Minutes, Gender and Women’s Studies Department Meeting

Tuesday, August 25, 4:00

McGuire Room


Present: Melissa Blair, David Bradshaw, Christey Carwile, J. Michael Clark, Siti Kusujiarti, Marty O’Keefe, Derek Roy, Aimee Shafer, Laura Vance, and Leah Walkowski.


1. Update of Empower/GDS crew and crew activities 

a. Derek Roy, of the empower crew, updated the department webpage last year.  The page is at: http://www.warren-wilson.edu/~wstudies/faculty.php

b. The crew will add J. Michael Clark and Melissa Blair’s bios and photos to the web page. 

c. The empower center was moved over the summer to make room for residences.  The new center is in the basement of Schafer C.  If you would like to see the new space, please stop by this Thursday at 4:00 for the gender and women’s studies gathering.

d. Returning and new crew members—Derek Roy, Leah Walkowski, and Aimee Shaffer—were introduced.   



2. Update on and discussion of department assessment

Laura is working with Siti Kusujiarti (as Chair of sociology/anthropology) to prepare assessment instruments and begin data collection for SACS.  (According to the current schedule, we are to have a program review with data completed by spring of 2011.)  The department completed its program review last year and is now preparing to collect data.  To that end, Laura and Siti drafted an assessment instrument and met with Ali Climo, who generally liked the instrument, but suggested use of standardized terminology for evaluating student outcomes, and also suggested using the instrument initially only in those classes in which students are to have developed “mastery” of learning outcomes in order to simplify the data collection process. 


As Siti, Ali, and Laura reviewed learning outcomes and where they should be measured, it became apparent that some of the courses in which GDS students are to master learning outcomes pertaining to research methods are not required courses.  Given that, and that






Laura asked faculty whether they might consider adding a methods requirement to the gender and women’s studies major requirements. 


Specifically, the suggestion is that students would select one from a list of appropriate methods courses (in History, English, Global Studies, Soc/anth, and so on).  Faculty discussed the proposal.  Siti noted that we will need to pay attention to any prerequisites that methods courses have and Marty noted that this could be part of the advising process.  Christey noted that this requirement would allow students to complete original research that they might present at the spring academic carnival, and Laura said that students would also gain important skills for their professional lives and/or graduate education.  Faculty generally agreed that we do want students to learn research methods and apply them to the study of gender, and supported the idea of a research requirement.  Laura indicated that she would draft language for the possible requirement, and check into which research courses might be appropriate.  Marty noted that it will be important to talk with departments to alert them to the eventual possibility of additional students in these courses and identify any concerns in accommodating the students in existing courses.  The faculty will continue to discuss the proposal at a future meeting, when language for the proposed requirement has been drafted.


Laura will also post assessment documents on the department’s web page.


3. Student presentations


Laura noted that GDS students attended and presented papers at the meeting of the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association last spring, as well as the UNCA Queer Studies conference.  It was also noted that there are (limited) department funds for student and faculty participation in gender/women’s studies conferences this year. 


Three Warren Wilson student’s gender and women’s studies papers have been posted at sheville.org. The links are at:





Jean and Va (directors of sheville) have also provided a link to our department web page at sheville.org, as they are trying to promote women’s studies programs in the region.  If you have student work that is appropriate to post, just let Laura know and she can send you the guidelines for submitting student work (which are not onerous).


The meeting adjourned at 4:45.