Organizational Structure

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department is headed by the chair who works closely with an advisory board, comprised of the chairs (and co-chairs) of the following committees. Membership on these committees is open to faculty, students, and staff of Wake Forest University and may include representatives not directly affiliated with the university, but whose work and interests intersect with ours. Our goal is to maintain a diverse and active cohort; we strive to include faculty from all disciplines at the Reynolda Campus, as well as representatives from all our professional schools.

1. Curriculum Review, Teaching, and the Recruitment and Mentoring of Majors Minors

2. Research, Development, and Advancement

Combining research and development with activism, this committee works to find and create new avenues for research and publication in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies, while encouraging those women and men interested in such studies to develop academic and leadership skills and assume leadership positions. Working closely with the chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies and all other committees, they consider how to realize the department’s short and long term goals, create ways to generate and sustain interest in developing funds through grant proposals and foundation support, and advocate for the future of women’s and gender studies and for diversity in leadership within the university and beyond. Members of this group seek to advance the role of women and minority leaders on our university campus with some of the following directives: nominate women and minorities for leadership positions within the university; provide opportunities for women and minorities to attend leadership development conferences and seminars; and work to establish a collegial and safe campus for all. This committee strives to form alliances with and collaborate with academic leaders at neighboring colleges and universities. In 2005 they established a series of faculty colloquia, open to all faculty members at Wake Forest in order to celebrate scholarly research and activism in women’s and gender studies.

3. Campus Connections

The Campus Connections Committee strives to translate, enact, publicize, and support the principles and contributions of WGS through their work across our campuses. Thus, the committee’s first act was to institute an annual senior colloquium to share the scholarship of our students. In 2005 they inaugurated SPEAK (a series of Student Presentations on Experience, Art, and Knowledge), where students share their creativity, research, and internship experiences with the larger Wake Forest community. The (undergraduate and graduate) students are not necessarily WGS minors, but they emphasize gender, diversity, and equality issues in their studies. The committee supports junior faculty through refinements in the mentoring program in WGS, creating liaisons with other university groups (WISE, GSSA, WHCOE, Women in Science, Babcock, Divinity, and Law Schools) and forging closer relationships with other interdisciplinary programs (such as American Ethnic Studies, International Studies, Environmental Studies, Humanities, etc.). The committee allows us to explore ways to unify our energies, strengthen our purposes, and affect not only the WFU climate, but its policies.

4. Community Connections

This committee seeks to support and enhance the existing program of internships. In addition, the members work to establish additional avenues of partnerships with community agencies that seek to advance gender justice in our community. They increase opportunities for internships, service learning and research through regular gatherings with faculty, students, and community organizations, developing programs on career issues, and constructing a website and brochures regarding service learning and internships.