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Active Students (as of April 2022)

Undergrad minors: 171
Undergrad certificates: 9
Graduate certificates: 13

2021-22 Student Credit Hours: 1,926

Paper quilt project

It has been another robust year for Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST). We are always making changes in the classroom and program to best support our students, research and activism.

Service Learning

Maria Santana-Rogers and faculty from chemistry, legal studies and others in WGST redesigned WST 3015: Introduction to Women’s Studies into a bilingual (Spanish-English) course. The transformation was part of UCF’s Digital Learning iLAB Course Development was the first bilingual project like this at the university. The program also implemented a new graduate course, WST 5920 “Colloquium on Gender Topics” with rotating topics on Women & Leadership (Anne Bubriski) and Gendered Bodies & Technology (Leandra Preston).

Bubriski’s “Introduction to Women’s Studies” class partnered with March of Dimes and Florida Health Justice Project for service-learning projects. Thirty-five students in Bubriski’s class completed group projects focused on March of Dimes’ Medicaid ToolKit Initiative, “It’s Your Year,” to promote post-birth maternal health and wellness. The student-led projects included PSAs, social media presence, webinars, website development, comic strips, blogs and op-eds for use by March of Dimes in the coming year.

Preston and Bubriski’s students also participated in the “Paper Quilt Project and Presentation with Lavender Council,” as well as completing the UCF Safe Zone LGBTQ+ 101 Training for LGBTQ Pride Month in October.

Eight students received scholarships supporting student activism and interdisciplinary academic work, including Anthony (Tony) Major Race Relations Scholarship celebrating the former director of UCF’s Africana Studies program. Through the Learning Environment and Academic Research Network (L.E.A.R.N.) program, graduate student Juliet Cahow ’21 provided research mentorship to first-year students Kaedian Wheeler and Grace Plonsky under the guidance of Bubriski. At the Student Scholar Symposium this year, Plonsky won the Judges Award and Wheeler won the People’s Choice Award.

After thirteen years of exceptional and inspirational service, MC Santana-Rogers stepped down from her leadership role in the program. Santana-Rogers’ legacy and leadership will have lasting impact on women’s and gender studies at UCF.

Our award-winning Science, Leadership, and Mentoring (SLAM) program, led by Bubriski, continues to flourish. Four participants received scholarships from the American Association of University Women to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in May 2022. SLAM is excited to help host the GLAMP: Girls Leading and Making Program, week-long, all-day leadership and STEM summer camp for middle school girls in partnership with UCF iSTEM. Four SLAM participants and alumni will be full-time camp counselors this summer. Bubriski was recognized for her extensive service with a college nomination for Excellence in Professional Service Award.

Faculty continued to be productive researchers, as well. Santana-Rogers presented “Representations of Argentine Women through the Theme of Gender and Illustrous Women: The Fulbright Hays Project to Argentina” at The Hispanic Association for the Humanities and the University of Málaga, X International Congress. She also published “The Application of User Centric Metadata in Student Reflections: The Service Learning Classroom for Non-Science Majors” in the Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education in June 2022.

Preston presented “Mommy Juice Memes: Disrupting Media Representations of Alcohol Use by Women during the Covid-19 Pandemic” at the Console-ing Passions conference (June 2022). Bubriski’s forthcoming textbook Powerful Leaders: Women, Race and Change is under contract with Cognella Publishing.

Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies also garnered media attention. Preston and Santana were featured in the university’s Pride Month projects with “Explaining Gender Identity” (Preston) and “Sexuality and LGBTQ+ History” (Santana). Santana was also interviewed by Channel News 13 about women in politics, while Bubriski was interviewed by Channel News 6 about the gender wage gap and by Ivanhoe Broadcast about raising confident girls.

In closing, after thirteen years of exceptional and inspirational service, MC Santana-Rogers stepped down from her leadership role in the program. Santana-Rogers’ legacy and leadership will have lasting impact on women’s and gender studies at UCF, and she will remain a WGST affiliate faculty member through the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Anne Bubriski will serve as interim director for the 2022-23 academic year.