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.

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.

Give a Rouse: Meet Mia Jessup, Dartmouth Class of 2012

Mia Jessup ’12 wants to act in New York and has a track record to support her pursuit of that goal.

During her time at Dartmouth, she acted in 15 theater productions, interned with Warner Bros. Television Casting and New York Theater Workshop, directed the 2012 Dartmouth production of The Vagina Monologues, hosted a weekly college radio show, and researched theater for social change in Hyderabad, India, with the Women’s and Gender Studies Foreign Study Program.

Jessup also worked as an usher and a box office ticket seller at the Hopkins Center and says she was a proud member of the Dartmouth Rude Mechanicals, the College’s student Shakespeare company.

Give a Rouse: Meet Javed Jaghai, Dartmouth Class of 2012

Javed Jaghai ’12, who hails from Port Maria, Jamaica, has an impressive history of going places and doing things.

In 2009, he travelled to Nicaragua with the Cross Cultural and Education Service Program run by the Tucker Foundation and, in the winter of 2010 as part of the Language Study Abroad program, he studied in Toulouse, France. In the summer of 2011, with support from the Rockefeller Center, Jaghai served as a public policy intern with the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) in Kingston, Jamaica.

Dartmouth Experience: Aaron Limonthas ’12 Steps Out

When Aaron Limonthas ’12 takes the Leede Arena stage with his Alpha Phi Alpha brothers on Saturday, May 19, it will be the culmination of months of hard work to prepare for the College’s 21st annual Green Key Step Show. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternal organization at Dartmouth.

Limonthas, a four-year varsity football player from Houston, Texas, is majoring in sociology and minoring in women’s and gender studies. While at Dartmouth, he served as Student Assembly president his sophomore summer, was the Afro-American Society vice president, worked as an undergraduate advisor, participated in the Programming Board, was a member of Dartmouth Television, started his own radio show on WDCR, and opened a campus barbershop.

Dartmouth Now sat down recently to talk to Limonthas about his Dartmouth experience.

How did you end up at Dartmouth?

Triple Threat: Samantha Gutiérrez ’11

Midway into her first year at Dartmouth, Samantha “Sam” Gutiérrez ’11 was reconsidering her initial plan to major in government. So she sat down with the course catalog, selected all the courses she was interested in, and emerged with a triple major in women’s and gender studies, geography, and sociology.

Gutiérrez counts herself equally dedicated to all three subjects, but one course in particular—“Inside Out: Women, Prison, and Performance”—convinced her to concentrate on gender and the law. The interdisciplinary course taught by Professor Ivy Schweitzer was held at Dartmouth and the Valley Vista women’s substance abuse center in Bradford, Vt.