by Maria Roa Arrazola, 4th year WGS Major
Virginia Alumni Mentoring connects third-year students with alumni who have volunteered to provide insights about the process of choosing and starting a career in their specific field.

The program provides students and their alumni mentors a structured means of initiating a professional relationship to discuss career interests and topics of professional preparation: together, they develop goals for their regular meetings, during which the alumni mentors offer insights about their own undergraduate experiences, career progression and current work which supports mentees in navigating their own chosen career paths.

I have heard really great things about this new program that was piloted in 2013. This is an opportunity for an undergraduate student to create a profile and reach out to alumni that want to mentor current students regarding career decisions, and opportunities. The open registration period is at the beginning of each academic year. Their plan is to have conversations/meetings/activities with the mentor a minimum of 2-4 times per semester, but ideally at least once a month although depending on the mentor and mentees availability it could be more. The commitment is for two semesters either FALL/SPRING or SPRING/SUMMER, and this is not a one time only opportunity. If the student is a 2nd year he/she can search for a new mentor after the two semester official commitment has ended. I thought this would be a great opportunity for the WGS undergraduate program since the major is very interdisciplinary. It would be interesting to see what kind of alumni would reach out to the students as well as what kind of mentor the students choose.


Gender & Society has published an important special issue on gender and religion in global contexts edited by Orit Avishai, Afshan Jafar and UVA's own Rachel Rinaldo.  The entire issue February 2015 is available by following the link.


To the Members of the University Community,

We, the faculty and staff of the Women, Gender & Sexuality (WGS) Program, are shocked and dismayed by the allegations about sexual violence at UVA in recent article in Rolling Stone. We want to express our heartfelt support for all survivors of sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence at the University of Virginia and at other colleges and universities throughout the United States and around the world. We admire the courage of survivors who are prompting our community to face the harsh realities of gender-based violence.

We are committed to the effort to eliminate sexual violence from our communities, and we oppose the multiple intersecting forms of inequality that enable gender-based violence to flourish. We pledge to survivors and to everyone in our community that WGS will continue to support efforts to address sexual violence, regardless of whether it is rooted in gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. We pledge to survivors and to everyone in our community that WGS will continue to educate students about gender-based violence in our classrooms and that WGS faculty members will continue their scholarly efforts to understand and prevent violence. We pledge to survivors and to everyone in our community that WGS will continue our advocacy for social justice on this issue as on other matters related to gender and sexuality, and we stand together with all members of the University community who are committed to a world without sexual violence.

In solidarity,

WGS Faculty and Staff


WGS J-Term classes are open and enrolling, including WGS 2100 "Introduction to Gender Studies," which is being offered for the first time as a January Term intensive. The class, taught by Professor Amanda Davis, will survey a breadth of topics related to gender, oppression, and society such as women's health, transnational feminisms, and masculinity.
WGS 4800, "Gender-Based Violence," taught by Professor Lisa Speidel, will address GBV and its prevalence, causes, and consequences.
Both classes will present an ideal opportunity for students interested in gaining an in-depth education about gender and injustice.


Women, Gender & Sexuality undergraduate, Laura Widener, is being honored by the V. Shamim Sisson Ally of the Year Award which seeks to recognize a member of the U.Va. community who has gone above and beyond in his or her daily life to support the LGBTQQI


R.I.P. Bernard Mayes (1929 - 2014). From 1984 to 1999, he worked at UVA as faculty member, dean, department chair, and founder of the Media Studies Program. He was involved in the founding of UVA Pride, UVA's LGBTQ Faculty/Staff group, and also the Serpentine Society, UVA's LGBTQ Alumni organization. His gift initiated what is now the Bernard Mayes LGBTQ Lecture Fund at the WGS Program. An inspirational friend and supporter of UVA's WGS Program, he will be long remembered.  He died Thursday morning, October 23 at the age of 85.
Daily Progress Obituary
Celebration of Life
Thursday, December 11

The Charlottesville and University of Virginia communities will celebrate Bernard with a reception at Brown College's Monroe Hill House from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  Should you have any questions about this event, please contact Prof. Jennifer Geddes at jlg2u@virginia.edu.

2014 Fall Update

Are you wondering what’s new at the interdisciplinary WGS Program at UVA?
Please take a look at our 2014 Fall update, for some answers.
In the 2014 Fall Update, you will find information about:

  • New WGS faculty members
  • Expanded WGS course offerings in LGBTQ Studies
  • Teaching awards and new publications by WGS faculty
  • Donations and cooperating Departments and Centers at UVA
  • And more

If you have corrections, or if you would like to share ideas or reactions, we hope you will be in touch.

Ann J. Lane Memorial - Nov. 10th

Please join us in celebrating the life of

Ann J. Lane
1931 – 2013

Sunday, November 10th
4:00 p.m
New York Society of Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West)
New York City, NY

For RSVP and questions: AnnLaneMemorial@gmail.com

With love,
The Family of Ann Lane

Get Schooled

An exerpt from the CavDaily...
"...Ecofeminism (WSG 3559)
This new course explores the unique interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities, specifically targeting the role of women as progressive environmental thinkers throughout the 20th century.
What exactly is ecofeminism? The course is grounded in the fundamental idea that the degradation of our planet and the historical oppression of women are inherently linked. The course is designed for students who may not know much about the environment, but are concerned and motivated to learn more about how to act with agency. Through exposure to various theories, praxis and art, students will learn about women who have been responsible for articulating several relevant issues in the environmental movement.
“It’s very important for young people to start grasping these issues, because in your lifetime they will be affecting you,” Professor Kendra Hamilton said."
(For a course description visit the WGS website.)


Women, Gender & Sexuality announces the award winners for best undergraduate and graduate essays focused on women, gender and/or sexuality.
Nathan Cunningham - B.A. in History and English Language & Literature, Minor in African Studies, 2013 - “Thinking Outside the Mosque: How Swahili Muslim Women of the Colonial Period Managed Agency in Everyday Life”
Emily Olsen - B.A. in English Language & Literature, 2013 - “The Resurrection of Sylvia Plath: Rewriting the Eden Myth in Ariel: The Restored Edition”  
Jennifer Le Zotte - Ph.D. Candidate in History - “I Couldn’t Even Shop When I Wanted To!”: Garage Sales and the American Postwar Household
Allison Libbey - Ph.D. Candidate in Spanish, 2013 - "Breaking the Silence: Literary Testimony about Rape in Post-Dictatorial Chile”