Triota Induction, Kutztown University: In which I step into some amazing shoes and send students off into the world to fix it

Yesterday Kutztown University honored its graduates of the Women’s and Gender Studies minor by inducting the following students into Triota:

Noel Marie Bumm

Guadalupe Y. Colon

Kayla E. Costello

Katherine Elizabeth Douventzidis

Kelsey Fuller

Katherine Marie Fusciardi

Daisy Annabel Heidenreich

Sunna Jimenez-Wright

Jessica Erin Morrow

Shannon North

Kendra Ellice O’Donnell

Cody Thomas

Meghan R. Wilcox

Grace Marie Williamson

Erica S.Yurvati

I have spent much time with many of these students, so to see them honored felt like the perfect way to end the last day of classes.  There is so much promise in this list, so much energy and compassion–and also so much commitment to making the world equitable and safe for all.  We are in good hands with this group of students going out into the world.

We also honored Grace Hill, who retired in January and has left a giant hug-vacuum on the campus.  I didn’t know that Grace was the first to graduate with the Women’s Studies minor, that she did both of her degrees at KU.  I knew she is amazing, gentle, and fierce.  The baton of the directorship of the Women’s Center and the LGBTQ Center was passed to Christine Price, whom I already see as a partner in this chaos we call activism!

IMG_8909

Grace and Claire laughing–pretty much sums it all up!

Claire VanEns has been at the helm of WGS and has worked closely with Grace for decades, and when Claire announced she was stepping down from the WGS Minor, I knew I wanted to make sure the mantle was taken up well–and wasn’t sure I could manage such a mantle.  Claire took the time to explain the position to me before I would consider applying.  She was honest and forthright, as the position’s course release was taken away due to a bad budgetary year (read: Corbett) and has never been reinstated now that the school is solvent again.  I could say more about Claire, but I will let the video do that work instead:

I am glad I can fulfill my service to the university in a way that I care so much about and that allows me to interact with students as their mentor and advisor.  (I do want that course release back for sanity’s sake, so I will be working on that!)  The WGS minor gives students the space to consider issues of justice and equity, and I work hard to teach them that being an ally is much better than thinking one is going to be savior.

As I drove home, I heard a speaker use this quote that I thought summed up all of the work I do to teach intersectional feminism:

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Words used by Lilla Watson, Aboriginal elder, activist and educator from Queensland, Australia.

It is important to take the time to celebrate success in the midst of all the hard work we ask our students to do.  I joke with my students that my job is to ruin so many of the things they hold dear.  They laugh and nod. And at the semester they say everyone should take a class that focuses on gender (so much so that one student is petitioning the university to add a “Gendered Issues” competency to the gen ed requirements.  Go, Caroline!).  When I do this work, I know I am doing important work.  I never find myself wondering:  is this worth it?  It always is.  Always.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. So proud of you, my friend. I hope the university grants back that course release!

    1. Thank you. What a six years it has been!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Standardized Testing

How testing harms children

Lay's Thoughts

Feminist Theory

TEACHING FEMINISM

A blog about how to talk to and teach high schoolers about feminism

Reflections for Educators

A website for using the Reflections series in the classroom

Small Town Feminist

Thoughts and comments from a college feminist living in a small town.

2016 Presidential Election: Women's and Gender Issues

"Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance." — Kofi Annan

Rise Up Doylestown!

We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

KU Postcolonial Theory and Texts: Spring 2017

“Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. ... Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.” Edwidge Danticat

Site Title

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

Her Road Less Traveled

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

Teaching Acceptance

“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” Gloria Steinem

Anne Imschwei blog

If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears however measured or far away." Thoreau

Jinn's Blog

“There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to do.” ― Anaïs Nin

A Postcolonial Something

"Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate." -Edward Said

PostColonial Minds

An exploration of ongoing struggles

Heather's Post-Colonialism Page

I have no idea what I am doing, and that's ok.

LGBT Non-Profit Internship

WGS 390: Internship in Women's and Gender Studies

Inside 254

Come inside & chat

%d bloggers like this: