Kansas State University


Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Letter from the Department Head


It is with great excitement that I’d like to introduce myself as the new Department Head of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.  My name is Christie Launius, and I came to K-State last July from Wisconsin, where I served as the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at UW Oshkosh for ten years.  Since my arrival, I have gotten to know GWSS students and faculty and have found my way around a new institution and a new community.  As the school year draws to close, I’m filled with gratitude at how welcoming and supportive everyone has been. It was a year of transitions and changes, and I have a lot of exciting and positive news to report.

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate GWSS faculty members Dr. Valerie Padilla Carroll and Dr. Harlan Weaver, who earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.  Dr. Angela Hubler, who has been on sabbatical this year, was also promoted to full Professor.

Two new faces have joined the department since our last newsletter: Dr. Rachel Levitt is completing their second year in the department, and Dr. Susan Rensing (who also happens to be my spouse) is completing her first year.  To learn more about them, please check out their faculty profiles in this issue of the newsletter.

The GWSS department continues to offer exciting new courses: Dr. Padilla Carroll taught a Food Justice course and Dr. Weaver taught Race/Sex/Science last fall, while Dr. Levitt taught a re-vamped GWSS 560, now titled Intersections of Violence and Resistance, and Dr. Rensing taught a special topics course called Body Politics this spring.  Looking ahead, the department will be strengthening its curricular offerings in key areas including feminist science studies, Queer Studies, and environmental studies.

We’re also hoping to encourage more students to do an internship as a part of their major, minor, or graduate certificate; toward this end, we’ll work to establish relationships with new campus and community partners that can serve as internship sites for our students.  In the big scheme of things, we’re hoping to both showcase the cutting-edge scholarship in the field and show students the full range of career opportunities that are open to them with a degree in GWSS.

I look forward to settling into my new role and tackling new projects and initiatives in the coming years.  I would love to hear from graduates of the department, whether you graduated recently or long ago, as we would love to profile alumni in future issues of the newsletter.  Please let us know what you’re up to and where you’re at these days!  You can leave a reply here, e-mail us at gwss@ksu.edu, or contact us via Facebook or Twitter.



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