Read the Fall 2018 Department Newsletter:

Read the Fall 2017 news from our Graduate Director:

Congratulations to the Spring 2017 Graduates

In May 2017 the Department of Women’s Studies proudly celebrated 36 graduates from its various undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, the department celebrated the following undergraduate student awardees:

Outstanding Student in Women’s Studies – Carly Wilbur & Ciera Richardson
Outstanding student in Black Women’s Studies – Shyra Stevens
Outstanding student in LGBT Studies – Ty Ginter and Tivana Stepney

Collage of Spring 2017 Commencement photos

Department Statement (February 2017)

As a department, we remind ourselves that our unit resides in a public land-grant institution. We remind ourselves that such a location is one whose history, in principle, has aimed to provide educational access as an avenue of social change. We remind ourselves that our department’s mission is one that is rooted in an unwavering commitment to “intellectual freedom, social justice, and equality for all people.” We remind ourselves of the words of Audre Lorde who tells us that “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

In light of these remembrances and in light of the ongoing political tumult that characterizes this political moment, we, the members of the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Maryland, College Park reaffirm our commitment to the following principles of justice:

— We oppose any policy or law that enables the oppression of any individuals or groups.
— We strongly condemn all instances/assertions of trans-/homophobia, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia.​
— We reaffirm the importance of framing policies, ideas, and laws grounded in fact, reason, and justice.
— We privilege scientific approaches when grappling with the complexity of environmental degradation.
— We reassert the need for compassion for those fleeing harm and economic vulnerability.
— We reject all reassertions of nationalist, imperialist, and xenophobic modes of thought.

We commit to building a fear-free, inclusive space where students can thrive at our university. We invite you to approach us if you have questions or concerns. We will work to preserve your confidentiality and use our resources to help you find answers or direct you to the appropriate resources.

WMST Alum Samantha Erskine, ’99
Unlocking Your Potential, Shaping Your Future, and Leading with Purpose through Nonprofit Career

Samantha Erskine, WMST ’99 Alum and CEO of the Imelda Foundation, joined us on Monday, November 14, 2016 for a lunchtime conversation on leadership and mentoring and an afternoon session at the Career Center focused on opportunities in nonprofits and steps toward a physically and mentally healthy life after UMD.

Collage of photos from Erskine events

Tyannis Carter Receives Laura Nichols Award

2016 Laura Nichols Award presentation

Congratulations to Tyannis Carter, inaugural recipient of the department’s Laura Nichols Award which supports activist, service, or creative projects that reflect a commitment to social change and the values of equality, inclusion, and justice. The award comes with a certificate and $600.

Tyannis, a Women’s Studies major, will use the award to support her work with a small group of 8th grade girls at the middle school she attended: KIPP: Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. In her application she wrote, “I still have strong relationships with the women who taught and inspired me. Equipped with my personal experience and my knowledge of women’s studies I feel as though I am ready to give back to the place that gave so much to me.” This semester Tyannis is interning at the school, meeting twice a week with the girls to discuss topics such as relationships, mental and physical health, and the importance of art and politics. Each week in their meetings with Tyannis the girls engage in dialogue around these issues, complete creative projects, and work toward their final activity–a community play when each will have a chance to write and perform their own monologue, dance, or poem that expresses who they are. The project’s goal is that each young girl will have a greater realization of and ability to confidently answer the question “Who am I?” while at the same time developing their political views and becoming emboldened to affect change in their communities. The Laura Nichols Award will fund the group’s activities, including a healthy and affordable cooking class, a photography project, and the community play.

2016 Laura Nichols AwardFrom her arrival at the University of Maryland in 1987 to her retirement in 2014, Laura Nichols was a key staff member in Women’s Studies. As the department’s Assistant Director and Academic Advisor, Nichols managed the administrative functions of the department and advised every Women’s Studies major or certificate student; she also advised Black Women’s Studies minors. In addition to the ways that she served the department, Laura Nichols was also an active proponent of equality and inclusiveness in the university as a whole, including service on the President’s Commission on Women’s Issues and the campus Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Committee. Throughout 2004 and 2005 she organized surveys and focus groups culminating in a co-authored Center for Leadership and Organizational Change report on campus climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty and staff. A serious Terp, Laura and her four children all attended the University of Maryland. The Laura Nichols Award recognizes undergraduate students who exemplify her commitment to feminist principles and social change.

Novak Family TerpStart Endowed Scholarship in LGBT Studies Awarded to Sarah Stephens

2016 Novak TerpStartThe Novak Family TerpStart Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a student in the LGBT Studies certificate or minor program. The Department of Women’s Studies announces that the 2016-17 recipient of the scholarship is Sarah Stephens, a Sociology major pursuing a Certificate in LGBT Studies.

Sarah, who received her Associate of Arts in Sociology from Georgia State University Perimeter College, writes, “I am proud to be both a nontraditional student and a graduate of a two-year institution.” She plans to continue to graduate school with the goal of becoming a professor and conducting social psychological research. She says it was her LGBT200 course which helped her frame her research interest: studying intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence through a non-binary gender lens. “Much of the current knowledge in this area is gathered from a cisgender, heteronormative perspective, which does not speak to the nuanced and multi-layered experiences of the LGBT community. As long as we are invisible in research, we will be lacking knowledge we could use to heal ourselves and our relationships. I aim to fill that need. My scholarship and future research are grounded in my experiences, the experiences that others have shared with me, and my observations of the world. I feel incredibly fortunate to be completing my undergraduate degree at UMD, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to pursue LGBT studies.”

Read the latest Fall 2016 news from our Graduate Director:

TRIOTA (Women’s Studies) Honor Society Spring 2016 Induction

Congratulations to TRIOTA’s newest members: Katie Dallimore, Samantha Fleischer, Rachel Greenberg, Cooper Kidd, and Cosette Zacarias!

TRIOTA is a national honor society that strives to maintain feminist values while promoting student research and activism in socio-political issues that effect all minority groups. Membership is open to all UMD students, regardless of major, who have completed at least one Women’s Studies or LGBT Studies course and have at least a 3.0 GPA in Women’s Studies/LGBT Studies courses and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7. (View additional photos from the induction ceremony.) Learn more about TRIOTA

Group photo at Triota Induction Spring 2016

TRIOTA (Women’s Studies) Honor Society Fall 2015 Induction

Congratulations to TRIOTA’s newest members: Daniel McLaughlin, Carly Wilbur, Charlotte Sheffield, Saskia Matthews, Brittany Hamson, Areesha Khan, Aubrey Sneesby, and Ciera Richardson! (View additional photos from the induction ceremony.)

Group photo of Triota members Fall 2015

Read the latest Fall 2015 news from our Graduate Director:

#transformDH, Friday-Saturday, October 2-3, 2015, University of Maryland

transformDH stitched logo

Logo designed and crafted by Melissa Rogers, photographed by Reed Bonnet

This interdisciplinary gathered explored the uses of digital technologies for transformative social justice through research, pedagogy, and creative practice both within and beyond academia.

Read news about the TransformDH conference:

From Amanda Licastro, at Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy:

And from Daphne Pellegrino, a current undergraduate certificate student in Women’s Studies:

Honoring Dr. A. Lynn Bolles and Dr. Deborah Rosenfelt

Collage of Bolles/Rosenfelt retirements 2015
To see more photos from their retirement celebrations, visit and

After both having come to campus in 1989, Drs. Bolles and Rosenfelt are leaving together as well. It is with much appreciation that we celebrate their 26 years of service to the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland. Their research and pedagogical contributions have served to transform Women’s Studies as a field of study, and have had far-reaching and long-lasting effects. They have touched countless lives, here at UMD and beyond. We will miss them deeply, but wish them both the best in retirement.

Congratulations to the Spring 2015 Graduates

In May 2015 the Department of Women’s Studies proudly celebrated 48 graduates from its various programs. We look forward to keeping in touch about your endeavors in the future. Visit flickr to see additional commencement photos.

Collage of Spring 2015 Commencement photos

TRIOTA Induction Ceremony Spring 2015

Group photo of Triota members

Triota Induction Spring 2015 – visit Flickr for more photos

Iota, Iota, Iota (TRIOTA), the Women’s Studies Honor Society held an induction ceremony on April 27, 2015 and welcomed: Juanita Artis, Yoga Dasari, Nicole Ezeh, Charlotte Francoeur, Asma Neblett, Kailissa Santangelo, Swathi Siva Srinivas, and Autumn Stasulli. Congratulations to all the new undergraduate members!

Congratulations to the Winter 2014 Graduates

Photo of 2014 Winter Commencement Program listing graduates

We celebrate you all, and were glad to share in the celebrations of those who were able to attend the commencement ceremony.

Collage of photos from 2014 Winter Commencement ceremony

Photo of Feminist Studies covers

Visit Feminist Studies online

TRIOTA Induction Ceremony Fall 2014

Iota, Iota, Iota (TRIOTA), the Women’s Studies Honor Society held an induction ceremony on November 3, 2014 and welcomed: Alexis Jenkins, Asia Lamar, Avid Antonelli, Caroline Melo Sales, Leslie Davis, Ilana Falick, and Alexandra Seymour. Congratulations to all the new undergraduate members!

TRIOTA membership is open all University of Maryland students, regardless of major, who have completed at least two Women’s Studies courses and have a Women’s Studies and cumulative GPA of 3.0. Learn more about TRIOTA.

Read the latest Fall 2014 news from our Graduate Director:

Women’s Studies is the new home of the LGBT Studies Program

After twelve years as part of the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program is now part of the Department of Women’s Studies, in the College of Arts and Humanities. LGBT Studies and Women’s Studies at Maryland have a long history of collaboration, and the teaching and research interests of the two units are closely allied. Having them together administratively makes new synergies possible by combining a range of approaches to the study of sex, sexuality, and normativity on campus. Read more about this move.