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CONGRATULATIONS SCGSJ 2021 GRADUATES!

In light of the continued COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Culture, Gender & Social Justice was not able to honor our graduates in our usual in-person ceremonies, so we are doing so virtually here. The below highlights the graduates who agreed to be featured. If you are a graduate of one of our SCGSJ programs and would like to be featured, please contact Jacquelyn Bridgeman at jbridge@uwyo.edu.

We have enjoyed having each of these graduates as part of our program, we are extremely proud of all of their wonderful accomplishments, and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavors.

Gerardo Antonio Beltran Espinoza

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Bachelor of Science: Finance, Economics

Minors: Latina/o Studies

Gerardo Antonio Beltran Espinoza is orignally from Phoenix, Arizona. He is the second of three children to immigrants who came from Chihuahua, Mexico. Gerardo moved to Wyoming while he was in middle school and found inspiration for finance and economics in FBLA at Rocky Mountain High School.

He would primarily like to thank his family. His parents for showing him the work ethic to achieve his goals and his siblings for always being able to put a smile on his face, regardless of how stressed out he was. Secondly he would like to acknowledge everyone he had the opportunity to meet through MEChA. As he states, "You were all my family away from home and I will always treausure the memories we have. Thank you all!"

After graduation, Gerardo plans to move back to Phoenix to be with his family and search for work in the city.

Carlos Gonzales

Bachelor of Arts: Sociology and Gender & Women's Studies

Minors: Honors, Queer Studies, Statistics

Carlos Gonzales graduated in the Fall of 2020. Their capstone research project was titled “Measurement of Gender and Sexualities in National Surveys: An Exploration into Hidden Attitudes and Messages” and was done under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Tabler in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. This research was also supported through a McNair research award. Their GWST degree provided an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens to their background as a social scientist. Through the queer studies program, they were able to develop research interests in LGBTQ+ populations, which they plan to study in the future. This fall, Carlos will be starting their PhD at Penn State University in the department of Sociology and Criminology.
Carlos earned numerous academic recognitions during their time at UW. They were awarded the prestigious Outstanding Undergraduate Spitaleri & Tobin Award, an Arts & Sciences Outstanding Graduate Award, and the Hunton Family Award for Academic Achievement and Future Promise. 
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Clair Olson

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Bachelor of Arts: Gender & Women's Studies and Psychology

Clair Olson states, "I have absolutely loved my time as a GWST major and have learned so much from all of the professors and my classmates". Some of her favorite classes were Women's Minds and Bodies and Feminist Theories. From here, Clair is headed to California to get her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She hopes to work with surviors of intimate partner violence and sexual assult, as well members of the LGBTQ+ community and knows that everything she's learned through her time as GWST major will be more than helpful in her career as a therapist.

Holly June Stooksbury

Bachelor of Arts: History and Native American & Indigenous Studies

Minors: Honors

Holly Stooksbury is a native of Fort Collins, Colorado who attended the University of Wyoming from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2021. During her time at the university, she developed a strong interest in learning more about the history and culture of Indigenous communities. In addition to taking classes that focused on the history of Indigenous peoples, she also took all four Northern Arapaho language courses offered at the university. Holly also did an exchange program with the University of Alaska Anchorage in the fall of 2020 where she took courses related to Alaskan Native Studies. Her interest in Native American/Alaskan Native Studies also carried over to extracurricular activities; she participated in the walk for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women that took place on campus in the spring of 2019 and was the treasurer for the Native Student Council of the University of Alaska Anchorage during the 2020-2021 school year. Holly's interests also inspired her development of a course centered around teaching the history and basics of the Indian Child Welfare Act for her senior Honors capstone.


Holly would love to thank her parents, Shawn and Jerry Stooksbury for all their love and support. She would also love to thank her former high school history teacher Kurt Knierim for being an inspiration for not only the scholarship of history but for the importance of mentorship of young people. Finally, she would love to thank the University of Wyoming staff that really made her college experience such a memorable and beneficial experience: Dr. Jenna Shim, Robyn Lopez, Dr. Christopher Caskey-Russel, Dr. Joslyn Cassidy, Breezy Taggert, Dr. Leigh Selting, Dr. Peter Parolin, Dr. Seth Ward, Melissa Morris, Ashley Armstrong, and Dr. Isadora Helfgott. 


After graduation, Holly will be going to Boston with City Year Americorps on a one-year service mission. In Boston, she will be providing one-on-one and small group intervention to at-risk students. Following the completion of her service year, she plans to attend the University of Denver to obtain a Master of Social Work with a special focus in working with Indigenous and rural communities. 

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