Who We Are
The mission of the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies is to create committed communities that address the challenges faced in the areas of gender, sexuality, diversity, and equity. We recognize that ending gender discrimination requires ending the related discriminations against disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, sexuality, and socioeconomic class. We foster communities of scholars, teachers and advocates inside and outside The University of Texas at Austin through interdisciplinary research, undergraduate and graduate teaching, social advocacy, Community partnerships
What We’re Fundraising For
1) The William C. Powers Award for Undergraduate Students in Women's and Gender Studies is presented to an undergraduate student in good standing who demonstrates academic excellence in Women's and Gender Studies. We look for students who are academically motivated, but are also emerging leaders in their communities.
2) NEW Leadership™ is a national non-partisan program that addresses the underrepresentation of women in American politics. NEW Leadership™ Texas is a six-day residential summer institute that educates college women about the important role that politics plays in their lives and encourages them to become effective leaders in the political arena. The program exposes participants to new ideas and opportunities as they consider their future careers.
3) McKittrick Memorial Excellence Endowment will be used to support students in the LGBTQ Studies Program through scholarships and programming. UT is a better and more welcoming place for queer students and students interested in queer studies in part because of Casey’s work. Casey was a committed and powerful teacher, teaching Film Interpretation, American Literature, and African American Literature courses at Western Michigan University, where he was a member of the Department of English faculty for fourteen years, until his death in 2019.
The William C. Powers Award for Undergraduate Students in Women's and Gender Studies
The Center for Women’s & Gender Studies owes much of its growth over the recent decade to former University President, William C. Powers. During his inaugural address in 2006, President Powers identified the College of Liberal Arts as important players in his vision for the university.
The inaugural award in 2019, went to a deserving first-generation student. This student wrote about how she identifies with Chicana feminisms and writers such as Gloria Anzaldúa. She demonstrated a keen interest in issues of immigration and was admitted into a graduate level course on the topic. She demonstrates leadership in the classroom and was recently selected as a leader in the SAGE program. She is a pleasure to have in class and brings with her positive attitude, inquisitive mind, and collaborative spirit. We believe she is the type of student Dr. Powers would be proud to have represent his vision for the future of WGS.
NEW Leadership™ Texas
Research shows that women often need to be encouraged to run for office, whereas men are more likely to say that the decision to run was entirely their idea. The significant increase in self-confidence and political efficacy reported by NEW Leadership™ alumnae can serve to counter the discouragement women often encounter when striving for leadership positions. NEW Leadership™ Texas particularly encourages women from at-risk populations and those whose perspectives have been largely absent in political leadership to become politically engaged.
American women are 52% of the population and have a wide range of backgrounds, life experiences and ideas about politics. At NEW Leadership™ college women are exposed to a diverse group of women leaders and encouraged by peers and mentors to become engaged in the political process.
After attending the NEW Leadership™ Texas, participants say that their overall confidence and leadership skills increased as did their understanding of politics. NEW Leadership™ Texas alumnae have gone on to intern in Washington, DC, received fellowships to the United Nations, work or volunteer on campaigns, and several have run for elected office.
McKittrick Memorial Excellence Endowment
The LGBTQ Studies Program, which was founded in 2017, shares research in feminist and queer studies, histories of gender and sexuality, critical race studies, and related fields. Central to its mission is the affirmation of queer and trans students, faculty, and staff including people of color, undocumented people, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and people with multiple marginalized identities – as well as a commitment to engaging with queer and trans scholarship, including critical race scholarship, disability studies, Indigenous studies, and other interconnected critical frameworks.
The McKittrick Scholarship fund will consider many factors when assessing scholarship applicants, including academic performance, leadership skills, financial need, personal goals and the applicant’s involvement in the LGBTQ community. The scholarship will go to students who are the future leaders of the LGBTQ and allied community, and are at the forefront of creating greater acceptance, respect and tolerance in society for all people.