Alumni Stories

Women’s, Gender, & Sexualities Studies alumni are working and living all over the world, and they’re sharing their stories! You can be next. Tell us your news and we’ll feature your story as well!

Curious about your future path? Check out the "Majors to Careers" information on WGSS at the Center for Professional Development to see what other Majors are doing or have done.

Documenting Dartmouth's LGBTQIA+ Community

SpeakOut is an oral history project dedicated to recording and preserving the history of Dartmouth’s LGBTQIA+ community. All SpeakOut interviews are conducted and audio-recorded by specially trained undergraduate students under the guidance of project staff. Interviews become part of the Dartmouth College Archives and are publicly available at Rauner Special Collections Library and online. SpeakOut collects the stories of the Dartmouth community broadly defined: former students, administrators, faculty, and staff with memories that document an aspect of LGBTQIA+ history at Dartmouth. The project is a collaboration between the Dartmouth College Library and DGALA, the Dartmouth LGBTQIA+ alumni association. It is funded with generous support from the Office of the Provost and the Dean of Libraries, and is part of the College's 250th anniversary celebrations. To read more about the history of SpeakOut and the team behind it, visit the links below.

Learn more at SpeakOut's website!

WGSS Major, Minor Receive Fulbrights

Of the fifteen current and former Dartmouth student selected for Fulbrights this year, two were majors or minors in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

Alyssa Heinze ’18

Government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies double major; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies minor
Research/study grant, India

Alyssa Heinze planned to study biology and chemical engineering at Dartmouth. But she was curious about the world, she says, and that led her to government classes, internships in Nepal and India, and ultimately, to change her major to government and Asian and Middle Eastern studies. 

Lecture Series Brings Prominent Writers, Activists to Campus

A spring lecture series featuring war photographer James Nachtwey ’70, Booker Prize winner John Berger, and South African anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg kicks off April 10 at Dartmouth.

The series, “Times of Crisis,” is hosted by the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID) and will feature talks from distinguished writers, activists, and scholars in seven events during April and May.

“We expect students, faculty, staff, and other community members to be exhilarated to hear our guests speak about the struggles of social change,” says Annabel Martín, director of the Gender Research Institute and an associate professor of women’s and gender studies, Spanish, and comparative literature.

The series, which is free and open to the public, begins on April 10 with a panel discussion with three Dartmouth alumni activists, Javed Jaghai ’12, Danielle Coleman ’12, and Susan Struble ’93, followed by a lecture from Goldberg.

Fitness and Healing: Alumnae Work Together

Last year, Kate Shelton ’14 was a bit flustered when she approached her mentor, Jennifer Fluri. Shelton needed work for the summer.

“Professor Fluri asked me, ‘Well, what are you most interested in?’ ” says Shelton, who sports short hair with a purple streak. “I told her it was women, fitness, and health.”

“I have the perfect contact for you,” Fluri told her.

Fluri, the chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, told Shelton to get in touch with one of Fluri’s former students, Christina Stoltz ’06, MA ’07. Stoltz founded and runs a nonprofit movement arts organization, REQ. 1, and a for-profit fitness boutique, Ploome, in Philadelphia.

Both REQ.1 and Ploome aim to celebrate body diversity and promote social responsibility through fitness. Stoltz created REQ.1 in 2010 to facilitate healing for survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault through physical activity, creative writing, and experiential art. Ploome was designed to support REQ.1 in achieving these goals by providing the organization with direct programming and financial support.

‘You Can Tell Just By Looking’ Authors to Discuss LGBT Myths

The first collaboration between Michael Bronski and Michael Amico ’07 occurred during Amico’s senior year, when they rewrote the lyrics of Iolanthe for a Dartmouth Glee Club production “to update them to reflect contemporary Dartmouth issues,” says Amico.

Now Bronski, a senior lecturer in women’s and gender studies, and Amico have collaborated on a much larger project, ‘You Can Tell Just By Looking’: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People. The professor and his former student teamed up with New York University Professor Ann Pellegrini to write the book, which was published last month by Beacon Press. It has earned a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which wrote, “This powerful book demands that we look more closely at the ways we move in and structure our society, and asks vital questions that will steer the culture toward justice and equality.”

Bronski and Amico are moderating a discussion of LGBT myths on Wednesday, November 6, at 4:15 p.m. in the Hopkins Center for the Art’s Top of the Hop. The event is open to the public.

Alumna helps empower thousands of girls in India

Two years ago, as she worked in low-income schools in Hyderabad, India, Averil Spencer ’10 began to understand that most of her bright-eyed, elementary-school-aged girls—with dreams to become doctors or computer engineers—would not reach the 10th grade. Some couldn’t afford it; many would be forced to marry. But for nearly all of them, Spencer says, opportunities had nothing to do with drive or ability.  

“There was overall limited expectations for these girls, in addition to a lack of exposure to information including women’s health issues,” says Spencer, who was in India as a fellow with a social enterprise organization called IDEX Accelerator, which is supported by Bob Pattillo '82. “It’s heartbreaking.” Spencer told the story of one girl experiencing her first period who locked herself in a room, thinking she was dying of cancer, because no one told her any differently.

Education Is Anishinaabe Student’s Top Priority (Indian Country Today)

In a feature in Indian Country Today, Taylor Payer ’15 talks about her childhood thirst for learning and how a QuestBridge College Prep Scholarship enabled her to attend Dartmouth, where she is a double major in Native American studies and women and gender studies.

This summer, Payer has been an intern at the QuestBridge office in Palo Alto, Calif., working to increase Native American participation in the program, which helps low-income high school juniors seek admission to top colleges.

“This is something I am completely committed to and passionate about because I want low-income Native students to have the same opportunities I have been fortunate to have,” she says.

Read the full story published 8/22/12 in Indian Country Today.

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