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Letter from the Director Spring 2014|Department of Gender and Women's Studies
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July, 2014

Dear Friends,

It’s a glorious summer in Laramie.  The spring rains have turned the gardens on campus and town into a beautiful landscape of color.   In fact, Janice Harris just posted on Facebook a picture of her blooming peonies.  We are thrilled that Janice was recently named a Distinguished Former Faculty for the College of Arts and Sciences.  At the banner on the top of the page you’ll see Janice joined by other former and current GWST faculty including Jean Schaefer, Judy Antell, Audrey Shalinsky, Susie McKay, Bonnie Zare and me at the recent Dean’s luncheon where she received this well-deserved recognition. While it’s hard to keep pace with her in retirement, please see Janice’s recent update on her Faculty–Emeritus page.  You’ll note that we have been revamping our website, and we’d love to feature your news as well as updates on our current students, faculty, and events there.

This past spring we had numerous accolades.  We were thrilled that two of our majors, Aimee Van Cleave and Melanie Vigil were named as two of the twenty Arts and Sciences top graduates.  Both were also finalists for the Spitaleri award recognizing the top female graduate at UW for 2014. Ultimately, out of a pool of phenomenal young women, Melanie was named this year’s award winner, and we couldn’t be more proud!  Melanie was also one of the keynote speakers at graduation.  You can listen to her talk by clicking on the link on our homepage, and you can read more about the future plans of Melanie and Amy on our alumni page.  I would be remiss not to mention that Bonnie Zare was also on the graduation stage, having been selected by the graduating class as one of their Top Teachers.    In addition Susan Dewey was promoted to Associate Professor, and Bonnie to Full.  Congrats to all!

This spring, we featured UW and community women for Women’s History Month at a special event held at O’Dwyers Pub.  Organized by GWST grad student, Ginger Ko, a dozen women, including UW Vice President Maggie Murdoch and A&S Dean Paula Lutz, SAFE coordinator Becca Fisher and Laramie High teacher Nichol Bondurant, shared short-short presentations about their lives, loves, challenges and dreams.  We laughed and cried, and enjoyed a phenomenal night together.  In fact, we had so much fun that we plan to repeat it next year!  Presenters are already lining up, so please let us know if you’d like to participate! 

In conclusion, Friends and Alums, we’re asking once again for your support.  Recent years have seen a 20 percent cut in our support budget, while costs have increased.  In order to continue supporting our students and faculty in their efforts, we need your help.   Please consider a contribution to keep the GWST program active and strong. Wishing you and yours the best. 


In sisterhood, 

Catherine Connolly,

Professor and Director

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