New Gender Studies Program Offers Diverse Curriculum

*The Legacy misprinted the author in the Feb. 27 issue. Connor Johnson is the writer for the Gender Studies story, not Nicole Sanders. The Legacy apologizes for this issue.*

 Connor Johnson | Lindenlink Contributor

Students at the Lindenwood St. Charles campus interested in a diverse class offering might find just what they are looking for in the newly formed Gender Studies minor.

In the fall of 2012, Heather Brown-Hudson, assistant professor of French, English, and gender studies, inquired from her colleague Kris Smith that a gender studies program needed to be formed. Smith, a history professor, had been thinking about starting a program for a while and began trying to find support to help start the program.  A meeting was called for anyone who was interested to show up.

“The result of that meeting is that Dr. James Hutson and I became co-chairs of the effort to create the minor. Along with ample faculty support, we pushed the proposal forth” said Brown-Hudson.

The proposal was quickly accepted and the first Gender Studies class, Intro to Gender Studies: He, She, It, was offered over January Term 2013. Brown-Hudson taught the class and saw a very positive response from the students with four out of the ten students declaring a minor in Gender Studies.

The Gender Studies minor, which is 18 credit hours, has two required classes: Introduction to Gender Studies and Gender Theory. Students then have the opportunity to take the four remaining classes from various gender courses that were already offered in the Art, Criminal Justice, English, French, Spanish, History, Psychology and Sociology departments. This variety of classes allows students to engage in an inter-disciplinary study that addresses the concerns of race, ethnicity, sexuality and class. This not only reflects the larger community that is serves but also serves a great foundation for students who intend to pursue graduate level education upon graduating from Lindenwood.

Brown-Hudson’s vision is for the school to eventually offer the Gender Studies program as a major. One of the goals of the newly formed Gender Studies Club is to make that vision a reality.

The Gender Studies Club became an official group on Feb. 13, 2013, and is already planning events. Student Nikki Videmschek helped form the Gender Studies Club and is excited for the group’s ability to assist in the formation of the Gender Studies Program.

“I think we just want to enhance awareness about the Gender Studies programs and the classes you can take whether you are a minor or not. And we want to spread the word that we are trying to start a major” said Videmschek.

The Gender Studies minor is currently being offered to students, and it will be an official minor appearing in the 2013-2014 Student Handbook.