appadoo is a first generation American; her mother was born and raised in Haiti and her father was born and raised in Guyana. She watched her mother work multiple jobs while completing her college education because, like so many immigrant parents, she was determined to provide a better life for her children. Cathaerina’s mother wanted to be a physician and voice for underserved people from similar backgrounds. Although she put her dream “on hold” while the family grew, her aspiration planted a seed in Cathaerina and ignited a desire to enter the medical profession and provide care to those in greatest need.

Cathaerina describes herself as “a Black woman with a long interest in minority health.” She volunteered for two years at the Minority AIDS Program (MAP) at the Alachua County Health Department (ACHD). When she met people affected by HIV/AIDS, she noticed that many were people of color experiencing disparities in the quality of care and access to care. She also witnessed failed attempts within her own family to communicate with physicians and this fueled her interest in becoming a health provider who connected with her patients.

Cathaerina’s summer practicum with MAP in 2016 was life changing. Working directly with clients, she saw the substantial burden of HIV in the Black community, her community. Black men who have sex with men (MSM) and black women are disproportionately affected by HIV in Alachua County and Cathaerina believes that Black MSM are the most difficult to reach and engage in care due to social stigma. Black women often attend to family needs over their own healthcare needs. Women’s health is complicated further by recent reductions in federal funds for women’s health services. It is difficult to access healthcare and resources related to sexual health and women of color face even greater challenges.

Meeting people with great need and little access to care sparked Cathaerina’s passion about HIV prevention in her community. Consistent with this passion, upon graduating, Cathaerina accepted the position of Minority AIDS Coordinator (MAC) at the ACHD. The MAC serves as Community Liaison, Resource Officer, and Program Consultant from the Department of Health’s Bureau of HIV/ AIDS to the minority populations of fifteen counties in North Central Florida (Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Citrus, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union Counties). As MAC, Catherina wants to focus on community outreach and provide education to marginalized and underserved populations who are uninsured, homeless, have low income, lack transportation, and have little trust in the established medical community. She wants to take programs and services to the people where they live, work and play.


“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.”
– Libba Bray


As a CGSWSR practicum preceptor, Cathaerina wants practicum students “to really get out in the community and experience the disparities that they learn about in class.” Cathaerina knows students will gain a new perspective from working directly with clients. “It will help them understand more about life and healthcare outside the realm of [being a] university student. I want students to be inspired by their practicum to work in their communities and make the changes needed to eliminate health disparities in areas where they are passionate.” She believes that “every student interested in healthcare should participate in a health disparities practicum. We need health providers that are culturally competent and patient-centered – the Health Disparities in Society minor is an amazing step toward creating future providers who can make health equity a reality.”

Last year a course assignment challenged Cathaerina to reflect on the relationship between social inequality and limited access to health care among people of color and low socioeconomic status. After careful reflection, she wrote, “I work with low SES racial and ethnic minorities, as well as the LGBTQ+ population, and see the theories of social inequality playing a role in poorer health outcomes. I see stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in the black community that leads to increased stress and anxiety among affected individuals. I see low SES populations whose limited access to care and resources leaves them without the knowledge or ability to fully utilize preventive services, receive quality care or experience continuation of care. To keep these populations from falling through the cracks, they need representation as well as our outreach efforts.”

Today, Cathaerina’s leadership and mentoring of practicum students will help ensure that her insights become reality for Floridians in fifteen counties.

Feminist Praxis, or the inextricable link between feminist scholarship and practice, is at the heart of the transformational power of gender, sexualities, and women’s studies. The Center is proud to place over 100 students a year in internship and practicum experiences where students put their academic learning into practice that transforms themselves, their communities, and the world. Our Preceptor Profiles feature our community partners who contribute to this important aspect of the Center’s mission.

Thank you to everyone whose generosity helps the Center continue to thrive, including the following donors:


  • Ms. Kathryn Chicone Ustler
  • Association for AcademicWomen
  • Mr. Gregory R. Allen
  • Dr. Marni A. Brown & Mr. Casey A. Brown
  • Mr. Fred Cantrell, Jr.
  • Mrs. Janet Fant Carlson
  • Ms. Jean Chalmers & Dr. David M. Chalmers
  • Ms. Susan F. Delegal
  • Dr. Sheila Dickison
  • Dr. Paul L. Doughty
  • Dr. Margaret U. Fields & Dr. Michael J. Fields
  • Mr. Michael B. Friskey
  • Dr. Jamie R. Funderburk
  • Mr. John A Grannan
  • Dr. David G. Hackett
  • Ms. Jeanette K. Helfrich
  • Mr. James W. Hicks
  • Dr. Sidney Homan, Jr. & Mrs. Norma M. Homan
  • Dr. Nicole A. Horenstein
  • Dr. Grady E. Johnson, Jr.
  • Mrs. Kelly Johnstone
  • Mr. Charles C. Kafoglis
  • Mr. Sid Kennedy
  • Dr. Angel Kwolek-Folland & Mr. Nathan O. Folland
  • Dr. Madelyn Lockhart
  • Dr. Mary K. Lockwood
  • Ms. Deborah McTigue
  • Ms. Sharon D. Mander
  • Mr. Grady McClendon
  • Mrs. Debra B. O’Brien & Mr. John R. O’Brien
  • Dr. Judith W. Page and Professor William H. Page
  • Ms. Amber Paoloemilio
  • Ms. Rachel L. Pettit-Munns
  • Dr. Jaquelyn L. Resnick and Dr. Michael B. Resnick
  • Ms. Pamela Schroeder
  • Ms. Preeti Sharma
  • Ms. Eleanor C. Smeal
  • Ms. Clara J. Smith
  • Dr. John M. Spivack
  • Ms. Anita R. Sundaram
  • Ms. Deborah Whippen
  • Mr. Robert Wilder
  • Mr. John H. Williams, Jr.


Donations to the Center are used to fund conferences, symposia, educational travel for graduate students, scholarship funds, speaker honoraria, and exhibit support.


Ustler Hall

Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research

Offers an interdisciplinary forum for the study of gender and sexualities, their intersections with race/ethnicity, class and other sociocultural systems, and their functions in cultures and societies.

Opportunities for Giving to the UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research

We appreciate the generosity of our donors at all levels. For those thinking of a significant gift, we have some suggestions:


$250 Garden walk pavers for the Yardley Garden (honor a recent graduate or teacher)
$500-1000 Send a student to a regional or national meeting, or fund a student’s research trip
$1000 Garden enhancement and plants for the Yardley Garden:
Name a section of the garden for a friend or loved one (a plaque will indicate contribution)
$1000 Inscription for an existing bench in Yardley Garden in honor of a friend or loved one
$2000 A bench in Ustler Hall in honor of a friend or loved one, with an inscribed plaque
$5000 Sponsor a major named lecture (one time event)
$1000-5000 Help us to purchase new furniture/audio-visual equipment for the Atrium (a plaque will indicate contribution)
$5000 Support faculty research for the summer (Faculty Summer Research Fellowship)
$5000 Course development (New Course Development Grant)
$10,000 Inscription on the Yardley Wall


For major gifts and other naming opportunities, please contact Christy Popwell, Director of Development, CLAS: (352) 392-1964 or cpopwell@ufl.edu.

  • The Center’s Annual “Fall Reception” was held on September 18th. Dean Laura Rosenbury, of the UF Levin College of Law was the “Uppity Woman Award” recipient.


  • “Becoming Cliterate,” a book signing and Yeomans’ Chair sponsored talk by Dr. Laurie Mintz was held in September 25th and was co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology.


  • UF LGBTQ Affairs Faculty Fellow Lecture Series organized by Dr. Manoucheka Celeste brought three national scholars to UF: Monstrous Erasure: Quare Femme (In)visibility in Get Out, Dr. Bernadette Calafell; Sex Toys and Social Entrepreneurship, Dr. Lynn Comella; Intersex and the Power in a Name, Dr. Georgiann Davis.


  • “Queer in the Capital” DC Pride 2017 Fieldwork Trip Roundtable, a panel discussion and presentation, was held on October 25th, and was sponsored in collaboration with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.


  • “Voices from the March,” a multimedia theatrical experience compiling oral history narratives from the Women’s March on Washington and the experiences of the students documenting the experience was held at the 2018 Social Justice Summer on November 1st.. This project was a collaboration between the Center and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.


  • “Absolutely Safe,” a Yeomans Chair sponsored talk, featured a documentary film about breast implant safety and the intersection of health, money, science and beauty. It was held on November 7th and followed by a talk by the director Carol Ciancutti. Co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology, the College of Health and Human Performance and GatorWell.


  • “Revenge Porn Reform: Using Law, Policy, and Technology to Protect Intimate Privacy,” a lecture by Dr. Mary Anne Franks, Professor of Social Justice/Public Interest Concentration Affiliated Faculty, Miami School of Law, was held on November 9th. This event was supported by the Edna Saffy Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by Levin College of Law.


  • “Artivism, Feminism, and LGBT Activism in Jamaica,” was a presentation by DJ Afifa, co-founder of SO((U))L HQ and Di Institute for Social Leadership in Kingston Jamaica. The presentation was co-sponsored by LGBTQ Affairs, the Center for Latin American Studies, and UF Hispanic-Latino Affairs.

The Center also co-sponsored many UF and community events including the following:

  • “Collaborating Across the Divide: Digital Humanities and the Caribbean,” a symposium hosted by the Center for Latin American Studies.


  • “What Were You Wearing?” a survivor exhibit, provides a tangible response to one of our culture’s most persuasive rape myths. Sponsored by STRIVE.


  • “Take Back The Night: A March and Rally to End Sexual Violence,” featured a talk by the Center’s own Dr. Maddy Coy and was sponsored by STRIVE at GatorWell, among other co-sponsors.


  • “Evening with Industry” (multiple), sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers.


  • “Pride Awareness Month” and “PAM Opening Ceremony,” organized by UF Multicultural and Diversity Affairs.


  • “Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium,” with the UF Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.


  • “The Florida Writer’s Festival,” organized by MFA@FLA and the Department of English.


  • “Women’s Equality Day” organized by the Friends of Susan B. Anthony.


  • “Women, Diabetes, and Health Equity,” a panel discussion featuring the Center’ s own Dr. Laura Guyer and sponsored by the UF Diabetes Institute.


  • “Latino Educational Advancement Program Spring Graduation Ceremony,” sponsored by UF’s Hispanic- Latino Affairs


  • The Center also sponsors regular events held by the Women’s Student Association, the Association for Academic Women, LGBT Affairs, and the UF Pride Student Union.

Kendal Broad continues to teach and learn about social movements and protest. This year Dr. Broad continued writing a book manuscript about gay anti-racism, presenting portions of that work at the Black Liberation: Life, Death, And Queer Resistance, Fourth Biennial Intersections Symposium, the Southern Sociological Society annual meetings, as well as at Race | Sex | Power 2018: Design For A Decade. Dr. Broad published “Social Movement Intersectionality and Re-Centering Intersectional Activism” in Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice/Études critiques sur le genre, la culture, et la justice, special issue: “What’s Intersectional about Intersexuality Now?.” This year Dr. Broad was one of two Center faculty named as a University of Florida Term Professor for 2017-2020. Dr. Broad is honored to continue working with graduate students as Graduate Coordinator for the Center and is looking forward to presenting with colleagues at the National Women’s Studies Association meetings in November and teaching LGBTQ+ Social Movements and Activisms in Fall 2018.

Manoucheka Celeste’s accomplishments this year include winning the 2017 National Communication Association Outstanding Book Award from the African American Communication & Culture Division and the Black Caucus. She was also awarded a UF Term Professorship. She continued to share her work with international audiences, including at Concordia and McGill universities in Montreal. Manoucheka was the inaugural Faculty Fellow for UF LGBTQ Affairs, which included meeting with students, delivering a lecture, and co-organizing a speaker series titled “Bodies (performing) on the Edge: Deconstructing Identities, Culture, and Law,” featuring the cutting-edge scholarship of Bernadette Calafell, Lynn Comella, and Georgianne Davis. She says, “moderating a conversation with Stonewall icon and trans activist Miss Major was this year’s highlight.” Manoucheka’s articles, “What Now?”: The Wailing Black Woman, Grief, and Difference” and “Black Media Studies” were recently published. The wailing article serves as a springboard for her next book project. She looks forward to time for research and daydreaming this summer.

Maddy Coy’s new course for the Center on Violence Against Women was awarded a grant from the Internationalizing the Curriculum program in UF’s International Center. In February, her final project as PI for London Metropolitan University — a rapid evidence assessment of discourses about child sexual abuse, commissioned by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse — was published as a peer reviewed report. Maddy also gave expert evidence by video link about her research on sexual exploitation and the sex industry for a Canadian constitutional law case in April and May. She twice gave expert evidence, based on her research, to the UK Government Women and Equalities Committee: in March about young people and pornography and in June about the media and sexual harassment. Dr. Coy was the opening speaker at UF Strive’s “Take Back the Night: A March and Rally to End Sexual Violence,” held on April 4th. She also gave a talk on April 12th at the launch of the Survivors of Violence Art Exhibit at the Harn Museum of Art, sponsored by the Alachua County Community Support Services’ Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center. Maddy has three book chapters in press on young people and sexual consent; young people and pornography; and the responsibilization of women who experience domestic violence.”

Laura Guyer was a co-investigator on one of seven $50,000 UF City of Gainesville research grants for the project, Community Resource Paramedicine. By reducing 911 calls and connecting users to social and medical services, the city will reduce costs and see improved health outcomes. Her community leadership was recognized by the Gateway Girl Scout Council Women Who Make a Difference Award and she was named as a 2017 Anderson Scholars Faculty Honoree for being particularly inspirational and influential to undergraduate students. She served as faculty mentor and principal investigator for two students in the University Scholars Program and one in the Emerging Scholars Program. An evaluation of the Health Disparities in Society minor was published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Bonnie Moradi and her co-authors (including UF students) received the Outstanding Major Contribution Award from the journal, The Counseling Psychologist, for their publications on “Research on Trans People and Issues.” She served as Co-Editor of a special Section on “Intersectionality Research in Counseling Psychology” published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology. She was invited to give the University of Missouri-Columbia’s 2017 Gysbers, Jonhston, Heppner, & Heppner Distinguished Lecture Series talk on her work, titled “Intersectionality: Origins, translations, and transformations.”

Tanya Saunders, with Co-PIs Amailton Azevedo and Paulino Cardozo, implemented two, two-year Abdias do Nasciemento Fellowship Awards funded by CAPES. This is a part of Brazil’s higher education affirmative action and internationalization initiatives. She hosted two site visits to UF by Brazilian university officials to initiate institutional collaborations, faculty exchanges and research collaborations. She hosted six undergraduate interns and five doctoral research scholars from Brazil. She published her first peer reviewed article in Portuguese in a special issue on lesbians in Revista Periódicus, and has a forthcoming article in Reforming Communism: Cuba in Comparative Perspective (U Pitt Press in-press). In addition to organizing lectures with scholars and artists from Cuba, Jamaica and Brazil, she was invited to participate in Afrodescendants in Brazil: Achievements, Present Challenges, and Perspectives for the Future in the Afro-Latino Institute, Hutchins Center, Harvard University. She was awarded the Mellon Intersections Grant (PI) with Manoucheka Celeste (Co-PI).

Connie Shehan is the editor of American Life: A Documentary History of Political, Social, and Economic Changes, a 2 volume reference book published in April, which includes approximately 150 original documents written in each historical period from the colonial era to the present. Dr. Shehan continues her work as editor of the Journal of Family Issues since 1995. Dr. Shehan has also been selected to serve as one of five editors of the Sourcebook of Family Theory and Research Methods, sponsored by the National Council on Family Relations.

While enjoying her full-year research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Trysh Travis published “Self-Help in America: A Project for Moral Perfection” in the August 2017 issue of The American Historian. Another article “The Intersectional Origins of Women’s Substance Abuse Treatment: Lessons from Detroit’s WOMAN Center” appeared in the fall 2017 issue of Contemporary Drug Problems. Returning to campus in January of 2018, Prof. Travis became the Faculty Liaison to the UF Quest Curriculum Committee, a campus-wide initiative to remake UF’s General Education requirements. In March, she was an invited speaker in Virginia Tech’s “Writing in the Disciplines” series, where she presented “Square in a Sea of Hip: Doing Feminist Research on Recovering Women” and led a workshop on writing process and style for historians.

Alyssa Zucker co-authored two book chapters and two journal articles this year, including one with UF students Alexandra Weis (M.A. ’17) and Liz Redford and colleague Kate Ratliff (Center affiliate): “Feminist Identity, Attitudes Toward Feminist Prototypes, and Willingness to Intervene in Everyday Sexist Events” in Psychology of Women Quarterly. She designed a new graduate seminar—Reproductive Health and Justice—and taught the graduate Proseminar in Women’s Studies for the first time. Dr. Zucker chaired a search in the Center that yielded more than 350 applicants and is very pleased to help welcome new faculty member Dr. Jillian Hernandez as a result. In her role as Vada A. Yeomans Chair, she co- sponsored Center affiliate Dr. Laurie Mintz’s Becoming Cliterate book release among other events. As Associate Director and Undergraduate Coordinator in the Center, Dr. Zucker enjoys collaborating with other faculty, advising students, and distributing chocolate whenever possible.