Message from the Director: May 2020 Updates

CATEGORIES: News & Events
Dr. Ann Oberhauser - Director - she/her/hers

May 21, 2020

Spring 2020 at Iowa State University is one for the history books!

The challenge of transitioning to online instruction, remote work, living off campus, and moving home for many of our students during the global COVID-19 pandemic was truly monumental.

I’m proud to say that the Women’s and Gender Studies Program has weathered the pandemic and continues to maintain our mission to:

  • Provide high quality teaching
  • Conduct rigorous and relevant research
  • Engage in local and global community outreach

This semester convinced me that the WGS Program will endure and even thrive in whatever lies ahead. The ability to persist during this pandemic would not be possible without the hard work and creativity of our faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Michèle Schaal and her daughter were featured in this ISU post about how faculty and staff balance home and work.

All of you have taken heroic measures to ensure that we are here for our students and care for each other under stressful circumstances.

Congratulations to our Women’s and Gender Studies graduates!  The LAS Spring 2020 Convocation was also one for the record books as we recognized our graduates with virtual tributes, videos, and well wishes from family and friends.

Women’s and Gender Studies Spring and Summer 2020 Graduates

  • Undergraduate Majors: Ashlyn Butler, Trinity Dearborn, Sarah Hubbard, Shelby Krug, Olivia Lehman, Elise Margulies, Annaliessa Michelotti-Hendon, Rachel O’Brien, Tia Saddler, and Anna Swartzendruber
  • Undergraduate Minors: Megan Lutz, Molly Muench, Kori Ralston, Luis Gonzalez-Dias, Julia Hall, Lynette Kwaw-Mensah, Savannah Minnick, Rachel Powell
  • Graduate Minors: Mark Heirigs and David Wahl

Kimberly Hope also received the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Professional & Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award for her work as Program Coordinator for the WGS, Leadership Studies, and Communication Studies Programs.

One silver lining to this pandemic is that it will encourage us to slow down, take care of our physical and mental health, and be intentional about what really matters in our academic and personal lives. Find out more about ISU policies and updates at the COVID-19 Response website.

In closing, thank you for your ongoing support for our WGS Program. Next year promises to be different as we continue to adapt to a new world, or what one yogi friend refers to as the “Grand Awakening”.

Stay in touch and keep up with us on our Website, social media and in person. Please consider supporting our WGS student scholarship fund to help advance our amazing students!

Take good care of yourselves and have a relaxing and productive summer!


Ann Oberhauser

Director, Women’s and Gender Studies

Professor of Sociology

Iowa State University


Pronouns: she/her/hers

515.294.9283 (office)

Women’s and Gender Studies Website

Website – Dept. of Sociology