Message from the Director: June 2021

June 1, 2021

Director’s Message

Summer has arrived at Iowa State with graduation behind us and summer classes underway. This marks a period during the academic cycle when faculty and students can regenerate and refocus after a challenging year. It is also time to reconnect with our communities and networks that have been neglected. For many in the WGS Program, summer months are spent on research, writing, course development, internships, and other tasks that are difficult to undertake when school is in session.

This period is also a time to reflect on important anniversaries – the tragic death of George Floyd one year ago and the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. This massacre was a violent event that destroyed Black lives and property as citizens and officials tore down neighborhoods, burned businesses, and killed residents of the Greenwood community. It is crucial to learn from these injustices and reflect on what has and has not changed with ongoing racism and bigotry in our country.

The WGS Program embraces diversity and applauds our students, staff and faculty who are committed to equity and social justice. They effectively model inclusion and actively engage in anti-racist and feminist values in their teaching and scholarship. As one of our students remarked after taking a WGS course,

I learned so much from the open and honest conversation … We talk about our experiences and it creates an environment that is conducive to learning. This helped me apply the concepts learned in class to my everyday life.”

In closing, I encourage you to find time this summer to recognize your accomplishments and perseverance over the past year. Rejuvenate and reconnect with your people and community. Before too long, we will be planning the return to campus and preparation for classes.

Follow our upcoming events and activities on WGS social media. Enjoy your summer!

Ann Oberhauser,

Director, Women’s and Gender Studies, Pronouns: she/her/hers