Wilkes University

Women's and Gender Studies Conference

Wilkes Unviersity and King's College

2022 Women's and Gender Studies Conference

Presented by Wilkes University and King's College

April 4 (via Zoom) & 5 (Henry Student Center, 2nd Floor)

This year marks the eleventh year Wilkes University and King's College will collaborate in organizing the Women's and Gender Studies conference. We are pleased that our collaboration strengthens our respective programs and offers even more opportunities to our students to explore women's and gender issues on two college campuses.

The theme of this year's conference, “Gender, Race, and Religion,” is meant to examine how race and gender shape religion and vice versa. The presentations will challenge us to take a second look at the world around us and hopefully inspire us to enact change in our own lives and assist those around us.

Schedule at a Glance

April 4

7 p.m. | Keynote Address, Not Fit for Polite Company: Religion, Race, and Gender, presented by Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, PhD.

April 5

  • 10:30 a.m. | Welcome to “Gender, Race, and Religion”
  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Breakout Sessions
  • 12:30-1:45 p.m. | Contemporary Issues in Women's Healthcare: Menstrual Disorders, Breast Cancer, and Nutrition
  • 1-2:15 p.m. | Breakout Sessions
  • 2-3:15 p.m. | Gender in an Ever Changing World
  • 3:30-4:45 p.m. | International Women's Issues
  • 5-6:15 p.m. | Women, Power, and Change
  • 7 p.m. | Manuscript Society and Campion Literary Society Present: Poetry and Fiction

Keynote Speaker

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, PhD
Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, PhD, headshot
Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, PhD, associate professor of religion and associate director Humanities Center at the University of Vermont.
Not Fit for Polite Company: Religion, Race, and Gender

When we think about religion, we often think of a particular religion, our personal experiences, or we may even think: we don't talk about this without risk. It isn't, after all, fit for polite company. Yet, whether or not we are ourselves religious, religion shapes our world. It shapes law, politics, healthcare, and calendars. It even shapes our interpretations and constructions of gender and race. Ignoring religion, then, means to ignore a major sociocultural force that helps people understand themselves, their communities, their identities, and even their own bodies. Fit for polite company or not, we have to talk about religion, race, and gender.

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst is associate professor of religion and associate director Humanities Center at the University of Vermont. She earned her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in religious studies, with a specialization in Islamic studies; a Master's of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School; and a BA from Colgate University in Religion and Asian Studies. Her research centers on Islam and Muslims in South Asia; histories of imperialism; and theories of religion, race, and language. Her first book is titled Indian Muslim Minorities and the 1857 Rebellion (I.B. Tauris 2017; paperback, Bloomsbury 2020). She is co-editor of the volume Words of Experience: Translating Islam with Carl W. Ernst (Equinox 2021). Her next books are about religion, race, and politics: the first, Imperial Pandemics, is about global Islamophobia and antisemitism; the second, Religion Isn’t Done With You, focuses on how religion is a system that shapes our world. Morgenstein Fuerst is the author of numerous articles about Islam, Islamic studies, and religion in South Asia that appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Comparative Islamic Studies, and The Muslim World, among others. She is also the cohost and coproducer of the grant-funded podcast Keeping It 101: A Killjoy's Introduction to Religion. At UVM, Morgenstein Fuerst has been recognized as an award-winning teacher whose courses are about the study of religion, Islamic practice and history, race and imperialism and, occasionally, Hindu traditions.

Register for the Keynote Address

Registrants for the keynote address will receive a Zoom link to watch the address the day before the address.

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April 5 Session Details

11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Session A | Restricted Access: Gender-Based Discrimination in Sports and Art

Presented by: Dr. Kristiana Feeser and Shyanne Wydo, Wilkes University, "Transgender Athletes in Collegiate Sport"

Transgender athletes have become a topic of national interest. What are the rules surrounding transgender athletes inclusion in sport? What effect does testosterone have on physiology and sport performance? Learn all this and more!

Presented by: Laurel Hopfer and Angela Croop, "How Gender Polarization Creates Discrimination in Sports for transgender People"

This presentation will address not only the systemic issues fo gender polarization, but also how the topic of transgender people participating in sports is increasing, which is leading to many questions about how equality will remain.

Presented by: Jennifer Boch, Wilkes University "Do Women have to be Naked to get into the MEt Museum? Women, Art, and Representation"

Often female artists are examined as simply that, female artists, not artists. This study intends to rectify that perspective by exploring three distinct female artists as artists of their respective periods.

Session B | The socialization of gender
Location: Miller Room

Presented by: Dr. Amy Sopcak-Joseph, Jennifer Boch and Jacob Kudysch, Wilkes University"Selling Faith/Faith Sells: Gender, Religion, and Media in Nineteenth-Century America"

The monthly magazine "Godey's Lady's Book" graced the parlor tables and bookshelves of thousands of American women in the nineteenth century. in this presentation, the research team will analyze their findings from a 2021 Wilkes Mentorship Grant to explore how this phenomenally popular women's magazine sought to shape readers' perceptions of faith in their everyday lives.

Presented by: Brianna Schunk, Wilkes University

Children learn about themselves and their gender from many places including television shows they consume. But what are they learning from their shows in regards to gender and representation? In my talk i will use various tests, including the Bechdel test, as baselines to measure the representation of women in popular children's television programming.

  • Presented by: Dr. Anthony Kapolka and Gazelle Tahrzadeh, Wilkes University, "Sentiment Analysis and Clustering of #MeToo tweets for Ally Identification"

We collected a dataset of 64 million tweets (geotagged from New York City, Miami, and Houston) and their corresponding user profiles, tweeted in 2021. From this, a subset of 32 thousand included some variation of #MeToo, a hashtag that emerged in 2017 as attention heightened towards sexual harassment and gender inequity, especially in the workplace.

Presented by: Samantha Andes, Wilkes University, "Social Causes for Math Anxiety"

This presentation focuses on math anxiety and how gender, race, economic status, parental influence, and teaching style can impact the level of anxiety an individual has towards math. Numerous studies have found that women and minorities are more likely ot experience math anxiety due to existing stereotypes that can have an effect on self-esteem at a young age.

12:30-1:45 p.m.

Session A | Contemporary issues in women's healthcare: Menstrual Disorders, Breast cancer and Nutrition
Location: Savitz Lounge
  • Presented by: Hannah Gillespie and Amanda Albright, Wilkes University, "Menstrual Disorders 101"

The goal of this presentation is to provide information about the most common types of menstrual disorders. Participants will learn about the possible causes, clinical presentation and treatments available for dysmenorrhea (painful periods), heavy menstrual bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, and premenstrual dysmorphic disorder.

  • Presented by: Rachelle Papacena, Kaylee Hornberber, Carly Lewis, Elena Patestos, Wilkes University, "Breast Cancer awareness and Prevention"

This disease can originate in different cells and parts of the breast potentially metasize to other areas in the body. There are many factors that can predispose a woman to breast cancer including genetics, lifestyle, and personal health history. Throughout this presentation we will provide education of breast cancer risks, signs, symptoms, and methods to promote prevention.

  • Presented by: Qiwei Zhou and Bryanna Polascik, Wilkes University "Vitamin Recommendations in College-Aged Women"

Women between the ages of 20-39 years old take the least amount of vitamin/supplements compared to women of other age groups according to CDC. Vitamins are essential nutrients for the body and a lack of vitamins may lead to various health consequences. It is important for women to stay informed about vitamins/supplements, so they can take part in their own health.

1-2:15 p.m.

Session A | Challenges to Gender Equality
Location: Miller Room
  • Presented by: Haley Katona, Emilie Protsko, Santino Brigido, Wilkes University "What is Gender Inequality" Connor Frey, "What is Gender Inequality? A look into the Challenges Faced by women in Today's Society"

Students will deliver presentation addressing Goal #5 of the sustainable Development Goals Established by the United Nations in 2015: 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls'.

Session B | COntemporary Issues surrounding gender equality
Location: Ballroom
  • Presented by: Morgan Steiner, Wilkes University "Achieving Gender Equity through Stategies in Education and Employment," Nicholas Antolick, Wilkes University, "International Politics and Women's Education", Emma Guzdek, Wilkes University "Women and Education", and Jay Gallagher, Wilkes University, "Connections between Natural Disasters and Gender Inequality"

Students wil deliver presentations addressing Goal #5 of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015: 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.' Several key questions will be addressed in this session.

2-3:15 p.m.

Session a | Gender in an ever changing world
Location: Savitz Lounge
  • Presented by: Drew Hritos, "God Help the Outcasts: Examining the Impacts Religious Exposure has on Gender Expectations and Sexual Identity"

What would happen, if these ideas begin to be questioned and revised? In an era of rising queer identity and gender empowerment, it is essential to take a step back, challenge beliefs and values instilled into many individuals' brains from the time they were young, and open the gates to a new era of religious interpretation and identification.

  • Presented by: Nick Pozek, Wilkes University "Queering Philanthropy"

This talk will explore the ways in which the forms of knowing, being, and caring that undergird queer philanthropy critique, resist, and reinforce the incumbent market-based models of charitable giving. Weaving theory and history, this talk will consider how philanthropic practices could be 'queered' and offer a framework for reimagining this key
component of the social sector.

3:30-4:45 p.m.

Session a | International Women's Issues
Location: Miller Room

Presented by: Dr. Gina Zanolini Morrison, Karley Stasko, Donald Ballou, Laurenne Fraser, and Yanni Kleopolous, Wilkes University "International Data Analysis Project: Bornean Women of Academia"

This project began in Borneo as part of a larger study on spiritual beliefs of
Southeast Asian working women.  Data collection involved on-site interviews in
three Bornean locations with women of academia, who expressed locally
influenced indigenous beliefs emphasizing the importance of sustaining harmony
with land and community, past and present.

Presented By: Michelle Bazan, Xhulieta Gjoca, Kira Meager, Wilkes University, "Latin American Feminist Movement and its Impact on Awareness of Femicide"

Femicide is misogyny in its most extreme and heinous form, and although to
Western countries femicide is a distant thought, to most countries in Latin
America it is a real issue that looms over Latinx women.

5-6:15 p.m.

Session a | Women, Power, Change
Location: Savitz Lounge

Presented By: Morgan Casciole and Lauren Wagner, Wilkes University, "Delivering a Virtual Event to Provide Local Girl Scouts with First Aid Badge"

Due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lambda Kappa Sigma
Alpha Phi chapter at Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy hosted our
annual First Aid Badge Girl Scout Event virtually to ensure that Girl Scouts
throughout the Wyoming Valley were able to earn their first aid badges.

Presented by: Dr. Helen Davis, Wilkes University, "Jane Austen and Empire," Jay Guziewicz, Wilkes University, "Emma Woodhouse: Independent Woman, Well Rounded Matchmaker... Lesbian" and Maddy Kinard, Wilkes University, "Individuality and Autonomy in Pride and Prejudice"

In her presentation, "Jane Austen and Empire,"Dr. Davis will explain the pedagogical rationale for the class, and will provide contextual information about the British Empire in the 19th century. Two students from the
class will share their research for the course.

7-8:30 p.m.

Session A | Manuscript society and campion literary society present: poetry and Fiction
Location: Ballroom
Featured Readers
  • Julia Sweeney, King's College
  • Emily Cherkauskas, Wilkes University
  • Angelina Falcone, King's College
  • Breanna Ebisch, Wilkes University
  • Samantha Lipperini, King's College
  • Brianna Schunk, Wilkes University
  • Alyse McKennetts, King's College
  • Jay Guziewicz, Wilkes University
  • Anarose Davidson, King's College
  • Dr. Robin Field, King's College
  • Dr. Mischelle Anthony, Wilkes University
  • Jennifer Judge Yonkoski, King's College