News and notes from the WGS program @ Fairfield

Archive for April, 2012

Capstone Presentations & Minor Social

The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies


MONDAY, APRIL 30th, 6:30pm


 Open to all!

Refreshments Provided


The Capstone Students in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program have been working on a range of diverse, community engaged scholarship initiatives

Marissa Tota, Rachel Lang, and Bradley Fay are working with “Project Return”, a youth center in Bridgeport that provides, shelter and basic life-skills training to teens who run away from home

Sara Heogan and Amanda Steiger are working with Dean Suzanne Campbell from Fairfield University’s School of Nursing to create an awareness pamphlet about the benefits of breast feeding on infants.

Caitlin Leist is working on providing a detailed information brief for Scholars at Risk program at NYU on a Turkish professor, who is jailed for being a woman-insurrectionist.

Elaisa Rubio is working with a Legal Office in Stamford that provides free advice and counsel, is in fact a “first defense” on immigration matters as it pertains to labor issues. Her research paper will enable the lawyers to help women in jeopardy, particularly as they caught between employment disputes in the public sphere and the perils of domestic violence, often attributed to machismo attitudes.

Julia Grimm and Kaley Gibson are preparing a feasibility study with Village Gardens in Bridgeport to explore what methods and vegetables are best to be grown by school children in what is considered food-desert areas of this city, and how to sustain the gardens through various crop cycles.

Marissa Lischinsky is preparing a full packet to be used by Deaf-Hope, a San Francisco NGO, for their Capital Campaign. This research covers various aspects—practical, emotional, law enforcement, and societal awareness—in educating communities about the vulnerability of deaf  women who are preyed upon because of their disability.

Tanya Rossicone is working with Prof. Rajan on the Impact India 2021 project, and providing supplementary research on literacy rates of girls and women in three major cities in India

Miriam Sanchez is preparing a research document for Latina Power in Massachusetts on the various difficulties that Hispanic girls and women face in education—primary, secondary, and post-secondary, and the difficulties they have in the workplace.



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Founders of the Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Commons Honored as “Persons of the Year” Award

The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program

 Invites you to

Celebrate our Persons of the Year:

 Marissa Tota

Astrid Quinones

Jesus Nunez

Rachel Lang

Alex Cody

Alicia Bissonnette

Founders of the

Gender, Sex and Sexuality Commons

 May 9th at 7 p.m.

Diffley Room Bellarmine Hall

These exceptional students are the founders of The Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Commons at Fairfield University (GSSC).

The Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Commons at Fairfield University was chosen and ranked 15th in the MTVU and White House Campus Champions of Change Challenge in April 2012.  The students’ work was recognized with an invitation to Washington DC, where they met the President of the United States, who congratulated them for their innovative student-led program aimed at and creating positive change.

Inspired by the Jesuit ideal of working for social justice and upholding the dignity of every human person, GSSC is a ground-breaking, activist and advocacy model for creating a safe space that is inclusive of diverse student populations on Fairfield University’s campus. As a physical space with imaginative and ethical potential, GSSC ensures peer education of our student body about wide-ranging ranging matters of tolerance and acceptance of diversity, and problematic issues surrounding hate crimes, particularly those linked to violence against women and gay, lesbian, and transgender students in a Catholic and Jesuit University. As a student organization, GSSC forges that vital link with many on-campus clubs that work towards social justice and community change.

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The WGSS Program Honors Amanda Steiger

The program in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies is pleased to honor Amanda Steiger with our first ever award for scholarly excellence.  In true liberal arts fashion, Amanda has found linkages between her interests in biology, medicine, women’s health, and social justice both in the classroom and in the global community.

College of Arts and Sciences Annual Student Awards 2012


April 24, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Through her past four years at Fairfield, Amanda has immersed herself into a myriad of extracurricular activities and academic projects.  As a biology major, she performed various projects, such as a study on student health and the harmful bacteria present within residential halls and academic buildings, and participated in an academic seminar on the biology of cancer which dedicated some of the course load on the study of breast cancer.

Her academic background in science and dream to attend medical school to become an OB/GYN took her to Myanmar this past December on a medical mission trip.  While there, she delivered free medical attention to impoverished Burmese women and children alongside doctors and fellow students.  A more notable moment of her trip involved the identification of a large tumor in the right breast of a young Burmese woman and the subsequent raising of money from the students involved to pay for the excision of her tumor.

Her passion for women’s health and equality spans from the classroom to the court as a Fairfield University Volleyball team member.  While on the team, she participated in programs such as National Women in Sports Day and Girl Scouts of America to promote gender equality within the sports world.  Amanda is also involved in the Fairfield University Glee Club, and has repeatedly participated in campus events such as Hunger Clean-Up (captain), Relay for Life (captain), and the Color Orange Ball.

She is currently working on her Women’s Studies Capstone, with partner, Sara Hoegen, which focuses on the choices that women must make when feeding their newborn children.  It is titled “To Breastfeed or to Resign: the Correlation Between Maternity Leave and Breastfeeding Efficacy”.  Her future plans include more medical mission trips to Haiti and Myanmar, acquiring a Master’s in Microbiology and Infectious Disease, and attending medical school to become an OB/GYN.



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WGS hosts day long conference

On Friday, April 13th the WGS Program hosted our colleagues who teach in Women and Gender Studies programs from across Connecticut and Rhode Island for a day of conversation and networking.  It was a great meeting and we are appreciate to everyone who participated and helped produce the day’s events.  

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We got some press!

Check out these two articles from a recent edition of the Fairfield Mirror about WGS events.  This article about our name change, and then this front page article about an event we sponsored!


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