NMSU women’s studies program changes name to gender and sexuality studies

In an effort to reflect national and international trends and the changes within the academic discipline, New Mexico State University’s women’s studies program, part of the department of interdisciplinary studies in the College of Arts and Sciences is now known as gender and sexuality studies.

Head and shoulders of a woman near a tree
Manal Hamzeh, associate professor of gender and sexuality studies, was one of the professors initiating the name change from women’s studies to the broader gender and sexuality studies. (Courtesy Photo)
Head and shoulders of a woman
Laura Williams, assistant professor and director of gender and sexuality studies, is one of the professors who initiated the name change from women’s studies to the broader gender and sexuality studies. (Courtesy Photo)

Two faculty members in the department – Manal Hamzeh, associate professor and Laura Anh Williams, assistant professor – initiated the move last spring citing the shifts and developments within the larger field of study.

“Our curriculum has always worked toward inclusivity and this name change merely reflects this sense of involvement,” Williams said. “Women’s studies is defined by commitments to social justice and the concept of intersectionality, the study of how categories of identity and difference like gender, sexuality, race and nation are interconnected and overlapping; gender and sexuality studies engages with and further interrogates these commitments.”

“The name change will hopefully signal the inclusive approach of the department that welcomes students identifying with all genders,” said Hamzeh. “That is, gender and sexuality studies is not about and for women only. It is for all students on this campus.”

The name change, which was unanimously supported by faculty in the department, began its journey through various committees last spring and was ratified by the NMSU faculty senate in January of this year. The program is the core academic unit of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

“The name change reflects how the discipline and our program already do the work of moving beyond the traditional and narrower scope implied by ‘women’s studies.’ It responds to our students interests, career ambitions and needs,” said Patti Wojahn, associate professor of English and head of the interdisciplinary studies department. “Additionally, it will give the department more visibility and should enhance our ability to recruit students to the various degrees we offer.”

The women’s studies program at NMSU began in 1989 and has continued to grow over the past two and a half decades.

Wojahn explained this step aligns with the evolution of the program to a fully online degree at NMSU. She added the name change would help the unit to grow through collaboration with other departments across campus, making the program more competitive with similar academic degrees offered by peer institutions.

For more information please visit https://genders.nmsu.edu.


Our New National Priorities

Thomas Wark

It’s costing the taxpayers about $183 million a year for security for the  First Lady to live in in New York rather than the White House so that the First Brat can continue to attend his fancy private school in Manhattan.
But the government can’t afford $142 million a year to support the National Endowment for the Arts.
Providing security for the First Family’s lavish lifestyle, including frequent trips to the gilded digs in Palm Beach, will cost the taxpayers a billion dollars over the next four years—eight times what it cost to provide such security for the Obamas.
But the government can’t afford $200 million in grants to states to provide Meals on Wheels for senior citizens.
Trumpcare will leave 24 million of the neediest Americans without access to health care.
Soon there will be no public schools in Amerika.  Your kids will be given vouchers to pay to attend charter schools where they’ll be given daily doses of religious brainwashing, but no exposure to the work of Howard Zinn, Caesar Chavez or Sinclair Lewis.
This is a country that can afford an extra $58 billion for superfluous weapons of war and mass destruction . . .
. . . by cutting $6.2 billion from funding for housing and urban development . . .
. . .$2.4 billion from public transportation (while allowing private cars to spew more harmful emissions into the atmosphere). . .
. . .$12.6 billion from health and human services, eliminating federal aid to the largest provider of health care for the nation’s poor women. . .
. . .$9 billion from education . . . .
. . .and totally eliminating the agency that sees to it that we have safe water to drink, clean air to breathe and won’t be poisoned by the food we eat.
Aside from the National Endowment for the Arts, the following programs will be eliminated:
• The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school programs and summer programs
• Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which funds research including clean energy
• African Development Foundation
• Appalachian Regional Commission
• Chemical Safety Board
• Community Development Block Grant, which in part funds Meals on Wheels
• Community Development Financial Institutions Fund grants, under Treasury
• Community Services Block Grant, under HHS
• Corporation for National and Community Service
• Corporation for Public Broadcasting
• Delta Regional Authority
• Denali Commission
• Economic Development Administration
• Essential Air Service program
• Global Climate Change Initiative
• Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay funding, and other regional programs under EPA.
• HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, all under HUD
• Institute of Museum and Library Services
• Inter-American Foundation
• US Trade and Development Agency
• Legal Services Corporation
• Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
• McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program
• Minority Business Development Agency, under Commerce
• National Endowment for the Humanities
• NASA’s Office of Education
• Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
• Northern Border Regional Commission
• Overseas Private Investment Corporation
• State Energy Program
• Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, the second-largest program feds have used to influence local education
• TIGER transportation grants
• United States Institute of Peace
• United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
• Weatherization Assistance Program
• Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
These are programs that actually help people.  They don’t make oligarchs richer, corporations more profitable or remove natural resources leaving only pollution behind.  They actually help people.
No wonder there’s no place for them in Trumpistan.


13th annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium to explore mental health issues

The 13th annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium at New Mexico State University will bring to light a topic often hidden in the Las Cruces community.

Man standing with two women holding awards
Satya Rao (right), NMSU professor in public health services, is pictured here receiving an award along with Liz England-Kennedy from NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers at the 2016 Teaching Academy Gala. Rao will receive the NMSU/Government Department Social Justice Award at the 13th annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium at New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo)
Man standing with group of people at table putting food bags together
Lorenzo Alba (center), executive director of Casa de Peregrinos, shown with members of NMSU’s housing and residential life volunteers, will receive the Las Cruces Community Social Justice Award at the 13th annual J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium at New Mexico State University. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)
Man wearing a suit standing talking to a woman
J. Paul Taylor, seen here at an NMSU College of Arts and Sciences homecoming reception in 2013, spearheaded the social justice symposium that bears his name. (Courtesy photo)

“Voices of the Invisible Majority: Social Justice and Mental Health” will begin on Tuesday, March 14 with a reception and awards presentation and will continue with a day of discussions, films and events on Wednesday, March 15 at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts, 1000 E. University.

“We chose this topic because we felt that this was an issue that would speak to our community, both on campus and in Las Cruces and the surrounding areas,” said Amy Lanasa, department head of NMSU’s Creative Media Institute and co-chair of the symposium.

This year the two-day event, hosted by NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, will showcase local experts tackling the tough subject of mental health and services in the region. The symposium named for J. Paul Taylor, a respected state representative and educator, started in 2005 when Taylor suggested strategies for bringing resources of the university to address problems faced by underserved populations in the southwest. Sandra Deshors, assistant professor of languages and linguistics, co-chaired the symposium with Lanasa.

“The panel presentations will include speakers talking about mental health and law enforcement, veterans’ issues and post traumatic stress disorder, mental health issues and treatment in our community,” said Lanasa. “As well as some guided meditation and a talk on the value of integrating mindfulness practice into our community.”

The opening reception begins at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14 with the welcome and introductions by Enrico Pontelli, interim dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, followed by the presentation of Social Justice Awards.

For the first time this year, there will be two awards, one for a faculty, staff or student of NMSU and a second for a Las Cruces community member dedicated to the cause of social justice. Carrie Hamblen, CEO and President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce will present this year’s NMSU/Government Department Social Justice Award to Satya Rao, NMSU professor in public health services. Rao has actively sought to reduce stigma and secrecy related to suicide and mental health through her engagement with the local hospital and hospice, working with NMSU and high school students, staff and teachers, and co-facilitating support groups for families in southern New Mexico.

Anne Hubbell, NMSU professor for communication studies, will present the Las Cruces Community Social Justice Award to Lorenzo Alba, executive director of Casa de Peregrinos, the emergency food program, which has 13 outlets to feed people throughout Dona Ana County. The program has more than doubled since he took over in 2011, distributing more than 2.5 million pounds of food in 2016.

The final event of the evening on March 14, Tommy Thompson, a staff member of La Clinica de Familia-Behavioral Health Specialties in Las Cruces, will give a keynote speech about social justice and mental healthcare reform at 6:30 p.m. Thompson is board certified in neuropsychology and medical psychology with prescriptive authority. He spent the last 15 years focused on the integration of behavioral health and community clinics across New Mexico.

The symposium continues on March 15 with three panel discussions in the morning: at 8:30 a.m. mental health and law enforcement issues, at 9:30 a.m. veterans’ issues and post-traumatic stress disorder and at 11 a.m. mental health issues and treatment in the community. A special introduction of J. Paul Taylor will happen at 10:45 a.m.

Afternoon sessions will begin at 1: 30 p.m. with a presentation titled “In Our Own Voice” followed by a talk at 2 p.m. about integrating mindfulness practice in diverse communities. A performance from a NMSU’s theater department will follow at 3:45 p.m. titled “The Invisible Becomes Visible,” written by NMSU faculty. At 5 p.m., an episode of the documentary series “Labeled,” produced by faculty from NMSU’s Creative Media Institute, will be screened. The goal of the project is to share the films in Las Cruces schools and to help the public gain a better understanding of mental illness by hearing about it from people who live with it.

After the film, the symposium concludes with remarks by co-chairs Lanasa and Deshors and a reception.

The J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium is designed to grow upon existing university and community partnerships through reciprocal education, outreach and strategizing as part NMSU’s land-grant goals. Each year scholars, students, community participants and policy makers gather from across the state and region to explore, learn and work together on tactics for reform and justice.

Previous topics have included social justice for LGBTQ identities, justice for migrant youth and children, environmental justice and justice for children of detained and incarcerated parents.

The events are free and open to the public. For more information and schedules, visit the J. Paul Taylor Social Justice Symposium website at http://artsci.nmsu.edu/en/13th-annual-j-paul-taylor.

To view a live stream of the symposium, visit: Day 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grJEJFhgb0k and Day 2- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ-1uGBkxzE.



SWEC: Coyote bill falls short, but we’ll be back

It’s all about persistence

The New Mexico legislature adjourned without passing SB 268, a bill to ban coyote killing contests in New Mexico. It was SWEC’s top priority bill this year, one of six good wildlife measures we supported. But we’re not fazed. We know this bill will pass eventually. Momentum and public opinion are on our side. We will be back at the Legislature in 2019 (next “long” session), stronger than ever and ready to try again. Read our full legislative report here.

Ready to Win a New Car?

SWEC is once again raffling off a brand new, super fuel-efficient 2017 Toyota Prius C. As in the past, we are only selling 500 tickets maximum, at $100 each. Drawing will be held on April 22nd at the Las Cruces Earth Day Event. You do not need to be present to win. Click here for more info and to buy your ticket now. If you are in Las Cruces area, we’ll be selling tickets at the Farmers Market every Saturday until the drawing. Come find us!

We’re hiring!

We’re looking for someone to take over management of a crew of six Youth Conservation Corps members in restoring wetland habitats along the Rio Grande and elsewhere in the Las Cruces area. (The current Crew Supervisor had to resign abruptly due to health problems.) This is a part-time (32 hours/week) position lasting until the project ends in July, 2017. Habitat restoration or youth project management experience preferred but not required. Click here for full job description.



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