Fall 2014 Newsletter
The Fall 2014 Newsletter for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at The University of Mississippi.
The Isom Report Fall 2014 Partnerships, Passions, and Possibilities In this Issue: • • n the 1990s, I worked briefly for an educational Looking Back, Looking foundation in Pittsburgh, Forward - Page 2 Pennsylvania. At the time, grantmakers were Isom Center Welcomes entranced with the idea New Affiliates: of “entrepreneurial grantmaking”; they Shennette M. Garrett- wanted to find interesting, Scott - Page 3 innovative projects and provide start-up funds. Melissa Ginsburg Though I was less likely to Page 4 lionize venture capitalists than my employers, I Eunika Rogers - Page 6 always liked this vision: find creative people and Second Annual Queer support them in their work. Studies Lecture Announcement s I step in for Dr. Susan Page 5 Grayzel as the interim director of the Isom Isom Graduate Student Center this year, I think Spotlight: Kaitlyn Vogt about my role in similar - Page 7 terms. The strength of the Isom Center has always True Stories of the been its affiliates, whose Sinful and Sultry South scholarly and activist - Page 8 work continues to teach and inspire me. I had the A Mentor’s Couch: The great fortune of teaching Journey of a Dean of the inaugural graduate Students - Page 10 class in gender studies methodology last year; the New Center for best part was the weekly Inclusion Opens; visits from colleagues in Director Named sociology, political science, Page 11 economics, modern languages, psychology, Fall 2014 Calendar of and other fields, when we Events - Page 12 enacted interdisciplinary work through our I conversations with students and each other. I • A • • would like the Isom Center to continue to foster these connections, to subvert the sometimes rigid disciplinary hierarchies of the university, and to sponsor interdisciplinary projects that create new knowledge and new coalitions for a more equal and just society. As director, I will oversee the many programs, events, and initiatives of the Isom Center, but I see my job as supporting you in your work. f you have ideas for new projects, please let us know how we can help. The Isom Center has a history of this sort of collaboration; just last year, Dr. Grayzel partnered with Patrick Alexander as he organized the Prison Studies conference, and she worked with Chiyuma Elliot to establish the first annual queer studies lecture. I want to continue this tradition. If we can Dr. Jaime Harker, interim director of the Sarah Isom Center for 2014-2015 and associate professor of English. I • • • help you find financial support, we will, but I can always promise meeting space, publicity, and connections to those with similar interests. The future direction of the Isom Center will come from the creative energy of faculty, and whether formally affiliated with the center or not, I welcome your suggestions, projects, and passions. 2 Looking Back, Looking Forward by Theresa Starkey s I reflect on this past year I am reminded of what creative, interdisciplinary partnerships can produce on our campus and this makes me proud to look ahead with anticipation. A O ver the past year we’ve worked hard to strengthen existing partnerships and to establish new ones. We are honored to have collaborated with new friends such as The Southern Foodways Alliance and The Oxford Conference for the Book and to have established professional friendships in the community, supporters like MPB’s Thacker Mountain Radio and Square Books. t has been a pleasure to work alongside Dr. Grayzel for the past two years. She is a major force on this campus and has revitalized the Center. We wish her the best as she gears up for an exciting year of research at home and in the U.K. Dr. Grayzel’s important historical scholarship on World War I elevates the prestige of our university’s History Department and the Center alike. You will be missed Dr. Grayzel and we wish you much success. announce that his friend, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, will be part of the musical lineup on Thacker to celebrate LGBTQ history month. Please join us as we support and recognize our diverse LGBTQ community in the state of Mississippi and on our campus. T T he new academic year marks the arrival of Dr. Jaime Harker as the interim director and we’re excited about the vision she has for the Center. he Second Annual Queer Studies Lecture series returns in October with T. Cooper. We have partnered with the M.F.A. in creative writing program to bring this talented writer and activist to our campus. He will read on Thacker Mountain Radio and do a lecture for us. We are thrilled to O I ur annual Isom Student Gender Conference is in the March of 2015. The theme is Space and Place. This motif offers many possibilities when comes to putting panels together and paper topics, so I want to encourage our affiliates to volunteer to chair a panel, or put one together. Get your undergraduate and graduate students involved, and keep an eye out for that student who has written an amazing paper that touches on the conference theme. provides our students with an invaluable opportunity. It enables them to share their research with others, it promotes professional development, and most importantly, it makes students feel that they are a part of an academic and artistic community. The Isom Student Gender Conference puts our institution at the forefront when it comes to providing this type of service to both undergraduate and graduate students. I could go on, but what I can tell you is this - there so much to look forward to. Check out our events calendar on the back and you’ll see. And, please share your programing ideas with me. I’d love to hear from you. hank you friends, affiliates, and students for supporting us and the work we do. You inspire us. T his conference is for them. The conference Images from last year’s Graduate Symposium on Women, Work, and Food in conjunction with the Southern Foodways Alliance. T Images provided by Southern Foodways Alliance. The Howorth Lecture/ Symposium Keynote was delivered by Dr. Kimberly Wallace-Sanders 3 Shennette M. Garrett-Scott: “Toiling, Darkly Far Below” By Susan Grayzel E arlier this summer, I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Shennette M. Garrett-Scott, a new affiliate of the Isom Center and program in Gender Studies. Professor Garrett-Scott came to the University of Mississippi in 2013 by way of Texas, where she completed her doctorate in American History at the University of Texas at Austin in 2011, and Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow of African American Studies. Her teaching and research focus on the experiences of African American women, especially enterprising women who took the reigns of small businesses including banks and insurance companies, and, in so doing, transformed themselves and their local and regional economies. She is part of an innovative group of scholars changing the ways in which we think about the history of capitalism, and we are honored to have her join us. asked Dr. Garrett-Scott first to talk about what inspired her own work and if any books stood out that influenced her. Acknowledging that this was a tough question, she singled out two works. The first was Laura Edwards’ Gendered Strife and Confusion, a book, she says, “shows how gender inscribes the law, which people usually think of as neutral.” She admires how the book illustrates how the law was shaped by “processes of sex, race, and gender and, in turn, shaped political relations.” The household was not at the periphery but at the center of the political economy. She sees similarities with how people think about capitalism. The second book is W.E.B. Du Bois’s 1899 The Negro in Business, the first scholarly study of African American business. “An oldie but a goodie,” she laughs. “Du Bois, as usual, was so prescient, ahead of his time.” He featured church and secret societies as the incubators of African American businesses, and “women played important roles in both.” provocative dimension. Her twenty-first-century version of uplift is just as problematic as it was 100 or even 200 years ago.” This is the kind of exciting new class that will engage students interested in the intersectionalities between gender, race, and power, and we encourage G St students to look for this and other classes taught by her. H I I also asked this innovative teacher-scholar to talk about some of her favorite classes. These include one of the first classes she taught here at the University: “Black Women’s Enterprise and Activism in the Long Freedom Movement” and, upcoming in 2015, a class on Oprah. As Dr. Garrett-Scott explains: “Oprah, no matter what you think of her, is a force of nature. In some ways, she is exceptional, but in many others she is not.” The class places Oprah within intersecting and sometimes conflicting, historical trajectories. It explores popular culture and the media, sexuality and interpersonal relationships, politics and activism—and, of course, business: “Consider Oprah’s philanthropy. Oprah fits within the long and continuing tradition of black women’s institutional and community development. However, her impressive wealth and global name recognition add a er brown bag talk in October is entitled “Toiling, Darkly Far BeDr. Shennette M. Garrettlow: The Dallas Negro Scott is an assistant Housewives League and professor of History and Economic Self-Help in the African American Studies. 1930s and 1940s.” It is an She will be presenting a offshoot of her ongoing brown bag entitled book project, Invincible “Toiling, Darkly Far Daughters of Commerce: Below: The Dallas Negro Black Women in Finance, Housewives League and 1880s to 1950s, and exEconomic Self-Help in amines how women opthe 1930s and 1940s “ erated within gender and on October 27th at Noon racial expectations to work in the Faulkner Room, towards economic justice. Archives and Special Like much of her work, this Collections, talk derives from the ways J.D. Williams Library. in which African American women’s role in commerce has been hidden, “so you need to look for them where you find them,” as Dr. Garrett-Scott explains, in organizations that often mix the civic, the social, and the economic. She uses the archival traces of the Dallas Negro Housewives League to demonstrate how race and gender separately and together mark the meanings and opportunities that capitalism provides her subjects. e are looking forward to her talk and are so pleased to welcome her as a vibrant contributor the Gender Studies community at the university. W 4 Melissa Ginsburg: “Vienna: New Poems” I Melissa Ginsburg, MFA, is an instructor of English. She will be presenting a brown bag entitled “Vienna: New Poems “ on October 13th at Noon in the Faulkner Room, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library. want to begin our conversation by saying how happy we are at the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies to have you as a new affiliate. Welcome aboard, Melissa! You were so generous with your time last semester as a committee member for our 14th Annual Isom Student Gender Conference. Support like yours is what makes our event such a success. hank you for encouraging your undergraduate fiction writing students like Charles McCrory to participate in the conference. He submitted and read some fantastic fiction. T T heresa Starkey: One of the central missions of the Sarah Isom Center is to cross academic boundaries. We are always looking for ways to foster critical and creative conversations on our campus. Our annual conference is just one of the ways we attempt to accomplish this task. As a poet and fiction writer will you share your thoughts on what a fiction panel can lend to an interdisciplinary conference like our own? elissa Ginsburg: Fiction is incredibly powerful because it is about people, and because it entertains. Fiction has a unique ability to focus on characters and their stories, and to engage the reader or audience in worlds where those stories take place. The experience of reading or hearing good fiction is an experience of empathy, incredibly direct. We have a number of talented students writing compelling work, and the freshness of their perspectives, their characters, and their worlds gives us access to issues of gender, of identity, of social constructs that are new, that are happening now, and that we can experience emotionally as an audience. I think that emotional connection reminds us what’s at stake when we hear the ideas of our critics and scholars and researchers. S: Your collection of poems entitled Dear Weather Ghost (Four Way Books), came out last year which is such an accomplishment. Congratulations on this exciting publication. I know that you are busy working on a new collection and that Freud is a focal point. What led you to Freud and his psychoanalysis? He has some interesting (and problematic) ideas about gender. Can you talk a little bit about your new collection? M M T G: Thank you. My new collection, Vienna, deals with Freud and his case study of Dora. I’ve always been interested in psychology and psychoanalysis, and I picked up a copy of Dora and became obsessed with it. Freud was a crackpot but also a genius and an utterly beautiful writer and thinker. He writes with a kind of desperate energy, and his mind was so original and extraordinary. This is the case even though he was completely deluded and wrong in so many of his theories. His analysis of this patient, an 18 year old girl suffering from hysteria, is quite shocking. Freud was more concerned with his own legacy and seeking confirmation of his theories than he was concerned with helping this young woman, who was in a dreadful situation, exploited by her parents, her father’s lover, and the lover’s husband. The poems in Vienna recreate both Dora’s and Freud’s voices, and tend to focus on the power struggle between them. I found myself 5 drawn to Freud’s voice, his desperation and need for control, and his desire to create a body of work that would not just endure but actually change the world, change the future. As an artist I understand that desire. A lot of my book deals with power and ambition and the harm that does in the world. opened-up over the years to include more diverse voices from women and other minorities who have often been excluded from the canon. Can you talk about your influences? What is your novel about? relationships, and class differences. All the important characters are women. Writers who have influenced me include Denise Mina, Gillian Flynn, Claire Kilroy, and Megan Abbott. us what else the summer holds for you. Any fun getaways? M M T S: If working on a new collection isn’t enough, you’re also hard at work on a novel. If I am not mistaken it has a hard-boiled edge. As you know hard-boiled fiction as a genre has slowly G: The novel, Endless Freeways, is a contemporary noir set in Houston, Texas, where I grew up. The protagonist is a young woman in her 20s whose childhood friend is murdered. The book takes place in the subculture of drugs and Internet pornography, and explores sexuality, mother-daughter T S: Two things before I wrap-up this fun conversation. First, thank you for accepting my invitation to give a brown bag talk for the Center in the fall at noon on Monday, October 6th! We are looking forward to it and I want to our encourage readers to attend. Lastly, please tell G: Thanks, I’m looking forward to the Brown Bag lecture. I plan to read some poems and talk about Vienna and Freud. As for travel plans, I’ll be going to Houston in August to visit my family, and I hope to make it down to the coast at some point. But mostly the summer is dedicated to writing and research, which is a total pleasure. I’ll be very happy with my summer even if I never make it to the beach! T COOPER to deliver Second Annual Queer Studies Lecture October 10th at Noon T COOPER is the author of four novels, including the bestselling "Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes" and "The Beaufort Diaries" (a graphic novel). His most recent book is the nonfiction "Real Man Adventures" (McSweeney's), which Vanity Fair has called "brave and hilarious." Cooper is also co-author of a new fourpart Young Adult novel series called "Changers," the first book of which ("Changers Book One: Drew") was published earlier this year. OOPER was also coeditor of a politically-minded anthology of original stories called "A Fictional History of the United States With Huge Chunks Missing." His shorter work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, O: The Oprah Magazine, One Story, Bomb, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Review, among many others. He is currently visiting professor in fiction at Emory University, and sometimes writes for television. For more info: www.t-cooper.com. C 6 Eunika Rogers: “Painting with Clay” heresa Starkey: On behalf of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, I want to thank you for becoming an affiliate, Eunika. We are so delighted to have you as a friend and supporter of the Isom Center. I want to personally thank you for getting your graphic design students involved in our Annual Isom Student Gender Conference. Your students have been responEunika Rogers, MFA, is an sible for creating some instructor of Art. She will really amazing posters and be presenting a brown bag programs for our event. entitled This year was your second “Painting with Clay“ on September 22nd at Noon collaborated with us and I look forward to a third in the Faulkner Room, partnership in the spring. Archives and Special Get ready, the theme for Collections, spring is Space and Place. J.D. Williams Library. T What do you notice about their process as they attempt to link gender issues to the conference theme? E O ne of the goals of the Isom Student Gender Conference is to create a space for students that aids them in their professional development and allows them to showcase their research to an engaged audience. our students are active participants in the conference process and are instrumental in visualizing each year’s (changing) conference theme. Their hard work helps us get the word out in a very creative and effective way. unika Rogers: When I assign this project to my students I usually like the client - in this case you - to come in and tell them about it. I am sure I can relate the info but it has a more serious impact coming from a client. It gives it a feel of a real life assignment as oppose to school assignment. Students also feel that not just their grade is at stake but also their own reputation as this is going to be seen by people outside of the department. This also gives them a chance to ask some questions that the client may not think about; what the client envisions, colors, themes etc. This information provides the base for their research on the topic. We usually discuss some visual ideas of what they can research. ext class they bring their research and share it with each other. There is an input and more ideas get thrown in and almost every student walks away with something specific to research and make sketches on. As you noted, I put a lot of emphasis on research. I feel that it is important for my students to keep up with the latest in graphic design, styles, fonts, images. They often research similar themes and look and see how they are handled and then they give it their own interpretation and style to it. N Y t some point the client comes in to look at this research and see if they are on the right track before the final design is created. This is helpful, because often with broad themes as gender issues, the idea that they present may not come across as strongly as client think it should. This gives my student time to tweak it and improve their design. A T C an you explain your approach when assigning this project to students? S: I want to ask you about your own artistic process. You deal with images of the body and gender in your own work in a such a striking and haunting way. Can you talk a little bit about this and how you came upon the theme of your latest series? I don’t want to give 7 too much away because at noon on September 22nd you are giving a brown bag talk for the Center. We look forward to your talk and want to encourage our readers to attend. E R: I paint with clay, and that in a sense becomes the beginning of my artistic process. This whole painting experience from beginning (collecting clay) to the end (final painting) is a part of my personal ritual. All images are either me or about me and mine thoughts and reflections. They are haunting because they depict passage of time which is a fleeting thing left to ones memory. The whole process, as I mentioned starts with me collecting clay. I like to travel and I do travel a lot and being raised in rural Europe has taught me to be observant of my surroundings. This observation and curiosity has stayed with me and in the process I have become very comfortable in navigating through the country, roads, trails, woods. It is on these travels either driving or running (long distance running) that I find my clay. It is also during these travels that a lot of thinking happens and it all just ties together and makes the moment memorable and special. - swallow series is about me and who I am. (On a side note, I am an immigrant, left my homeland of former Czechoslovakia at age 12. Traveled to Canada via Serbia and Austria and then came to USA on a tennis scholarship). It is about me and my search for a “home”. Not in physical sense but in a spiritual sense. The idea came to me when I remembered my father mentioning to me that when he sleeps he travels back home to Slovakia. Coincidentally, he used to and still does call me his chirping swallow, not having any idea how foretelling he was/is with that name. you have exciting summer plans? E R: Yes, I am working on a current project which pretty much becomes a huge part of my summer plans. I am getting ready for series of solo shows which will show this new work. It’s called Boreal Passage. It is a spin off my swallow series, in a sense where it takes the idea of one of passing through one of my homes - Canada. This project is a collaboration project with an amateur Canadian photographer, his pics and edits and my paintings. only spent a short time in Canada - 7 years but my parents still live there and it has an emotional connection with me. Artists often create work because they feel a strong emotion towards something and this project certainly puts that into spotlight. I always struggled with longing and guilt coming and leaving from Canada and this just feels like I am making some sense of peace with it. Paintings are self-portraits of me on the move, they have a flowy feel to them, like a migratory bird flying north and south for winter, there is a part of me that is boreal but never to stay, only pass. It is a work in progress and I am still gathering my thoughts for the statement about this piece. S: Thank you, Eunika. This has been great. I look forward to seeing you in the fall. Have a wonderful summer. I S I have lots of different themes in my work but the most recent one wallows are abundant in Slovakia, and they happen to symbolize finding or guiding one to their home. They are also very migratory, and travel long distances to which I can identify :), so I thought it was very fitting to take them along on a “trip back home” which I can only really do in a dream state. The idea behind this is trying to figure out where I belong in the current time and how it all fits into my “search for answers.” S: Are you working on any new projects? Do T T 8 Isom Graduate Student Spotlight: Kaitlyn Vogt G Kaitlyn Vogt is a graduate student in Southern Studies. She will be presenting a brown bag entitled “That’s Right Nice of You: Southern Foodways and the Performance of Southern Womanhood “ on November 3rd at Noon in the Faulkner Room, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library. ender first began intersecting with my research as an undergraduate. During my junior year, I worked on a project that sought to unpack the bourgeoning “slut walk” movement and explored how contemporary popular media treated female sexuality. Although I was already interested in popular, informal feminist discourse, working on this project opened my eyes to the power of social media in activism surrounding gender and sexuality issues. This is a project that I would like to return to and do further work on, particularly in light of the hashtag activism recently used on Twitter like #YesAllWomen and #survivorprivilege. enrolled in Dr. Jaime Harker’s Gender Studies Methodology course in the spring where I examined the show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and looked at how the women in the show, in particular “Mama” June Shannon, are perceived by the media and casual viewers to be freaks and engage in deviant behavior. I argued that Mama June is actually subversive and is working towards changing the narrative of what a southern woman is in popular culture by displaying and modeling unconditional body positivity to her daughters and challenging the importance and institution of marriage. From that class experience, I decided to start a gender studies graduate student working group that will begin meeting this fall. I envision this group meeting twice a month to discuss our current projects and receive feedback and to hold each other accountable for working on our research. G I ender is the central focus of my masters thesis. I am exploring the construction and performance of southern femininity using southern foodways as my lens. In particular my interest is in the performance surrounding the preparation and serving of southern food in religious and hospitality contexts. I argue that their performance of the southern feminine gives them the social and cultural capital necessary to advance to higher positions within the social hierarchy of their community. My thesis will focus on the women in my hometown of Cedar Grove and this summer I began completing oral histories and fieldwork. inally, I have two personal research interests that fall outside the scope of my academic program. The first is how feminist discourse is changing and evolving in the blogosphere, especially on the popular blogging platform Tumblr. Recently discussions have centered around feminism’s lack of intersectionality, the role of men in the feminist movement, and how sex positivity and anti-sexual violence campaigns both reinforce and dismantle rape culture. I am interested in how these arguments can converge into a cohesive ideology and what the resulting activism looks like. My other area of focus is the intersection of “fandom” and feminist theory. In particular I am interested in the fan culture surrounding the television shows Doctor Who and the BBC’s Sherlock and discussions regarding executive producer Stephen Moffat’s overt and subtle misogyny in relation to the treatment of the female and non-heterosexual characters on the shows. M F y ultimate goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in American Studies and work for a non-profit. When I entered the masters program here, I thought I ultimately wanted to work for a museum or in public history. However, coursework combined with my graduate assistantship over the past academic year have caused me to alter my career path. Dr. Jodi Skipper encouraged us in our first semester graduate seminar to explore how activism related to our work and how scholars balanced activism with academia. Similarly, the post-doc in our department Dr. Zac Henson asked us to think about the nature of institutions and how to isolate pockets of resistance to advocate social change. This past school year I worked as the university’s first LGBTQ graduate assistant and worked in partnership with the Sarah Isom Center and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation to advocate for LGBTQ students on our campus. All of these experiences caused me to think more broadly about non-profit work in the future. Ideally, I would like to work for an organization that emphasizes both advocacy and education and works against systemic oppression. 9 True Stories of the Sinful and Sultry South outhern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly contains memoirs by 23 Southerners who have “acted up”—and who have reflected, with wisdom and humor, on what they’ve learned from their transgressions. As Dorothy Allison asks in her introduction, “What is specifically Southern about sin? Do we do it better, with greater abandon? What crime of region or language marks us unique and original?” River Jordan, Elane Johnson, and Sonja Livingston, all contributors to this anthology receiving praise from reviews, come together to consider these questions on a panel moderated by Beth Ann Fennelly. S J oin them November 19th at 5 PM in the Overby Center Auditorium. Anthology Co-Editor, Poet, and Isom Affiliate Beth Ann Fennelly An Exerpt from Southern Sin: “T I his volume contains stories of women who commit transgressions that change their lives. Many of these changes are painful (aren’t all changes painful?), but the women speaking to us from the far side of the process are schooled. ’ve always believed that through reading we educate our emotional intelligence. Just as our dreams provide a space for us to psychically rehearse our day’s anxieties, reading allows us to test alternate conclusions. We inhabit other characters and experience their choices as our own, through the exercise of empathy. By reading the memoirs collected here, we imaginatively re-experience the choices these “bad” women made. We can be cheaters and lawbreakers, liars and avengers, deviants and plotters. We can get away with murder. Will reading these tales prevent us from sinning? Not likely. But it’s enlightening, as well as entertaining, to consider the wages of sin. It’s possible our future decisions will be better informed. “ - “Running from the Lord” by Beth Ann Fennelly - Southern Sin Anthology contributors and panelists (from left): Elane Johnson, Sonja Livingston, and River Jordan. 10 A Mentor’s Couch: The Journey of a Dean of Students by Kevin Cozart “A fter two blizzards in Connecticut , I decided I was ready for the warmth of Texas again and be closer to family,” says Dr. Melinda J. Sutton, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students. r. Sutton became the second woman to hold the title of Dean of Students at The University of Mississippi on June 1st. She was most recently senior associate dean at her undergraduate alma mater Southern Methodist University (SMU). Her appointment adds to the growing number of women in senior leadership positions, especially in the Division of Student Affairs. to apply to for student affairs beginning a longterm mentor-mentee relationship with the Dean. lthough it took a few years, Dr. Sutton began the next step in her journey when she entered the Master of Science in Education, Higher Education, and Student Affairs program at Indiana University at Bloomington (IUB). While there, she worked with the student organizations and leadership in the Student Activities Office and as a campus judicial officer and victim assistant in the Office of Student Ethics and Anti-Harassment Programs. fter completing the MS degree and spending a cold school year in the northeast, Dr. Sutton returned to Texas with a position at the University of Houston serving as director of fraternity and sorority life. fter two years at Houston, she moved on to the University of Texas at Tyler as the director of student development. Her portfolio included career services, community service initiatives, fraternity and sorority life, new student orientation, parent and family programs, student activities, student learning communities, and University Center operations. She helped to start the Greek life system at UT-Tyler while in this role. A D Dr. Melinda J. Sutton, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. While working on the Ph.D., she served as a deputy to the dean of students and working with student conduct, crisis management, and deputy advisor to the University’s three legislative student organizations. During her time there, her mentor the Dean of Students at SMU was named Vice President of Student Affairs at UTAustin continuing their relationship. F er journey to the vice chancellor’s position didn’t begin on the snowy landscape of Connecticut however. After graduating from SMU, she worked for the national office of her sorority Gamma Phi Beta and Golden Key Honor Experience with Society. It was during this that she realized Women’s Centers: time, that she enjoyed working with college students and “My first ‘real’ involvement wanted to make it her on a college campus was profession. H A A ifteen years after setting on the couch in the Dean of Student’s office while seeking advice on academic programs and career options, Dr. Sutton returned to the same couch in the same office as part of her interview for the senior associate dean of student life at SMU. She describes this moment as when her life came full-circle. Adding to this moment was the fact that her interview took place during a freshman orientation session taking her back to her own experiences as a new freshman on the SMU campus. hroughout all of her professional journey, Dr. Sutton benefited from the gentle hands of female mentors in her life including two female dean of students. Today, she seeks to help other students, especially female students, succeed. “Mentoring women is really special and important to me... I love working with all students, but in particular I find it really rewarding to work with young women.” volunteering for the SMU Women’s Symposium that was hosted by the Women’s Center my first semester at SMU. I think that was the first place I really felt welcome and comfortable on campus, so women’s/gender centers on campuses have a special place in my heart!” S T he contacted a mentor at SMU during the first winter break after finishing college and her mentor connected Dr. Sutton with the dean of students at SMU. Dr. Sutton remembers setting on a couch in the Dean’s office, while the Dean was on the phone with the Vice President of Student Affairs discussing good programs for “Mindy” I n 2008, Dr. Sutton left UT-Tyler and moved to Austin to pursue her 11 I New Center for Inclusion Opens; Director Named n the Spring of 2013, GST Minor Alumna Kaitlyn “KB” Barnes, in her role as president of the UM Pride Network, and the Isom Center’s Coordinator of Operations Kevin Cozart, in his role as president of the Graduate Student Council, served on the Multicultural Center Working Group which the Director of the Isom Center Dr. Susan Grayzel also worked with as a faculty advisor. After researching what other universities offered and coordinating the gathering of feedback on the campus climate at UM, the Working Group’s report advocated for the creation of a multicultural center. Based on their report, the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement is opening this fall in a temporary home in Stewart Hall (the Center will eventually move into the renovated and expanded Student Union) with Shawnboda Meed as the inaugural director. About the Center: T he Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement works to develop programs and services that support the University’s core value of inclusiveness with intentionality and enthusiasm, while fostering an environment that is open and continuous, and deepens the understanding of individual students’ identity, culture and heritage. We are dedicated to creating a supportive and inclusive environment on campus that complements the academic experience, connects and engages students with The University of Mississippi community, and provides opportunities for success in a multicultural society. reated to provide programs and services that encourage cross cultural interactions and to provide a physical space that is both nurturing and welcoming for students with diverse backgrounds, the Center will emphasize inclusion and broad cultural educational opportunities for all students. What We Do: • • • Aid in the growth and retention of underrepresented students Enhance the quantity and quality of programming and leadership initiatives for underrepresented students Provide programs and services that encourage crosscultural interactions among all students About Shawnboda Mead: native of Prentiss, Mississippi, Shawnboda Mead comes to The University of Mississippi after serving as associate director of diversity and multicultural education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Mead earned a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in student affairs/ higher education administration from Western Kentucky University. She has also held previous positions at the University of Southern Mississippi and Texas A&M University. Throughout her career, she has become increasingly passionate about helping underrepresented student populations succeed and providing cross-cultural engagement opportunities for all students. A C The University of Mississippi’s Statement on Inclusion The University of Mississippi provides equal opportunity in any employment practice, education program, or education activity to all qualified persons. The University complies with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action and does not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based upon race, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information. 12 Fall 2014 Calendar of Events August 28nd at 11 AM -1:30 PM - 101 A Stewart Hall - Open House - Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement Visit us in Stewart Hall for refreshments and discover what the new Center has to offer! September October 22nd at Noon - Faulkner Room - Brown Bag: “Painting with Clay” Eunika Rogers, instructor of Art. 9th at 6:00 PM - Off Square Books - Thacker Mountain Radio T. COOPER, activist and writer, and Amy Ray, Indigo Girls 10th at Noon - Overby Center Auditorium - Second Annual Queer Studies Lecture T. COOPER, activist and writer 13th at Noon - Faulkner Room - Brown Bag: “Vienna: New Poems” Melissa Ginsburg, instructor of English 22nd at 7:00 PM - Bryant 209 - “The Memory of Oak Ridge: Oral and Family Histories on Oak Ridge, TN” In conjunction with the Common Reading Experience’s The Girls of Atomic City. Kathy Harris Shinnick, graduate student in History Free and open to the public. 27th at Noon - Faulkner Room - Brown Bag: “Toiling, Darkly Far Below: The Dallas Negro Housewives League and Economic Self-Help in the 1930s and 1940s” Shenette Garrett-Scott, assistant professor of History and African American Studies November 3rd at Noon - Faulkner Room - Brown Bag: “That’s Right Nice of You: Southern Foodways and the Performance of Southern Womanhood” Katlyn Vogt, graduate student in Southern Studies. 19th at 5 PM - Overby Center Auditorium - Panel Discussion: “Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly” Beth Ann Fennelly, associate professor of English and director of the MFA in Creative Writing program to be joined by anthology contributors River Jordan, Elane Johnson, and Sonja Livingston. 1st - In Honor of World AIDS Day Events TBD The above are events scheduled thus far, but please subscribe to our listserv by emailing email@example.com and check out our website (www.sarahisomcenter.org), Facebook (facebook.com/sarahisomcenter), or Twitter (twitter.com/sarahisomcenter) for updates and news. For assistance related to a disability for these or any events sponsored by the Isom Center, please contact Kevin at 662-915-5916 or firstname.lastname@example.org. December The Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies The University of Mississippi Lyceum 002, Post Office Box 1848, University, MS 38677