Faculty social welcomes two new professors

The event marked the 30th anniversary of the Women's and Gender Studies department.
Women's Center adviser Struby Struble laughs after receiving a prize from a trivia game during Meet the Faculty and Staff Night at The Pasta Factory. The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies hosted the event to give new students a chance to meet the faculty.

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies hosted a meet-the-faculty event Thursday night at the Pasta Factory to usher in the new semester.

The night included department-specific trivia, free Italian food and a chance for students and faculty to interact.

“It’s fall, it’s our 30th anniversary for the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and it’s a great time for everyone to get reacquainted with the faculty and our two new incoming faculty members,” said Jessica Jennrich, Director of Undergraduate Advising, Curriculum and Programming.

This year, Zakiya Adair and Treva Lindsey will be joining the department as assistant professors. Both Lindsey and Adair aim to bring new perspectives and content to the department at MU.

“In the spring, I’ll be teaching a course on gender and hip-hop,” Lindsey said. “In the fall, I’ll be teaching the Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies course and a course called ‘From Laguna Beach to the Jersey Shore’ about reality TV.”

Lindsey, who earned a PhD in History from Duke University, will use her academic background to freshen up course offerings in the department.

“The gender and hip hop and gender and reality TV courses have not been taught here before,” Lindsey said. “I’m very excited about designing these courses. The Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies course has been taught before but it has been about a decade or so since it has been taught by a historian.”

Adair, who is teaching four courses this fall, will also be teaching new courses she based off her own research interests.

“I came from the University of Washington out in Seattle, and I got my graduate degree in Women’s Studies,” Adair said. “Two of my courses will be new courses dealing with cultural production in mass media and the other course will be dealing with transnational women’s cultural history.”

Alongside new and old faculty, a number of students attended the social to get to know their professors. Sophomore Maddie Byrne, who transferred from Truman State University, came to get acclimated with the department.

“I don’t know anyone in the faculty except the people who teach my classes,” Byrne said. “I want to network a little bit. I want to know what I’m getting into.”

Sophomore Ayelen Costa is taking her first class in the department this semester and attended the social to get familiar with the program.

“It’s not a bad idea if I’m going to be taking these classes," Costa said.

The social also incorporated organizations outside of the department such as the Center for Social Justice. Support Staff member Struby Struble attended the event to interact with members of the department.

“I looked into the Women’s Center as an undergraduate,” Struble said. “It kind of tied in a lot with what the Women’s and Gender Studies department did.”

The Center for Social Justice works to apply what is being taught in the classroom to campus life outside of academics, Struble said.

“I get to spend 40 hours a week working on the non-academic side of student life,” Struble said. “It’s really cool to be able to do programming and events and have a space on campus that ties in what some departments teach.”

Struble said the event was an enjoyable way to begin the new semester.

“This is kind of an informative event but also a social event, so it’s just nice to see everybody get the semester started strong like ‘Alright, let’s do this, have a great semester,’” Struble said.

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