Graduate Program Alumni News

Edyka Chilomé, MA
North Texas-based literary artist, performer, educator and cultural worker

Activities and accomplishments: Chilomé has published numerous articles, essays, and poems including a collection of poetry that explores queer mestizaje in the diaspora titled She Speaks | Poetry. She co-organized the Disrupting Displacement: Art vs. Gentrification event with Vicki Meek as part of the Creating Place Learning Exchange series and authored an article about her experience, titled "Gentrifying the Conversation on Gentrification: Resisting the Performative Culture of Whiteness in Dallas Organizing", for Her life and work were featured in the Dallas News article, "From chronic illness to working with Sandra Cisneros, local poet Edyka Chilomé had a year to remember."

Edyka released her poetry chapbook, El Poemario del Colibrí / The Hummingbird Poems, at the Deep Vellum launch on Aug. 30, 2019. She was interviewed by Dallas Voice for a series on queer creatives and their stories, and in April 2020, she was featured in the Dallas Morning News' Art in the City project sharing her work and discussing how she is living life and making art during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Marcella Clinard, MA 
TWU MWGS PhD candidate

 “I've been in the TWU MWGS doctoral program since my MA graduation. The MA prepared me to pursue another degree in women's and gender studies.”

Jamie Compton, MA 
Wellness Coordinator, Good Samaritan Society at Lake Forest Village

“I am in the middle of trying to start my own spiritual business, so I met with Tracy Irby, small business adviser for the Center for Women in Business at TWU, who discussed what I need to do for a start-up. I ended being guided to take a position that I didn't see myself pursuing. I initially planned on working at a women's center or for a nonprofit for women and minorities. However, I have come to realize that my exposure to the knowledge, understanding, and theories in my MA program helped me expand my knowledge and consciousness of myself and others. 

One of the most influential classes I attended was Spiritual Activism with AnaLouise Keating, the other most influential classes I took was a food class by Agatha Beins. They really helped me realize personal truths I didn't realize I veiled for the sake of others or out of fear of what other people and society thought of me. In other words, these classes helped influence me down a path to acknowledge the truth and to express myself. This has since impacted my life and helped initiate the journey to where I am now spiritually and professionally.”

Activities and accomplishments: I arrange classes, activities, events, outings, and speakers that pertain to some form of wellness. During the last two years, I expanded and developed the wellness program, created and became managing editor of the first biannual campus literary journal that publishes flash and short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and creative photography from residents and staff. This journal encourages residents to tell their personal stories and to express themselves. In my personal life, I am currently working on one fiction novel and one non-fiction novel that incorporate experiences of my life.

Tara L. Conley, MA 
Assistant Professor in the School of Communication and Media, Montclair State University
Research Director, Race Forward 

“The MWGS program at TWU has had a significant impact on how I go about researching and teaching. I incorporate a lot of what learned and created for my MA thesis in my current research. I've also published a chapter on Gloria Anzaldua in This Bridge We Call Communication, which would not have been possible had I not gone through this program.”

Professional organizations: American Studies Association, International Communication Association, National Communication Association, Society for Cinema Studies, Popular Cultural Association

Dawna Cornelissen, MA 
MSW, Simmons College, 2017

“The MWGS program helped me develop a feminist world view and enhanced my writing and critical thinking skills.”

Organizations: National Association of Social Workers and Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS

Lauren Cross, PhD 
Program Coordinator & Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies

“My degree allowed me to gain promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer. It also provided me with valuable opportunities to speak as an expert in gender, politics and social justice in art.”

Activities and accomplishments: TWU Chancellor's Student Research Award, C3 Visiting Artist at the Dallas Museum of Art, Carter Community Artist at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Organizations: Association for Art Historians, College Art Association, Art in Society Network, Design Principles

Michael Franklin, MA
Spanish teacher, Franklin County High School in Tennessee

Activities and accomplishments: Franklin leads community development workshops for the Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network (AHMEN), a Christian ministry program that promotes community empowerment, networking and sustainable planning in Honduras through medical relief and educational development.

Michael was elected as Franklin County Education Association’s vice president. He also served as a keynote speaker for the Tennessee Education Association’s annual Committees and Commission Meeting 2015-2016 on the "Status of Women in Education". His presentation included information about women as agents of change in communities, the importance of women’s leadership in education and establishing gender equity within schools. In Spring 2017, he won the National Education Association's Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding award. View a video of Michael accepting the NEA Human and Civil Rights Award for his work in Honduras with the Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network and Water with Blessings.

Michael has been accepted into the EdD in Educational Leadership and Learning in Organizations program at Vanderbilt University and was just named Franklin County School's High School Teacher of the Year.

Victoria Genetin, MA 
Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at The Center for Research on Learning & Teaching, University of Michigan

Susan Harper, MA, GC 
Student Affairs, UNT Dallas

“TWU prepared me to take on the work I am doing in Student Affairs and has also expanded my scholarly lens to the areas I am researching and publishing in now.”

Activities and accomplishments: I've published in four anthologies, and I have a book coming out on Feminist Witchcraft in 2020. I presented my work "In the Service of All Life: Towards a NeoPagan Ethics of Abortion," based on a paper I wrote for Dr. Sahlin's Ethics class, at the Sexual and Gendered Moralities Conference, sponsored by the International Association of Religion and Gender, in Ghent, Belgium in November 2018. That paper will be published in an upcoming edited volume. I've presented my work at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry twice -- 2018 (Catching Stories: Radical Witnessing as a Tool for Justice) and 2019 (Contingent Identities: (De) Constructing Contingent Identity Through Artifacts [part of the Collage as Method panel]).

Organizations: American Anthropological Association, Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities, NASPA (Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education

Aimee Howarth-Horner, MA 

“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to study a subject I have always been interested in and one that affects all aspects of life/identity.”

Organizations: Texas counseling association

Sara Ishii, PhD
Adjunct Professor, TWU Visual Arts and UTD Visual Arts

“I am able to bring my MWGS training and education into my Visual Arts courses to expand/build on the current art history canon.”

Activities and accomplishments: 2019 Summer Core Writing Fellow; nomination by students for the 2019 STAR (Students for Assignment and Teaching Recognition) Symposium

Kari Kesler, MA 
Trainer, Sexual Assault Resource Center
Health Educator, Public Health Family Planning Program
Co-author, FLASH sexual health education curriculum

“The MWGS program provided me with content knowledge, qualitative and quantitative methods, intersectional approaches and a solid understanding of oppression.”

Jill Malolepszy, MA
Assistant Director, Office of Equity & Diversity, The University of Tennessee

Amie Lewis, MA
Civil Legal System Modernization project, Pew Charitable Trusts
Consultant, Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women

Darci McFarland, MA 
Director of Development and Communications, CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health

“I've continued my work in Reproductive Health and Reproductive Justice, and my time in the MWGS program at TWU has helped me to be more intersectional and inclusive in my approach.”

Activities and accomplishments: Published Post-Traumatically Stressed Feminist in December 2017 and Bible Belt Queers in October 2019.

Carolyn McMaster, MA 
Adjunct Professor, Texas Woman’s University

“The MWGS program at TWU has had a very positive impact on my life. I enjoy teaching and I am also grateful for the writing skills I was taught as a Women's Studies student back in Spring 2000-Spring 2004. I was also greatly enriched by the courses in theory, rhetoric, and pedagogy that I took, which I use on a regular basis as I teach. However, my favorite and most used courses are Feminist Epistemologies, Transgressive identities, U.S. Women of Color, and the Anzaldua Seminar. I treasure my teachers, mentors, and colleagues past and present--most particularly AnaLouise Keating.”

Activities and accomplishments: I have been teaching first a Women's Studies and then a Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies introductory course at Texas Woman's University since the Spring 2006 semester. I began as a graduate assistant, became a graduate teaching assistant, and have been an adjunct professor for a few years now.

Jessicah Murrell, MA 
Special education teacher
Full-spectrum doula
Owner, Support and Nurture Birth Services, a Dallas-based doula service

“This degree program has opened my eyes to intersectional and multicultural feminism. I have established many connections in our local community on the premise of doing all of what we can for women and girls in many industries. In a way, the Women’s and Gender Studies program has been a significant part of my journey to becoming an educator and doula. The professors in the program equipped me with the skills to do the necessary research and to allow my intuition to guide my activism and advocacy work in schools and with birth work.”

Organizations: National Black Doula Association

Courtney O'Dell-Chaib, MA (TWU), PhD in Religion (Syracuse University)

“My MA at TWU set me up really well to continue with graduate studies. My dissertation project links back to the research I did in my WGS master's on illness, disability and mothering.”

Professional organizations: AAR; NWSA

Cindy Renee Provencio, MA 
Income Support Division, Human Services Department, State of New Mexico

“This degree has impacted my entire community as there was no research published on segregation and discrimination in Grant County, NM. My thesis was the first. After completing my thesis, I was hosted by the Silver City Museum and Gila Mimbres Community Radio and did panel discussions with oral history participants. People were grateful that these discussions were happening. I also have advised the Silver City Museum on strategic planning. None of this would have been possible without this degree.”

Activities and accomplishments: I ran for County Commission in Grant County, New Mexico in 2018 and though I lost the primary, I got 45% of the votes. I am a graduate of Emerge New Mexico. I can no longer run for partisan public office with my current job but I plan to run for City Council in 2 years. I am also Continental Divide Trail Ambassador and I organize community hikes with a focus on Hispanic outreach. I often advise local community organizations on how to improve Hispanic outreach and diversity in their organizations. For example, in March I presented the local chapter of the American Association of University Women and we started with a discussion of white privilege. I am Vice-President of LULAC Council #8003. I was elected Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Grant County in March though I had to resign because I accepted a new position with the state. I remain active in the Democratic party.

Lesley Regalado, MA, GC 
Associate Professor of Sociology and Student Success, Brookhaven College and Collin College
Owner and Operator, Career Resource Services

Erin Rider, MA 
Associate Professor-Sociology, Jacksonville State University

“My experience at TWU plays a central role in the teaching, research and service areas of my career.” 

Professional Organizations: Mid South Sociological Association

Jessica Sadr, PhD 
Academic Advisor in College of Arts & Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“The multicultural- and social justice-oriented curriculum in MWGS prepared me to work with diverse student groups. My training prepared me to meet students where they are at, build relationships with those who see the world differently than I do, and work in collaboration with people committed to change in and outside the academy.”

Patricia Ann Stukes, MA, PhD in Sociology 
Adjunct Professor, Texas Woman’s University

“This program has prepared me for many positions in higher education as well as employment in the private sector.”

Organizations: American Sociological Association, National Women's Studies Association, Phi Kappa Phi

Tavinia Tucker, MA 
Case Manager, Department of Mental Health developmental disabilities

“This degree spans across all fields of work and is something that I have brought up in interviews. Gaining my master’s degree has helped me to approach topics and conversations in a red state in a different manner.”

Activities and accomplishments: I am a freelance writer, blogger, and social media manager. I am an editor for Miss Millennia Magazine and co-founded my blog The Coddiwomplers.

Jessie Valadez, MA
Director, Women's Transitional Living Facility, Oklahoma City

Organizations and accomplishments: Certified in 200 Hr Power Flow Yoga, volunteer for various local campaigns and Arts Committee member

Alex Worsham, MA 
College and Career Counselor, Uplift Heights Preparatory School

“My experience in the MWGS program has helped my ability to understand the struggles that my students encounter while navigating their identities as women, minorities, and/or members of the LGBTQ community. I am able to use this knowledge to help guide them in their life choices, such as their best-fit college, potential career path, or decision to join the military.”

Page last updated 7:25 PM, October 19, 2020