Happy Commencement and Congratulations, Grads!

Students waiting for the ceremony to start!

Students waiting for the ceremony to start!

Aaaand… we’re back!

Angela, Erika, and Kaitlin

Angela Clark-Taylor, Erika Howard, and Kaitlin Legg

You may have noticed that the SBAI blog airwaves have been relatively quiet over the past couple weeks. We have been busy bees: sending off our senior students, tying up the loose ends from spring semester, and inviting into our classroom the four wonderful students who are participating in the Roc(xx)y summer internship program in feminist activism and leadership.

Last weekend, we celebrated commencement with our biggest ceremony yet! We even ran out of programs. If you need a program, please contact sbai@rochester.edu and we are happy to send one your way. Also, learn about some of our graduates online at our website!

On Sunday May 19, SBAI awarded Olivia Coffaro with a diploma in Women’s Studies

Olivia Coffaro and her family

Olivia Coffaro and her family

AND the SBAI award for Community Connections, an annual award presented at year’s end to the student whose work in gender and women’s studies has contributed most significantly to the local campus or Rochester community during the academic year. This year, Olivia responded to very negative comments about rape on campus using facts, outreach, and a strategic and creative performance art campaign. Not only did she raise awareness on campus, but she did so in a novel and convincing way. She lives her activist spirit through her past internship with Planned Parenthood in community affairs, through her work within her sorority, and through her classroom pursuits. We are honored to know her!

Hilary Wermers also received a Women’s Studies diploma (with distinction!), which will complement her additional major in English. Hilary has been an academic superstar, presenting at TWO conferences this year, receiving the Jane Plitt award from the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership in 2011, directing The Vagina Monologues for Women’s Caucus, and interning at Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s Rochester office this spring. She even wrote a haiku for her time here:

Sue B. Anthony,
My inspirational grrrl
Bad ass feminist.

Tiffany Barber and Hilary Wermers

Tiffany Barber and Hilary Wermers

As Director Honey Meconi says, “SBAI minors are just majors in waiting.” Most of our minors are well qualified to be majors and just as active with the institute (though, they usually have two other majors already!). We awarded minors to: Erika Howard, Alykhan Alani, Samuel Stewart, Kirsten Williamson, and Jonathan Richardson.

Marius “Mimi” Kothor received the SBAI Independent Research Award for her award winning research on female genital cutting in Togo, Africa. Mimi designed and executed the research project and paper completely outside of her coursework. Mimi graduates with a double major in African and African-American Studies and Public Health.

SBAI Faculty Associates Jeff Runner, Cilas Kemedjio, and Jennifer Creech

SBAI Faculty Associates Jeff Runner, Cilas Kemedjio, and Jennifer Creech

Graduate Certificates went to four student from the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies: Hend Alawadhi, Berin Goloni, Tiffany Barber, and Erin Leary.

Angela, Jonathan, and Kaitlin

Angela Clark-Taylor, Jonathan Richardson, and Kaitlin Legg

Dissertation awards, split between the two most distinguished dissertations in gender and women’s studies, were awarded to: Adrienne Morgan and Kristen Willmott, who both received their PhD from the Warner School of Education at the University.

We wish all of our students the best of luck and invite them all to stay in touch! Check out more photos at our Facebook page.

About Kaitlin Legg

Former Program Assistant at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Rochester.
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