Message from the Director: August 2020

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

August 17, 2020

Welcome back to Fall 2020 at Iowa State University!

This will certainly be a semester and academic year like no other. We are excited – and nervous – to begin the semester in what has truly become a new normal with the global pandemic. The usual preparation and anticipation of starting classes and students returning to campus have taken on a new meaning for all of us. Faculty, staff, and students in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program are 100% committed to making this a successful year!

The normally slow summer season was also different as COVID-19 brought suffering and underscored social and economic inequities in our nation and across the world. I am incredibly impressed with the kindness and compassion that our community has shown in times of need. Our faculty worked hard to transition their courses to online format and support students and colleagues in the process.

National and global protests in support of the Black Lives Matter (#BLM) movement also revealed widespread institutional racism and police brutality in our society that have endangered or taken Black lives too many times. The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is committed to racial justice through our community outreach, teaching, and scholarship. See the WGS Solidarity Statement and other initiatives that continue to serve as a foundation for the activities and intentions of our Program.

August 2020 marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution which gave certain women the right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement exposed discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and women of color in particular who continue to face challenges in accessing their voting rights. We oppose these inequities and other injustices in the political process by collaborating with others in activities leading up to the 2020 general election in November.

As the ISU campus rolls into motion, we are more excited than ever to welcome and support our community through both online and in-person classes, activities, Zoom meetings (!), and other initiatives of the WGS Program mentioned below.

In closing, I appreciate the collaborative efforts that define the WGS Program’s mission to embrace human diversity in order to advance knowledge and understanding in our world.  Be safe and keep up with our program and ISU updates on COVID-19 and other events in the coming months.

Thank you for your continued support of our program!

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