Our Program History

Chronology of Key Events

Program Highlights

1981 - Women’s Studies began operation through College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 

1981 – 83 Barbara Bate, Half-time Women’s Studies Coordinator 

1980 Fall - Women’s Studies minor implemented 

1982 May - First Women’s Studies Minor Completed 

Patricia Fertig graduated w/major in In. & T Graphic Arts 

1986 - First Self-Designed Women’s Studies Major Completed 

Ronda K. Rueff, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 1986 

1989 - Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies Approved 

1989 - Board of Regents approved Graduate Studies Minor 

1992 - First Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies Completed 

Madelyn Anderson, Lori Halverson-Wente, and Kathryn Ranieri 

1994 - Pilot Course on LGBT Studies 

A pilot course (a survey of LGBT studies across a variety of disciplines) was successfully offered three times between 1994-1997, twice through the Honors Program and once through the Women’s Studies Program. 

1996 - First Conference for Young Women 

2003 - LGBT Studies began operation through the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences 

2004 - First LGBT Studies Certificate Courses Offered 

2004 - Mother's Memorial Scholarship 

The Women's Studies Program endowed its first scholarship, the Mother's Memorial Scholarship Fund. Scholarships were first made available in Spring 2005. 

2005 - First Undergraduate Certificate in LGBT Studies Completed 

Jay Wartenberg and Jennifer M. Hubbard 

2006 - First Graduate Certificate in LGBT Studies Completed 

Jeff D. Gillette and Cortney Kintz 

2009 - Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship 

The first Austin Sawicki Memorial Scholarship was awarded, in honor of the death of graduate student and former teaching assistant, Austin Sawicki. 

2012 - Graduate Certificate in Law & Women's Studies Approved 

2013 - Women's Studies & LGBT Studies Programs Merged 

LGBT Studies officially merged with Women's Studies (they remained distinct programs with separate offerings, but were housed in the same office under the same administration and support staff) 

2014 - Minor in LGBT Studies Implemented 

2014 - Undergraduate Certificate in Women’s & Gender Studies Approved 

2015 - Center for the Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality 

The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the formation of the Center for the Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, which includes the LGBT Studies Program and the Women’s & Gender Studies Program. 

2019 – B.A./B.S. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Implemented 

2022 – Dr. Lois Self fund for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Established 

Changes in Administration 

1979 - 81, Faculty Coordinating Committee for Women’s Studies 

1981 - 83, Barbara Bate, Half-time Women’s Studies Coordinator, Served the program on release time from department faculty position 

1983 - 86, Marilyn Skinner, Half-time Women’s Studies Coordinator 

1986 - 95, Lois Self, Half-time Women’s Studies Coordinator (WSAC Minutes dated September 17, 1986: title changed to Half-time Director) 

1995 - 2012, Amy Levin, Full-time Women’s Studies Director (1995: Position changed to full-time faculty administration) 

2003-2004, Diana Swanson and Bradley Peters, LGBT Studies Co-Coordinators 

2005-2006, Diana Swanson, LGBT Studies Coordinator 

2007-2008, Diana Swanson and Sally Conklin, LGBT Studies Co-Coordinators 

2009-2010, Diana Swanson, LGBT Studies Coordinator (one course release granted by Provost) 

2010, Kristen Myers and Francesca Giordano, LGBT Studies Co-Coordinator 

2011-2012, Kristen Myers, LGBT Studies Coordinator 

2012-2014, Robert Brookey, LGBT Studies Coordinator 

2012-2014, Kristen Myers, Full-time Women’s Studies Director, and LGBT Studies Coordinator 

2014-2019, Kristen Myers, Full-time Center for the Study of Women, Gender & Sexuality Director 

2019 -2020 Kate Cady, Acting Director 

2020 -2021 Jessica Reyman, Acting Director 

2021 – present Jessica Reyman, Director  

Hiring of Joint Appointment Faculty 

Diana Swanson, Women's Studies & English Department, (1991-Present) 

Lynn Kamenitsa, Women's Studies & Political Science, (1993-2008) 

Heather Hardy, Women's Studies & English Department (1993-97) 

Amanda Littauer, Women's Studies & History (2009-Present) 

Courtney Gallaher, Women's Studies & Geography (2012-Present) 

Karla Padron, CSWGS & Communication (2019-present)  

Program Coordinator/Advisor Position 

1996, Margaret M. Cook 

2014, Rebekah L. Kohli (Program Coordinator position changed to full-time, 12 month position) 

2018, Katie Heinekamp (position changed to Program Adviser)  

Changes in Offices 

Zulauf Hall (1980 - 81) 

Wirtz House, 305 Normal Road (1981 - 89) 

Reavis Hall, Rooms 107 & 108 (108 Reavis was TA's office) (1989 - 95) 

Reavis Hall, Room 103 (1995 - Present) 

For more information on our history, see the archives in Founders Memorial Library 4th floor

Contact Us

Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality
Reavis Hall, Room 103
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-753-1038
Email: wgs@niu.edu


National Women's Studies Association

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