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Gender & Women's Studies
The Online Writing Center, which is an extension of the Writing Center in Cherry Hall, is available for graduate and undergraduate students. The student submits the paper online at www.wku.edu/online/submit, and receives feedback from a trained tutor. This feedback includes an audio explanation of the tutor's suggestions as well as written comments. One-on-one conferences are also available with writing center tutors.
Leigh Johnson (GWS 2005) Assistant Professor of English at Marymount University
"The GWS certificate at WKU helped me focus my interest and passion for women's studies, and especially Chicana feminism. It prepared me to coordinate the Gender and Society program at Marymount University. However, more importantly, my community based learning as part of the certificate program (poetry workshops for at-risk teenagers and the Women and Kids Learning Together camp), empowered me to integrate community based learning into my classes. My students in Gender Studies 101 and English 101 present the Clothesline Project to the campus community each year to raise awareness about violence against women."
Martha J. Sales (2008) Executive Director of the WKU’s Intercultural Student Engagement Center & TRIO Programs
From a personal standpoint, the GWS certificate helped me greater empower my daughter and my son. During the coursework-through required readings--my appetite for more gender-related issues and concerns were heightened, thereby causing discussions and “talks” with my children—which enhanced their knowledge, skills, and sensitivity related to gender-specific issues and concerns. From a professional standpoint, with the GWS certificate many opportunities to teach and present are afforded. THE GWS certificate ROCKS!!!!
Jacqueline Adams (2014) Education and Training Coordinator, LGBT Resource Center at Bowling Green State University
2nd Year Doctoral Student in American Culture Studies and the Performance Studies Graduate Certificate Program at Bowling Green State University
The GWS Certificate I completed at WKU has shaped how I define my utopic views of the academy! I entered my graduate program in hopes of finding a place of belonging. My lesbian, survivor, and class intersectional identities often shaped my experiences in professional and classroom settings, but I did not share my identities prior to entering a GWS course. The professors in the GWS program created space for me to feel at home while completing my graduate program. I was able to come out to my community and family through the course of the program. I came to better understand socially constructed spaces and identities so I was prepared and competitive when entering the job market. I worked for local government serving 10 counties in Kentucky for one year after completing the Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities M.A. program and the GWS graduate certificate. I finished both of these degrees within two years and I graduated with distinction which made me competitive for Ph.D. programs.
The diverse opportunities afforded to me while completing these degrees were unique to these two graduate programs. Since graduating I often reflect on my graduate time with a nostalgic hope that I will find a place in the academy like GWS & SRSC again! The cohort, professors, and staff in the SRSC and GWS graduate programs build a beautiful, challenging, and deeply caring space for graduate work. I would make the decision to attend these two programs over and over again!
Brandi Button Acting Executive Director, Sustainable Glasgow Inc. and Adjunct Instructor of Gender and Women's Studies Western Kentucky University
The GWS Certificate and SRSC program prepared me to critically analyze the world in which I live. With the education I received I am able to not "take for granted" that things are "the way they have always been and are the way they are always going to be." I question injustices on a daily basis, I feel more confident in conversations with co-workers, family and friends when it comes to these injustices and the systematic ways that all of the -isms affect our daily lives. Obviously, I use the knowledge in teaching GWS 200 on WKU's campus, but I feel it is so much more than that. I am an individual who was raised working poor class in south central Kentucky by hardworking Baptist parents that did not have a college education. The education I gained in GWS and the SRSC program taught me to question what I had always thought to be right and examine my place in society and what it means to be a responsible citizen and encourage others to do the same. It taught me an ethic of care that translates into the very fiber of my being, because of this I am able to see and interpret my world differently.
Anne Radspinner, GWS Adjunct Faculty
Earning my graduate certificate in gender and women’s studies has been life-changing. The course of study demanded that I apply myself not to the history or literature of women as I had done for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but to the application of that study to current world affairs. The study required that I search the immediate relationship of my own personhood to present day social, economic, ecological and political events.
The writing requirements were intense and required that I research works by authors previously unknown to me. The application of the material to today’s world—to my own life and teaching career—demanded a new level of critical thinking. Such intensity opens doors that had been hidden from view and expands understanding to a new level.
I will be forever grateful to the graduate certificate program and the interdisciplinary study that helped me find my passion and my voice.
Susan Alexander, Online Graduate Certificate Student
For a college campus that is predominantly male and career oriented, the approach I chose for the upper-division class I teach tackles stereotypes of both genders. The graduate certificate I earned from WKU gave me lots of ammunition to use when dispelling firmly rooted beliefs, especially those in traditionally male-dominated fields of study. I've used a lot of techniques from the excellent faculty with whom I studied and stole some of their ideas for how to run an online class. Shattering Gender Stereotypes, in its 3rd or 4th version this semester, is totally online with an enrollment of 54 students. Thank you WKU.
Georgia Wheatley, Online Graduate Certificate Student
A few years ago, I received a grad certificate from Gender & Women's Studies. I can't adequately describe how much this certificate has helped me in my teaching. The quality of education and academic rigor I received through your program was stellar.
Leslie Nichols, Online Graduate Certificate Student and designer of our GWS t-shirt logo
In the summer of 2010, I started a visual art series that reflected a personal search for a sense of place. This work was based in a desire to locate myself in a historical context and better understand ideas about womanhood as they exist in my community. A fellow artist encouraged me to look into the Gender & Women's Studies Program at WKU. I was fortunate that Roots of Feminism, a course directly related to my research topic, was being offered that fall. This class brought invaluable depth to my work as well as my personal life, which confirmed my decision to enroll in the graduate certificate program. GWS and University College even supported my research with travel funds to the artist residency Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Along with giving me a new perspective, coursework in gender & women's studies has developed my critical thinking skills. I have found the online learning environment rigorous and engaging. While Roots grounded me historically, Global and Cross Cultural Perspectives on Women developed my knowledge and sensitivity of diverse perspectives within America and across the globe. My positive experiences in this program, both academically and personally, inspired me to enroll full-time to pursue the new MA in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities. When not in my studio or in the classroom, I enjoy practicing yoga and cooking with herbs and veggies from my garden and local farmers. I also volunteer locally at Hope Harbor as an emergency advocate for victims of sexual trauma.
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