30 Years of Women's Studies at WSU
30th Women's Studies Anniversary Celebration
was held on Saturday, April 7, 2007
Gladish Community Center, View Room
115 SW State Street, Pullman, WA
T-shirt designed by Jo Hockenhull,
Women's Studies Emeritus Faculty
On April 7, 2007, the Department of Women's Studies at WSU celebrated 30 years of teaching, research, and activism.
The WSU Women Studies Program was first established in 1977, culminating almost five years of lobbying efforts by faculty women working through the University's Commission on the Status of Women. At the same time the commission proposed the creation of the Office of Programs for Women, the analogue of women studies on the student service side. Celia Banks, director of the Office of Programs for Women, and Sue Armitage both assumed positions in the fall of 1978. They worked together closely, both believing that the two aspects ought not be separated.
The program offered a minor (16 hours) in women studies. With the exception of the director, Sue Armitage, who was half-time in women studies and half-time in history, the program had no permanent faculty of its own. The second director, Jo Hockenhull, was also half-time in women studies and half-time in fine arts, and she served in that position for 11 years.
In 1990, women studies hired its first tenure-track faculty person, Noël Sturgeon. In 1996, under the leadership of Deborah Haynes, the director position was changed to full-time (and the name was changed to Women's Studies Program). In the fall of 1998, the women's studies major was approved, with three majors and 18 minors. Nine years later, women's studies has 60 majors and 48 minors. The department has grown to seven full-time faculty (one on the Vancouver campus), and Noël Sturgeon as the full-time chair. The department collaborates with American studies and comparative ethnic studies to offer an M.A. and a Ph.D. In spring 2007, it will begin to offer the women's studies major online through the Distance Degree Program, the first women's studies program in the country to offer the major online. In 2007, it will also expand its major to the Vancouver campus. It also supports the multi-campus, multi-college faculty/graduate student research group Gendering Research Across the Campuses, or GRACe, and has renewed the regional Northwest Women's Studies organization. With the Women's Resource Center, it offers the annual summer residency program New Education for Women's Leadership, or NEW Leadership.
The growth, stature, and stability of the women's studies department is the result of years of struggle, support, and hard work of many women and men at WSU and in our community who shared the vision of teaching and research centered on the intersections of gender with other aspects of social inequality, a committed effort to educate our future generations about ways to make a better world. We salute the women's studies department in its successes, and congratulate it on 30 years of serving the goals of equality, diversity, scholarship, and creativity.
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