Undergraduate Student Showcase | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Undergraduate Student Showcase

Kristin Portland

"I've always been interested in Women's studies, and the certificate program at Pitt only deepened that interest. I've always known that I wanted to help people, and working for an NPO seems to me like the best way to do that. I'll be getting my MA in Women's and Gender studies from DePaul University, with the hope that it will leave me well placed to take a leadership position with an NPO whose main goal relates to helping women or the LGBT population in some way."

Dana Huttlin

Dana is a junior Industrial Engineering student who became interested in Women's Studies through her involvement with "FeelGood," a group on campus that sells grilled cheese sandwiches to raise money for The Hunger Project.  Check them out from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday in the William Pitt Union.  The group aims to empower men, and especially women, to end their own hunger.  Dana chose to take an Intro course to learn more about global feminisms, though she benefitted addtionally from course assignments.  Dana won a contest to meet Metric (featured on the soundtrack of the latest film with Michael Cera, "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World").  See Dana's email to WS Teaching Fellow, Sarah Krier: 

"Hi Sarah,

Alright, so I've been meaning to email you for a while. Do you remember the paper I wrote for your women's studies class last spring?  About the different female music artists? One of them was this band called Metric.  Over the summer I entered a radio contest to meet them. To enter you had to write a little blurb about why you wanted to meet them so of course I wrote how I had written that paper about them. And someone at the station thought that was really neat I guess because I ended up winning, so I got to give them a copy of the paper and have my own copy signed by them. It was a really cool experience, and I wouldn't have ever ended up there if it wasn't for your class. I just wanted to pass the story along to you.

Hope everything is going well!

Dana Huttlin"

Tamar Toledano

Tamar has been an undergraduate representative on the Women’s Studies Program Steering Committee since fall of 2008, and was recently asked to serve as the undergraduate representative on the teaching fellows selection subcommittee.

Currently working towards a Certificate in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, Tamar is a senior sociology major and public service minor. She is especially interested in the intersections of theater, stage performance, queer and feminist theory, and social justice. She is presently working on a research proposal that will fuse these elements of study and praxis together.

A nominee for the Iris Marion Young Award in 2010, Tamar has served as a peer educator for the sexual assault services at the University for the past three years and is especially excited about having launched a project at the University of Pittsburgh called Tunnel of Oppression. This project is an interactive, multimedia three day long event that highlights contemporary issues of oppression, privilege, and power through the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, environment, etc. (to find out more about this project send an e-mail to tunnelatpitt@gmail.com)

Tamar’s first publication, a study entitled “Social Smoking: The College Student’s Response to Conflicting Media Messages” will be printed in the Sociology Student Association’s journal Social Concepts this spring.


Brendin Rogers

The Women’s Studies Program Steering Committee eagerly welcomed Brendin Rogers this year as a new undergraduate representative for the group.

Brendin is a junior anthropology major with a minor in Africana studies; he is pursuing certificates in women’s studies, global studies, and Africana studies.  Brendin is interested in sexuality in various cultures and how it is defined, practiced and manipulated, as well as queer and feminist theory.  He recently wrote a research paper on power and control in male gay strip clubs. 

At the University, Brendin holds the position of political action chair in the Rainbow Alliance.  He is a former president of Pittsburgh Kajukenbo, a martial arts group that is derived from karate, judo/jiu-jitsu, kenpo, and Chinese boxing.

Brendin likes to experience foreign cultures through their food, music, and language.  He enjoys cooking a variety of foreign foods also. 

Ryan Ricarte

Pursuing the certificate in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, Ryan is a senior Psychology student and Theatre Arts minor. He is particularly interested in theories of masculinity in the context of rape and sexual assault, men's involvement and conceptualization of queer and feminist theory, and the history of AIDS activism. He is an officer of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force Student Ambassadors, as well as a peer educator for the University's Sexual Assault Services. Ryan's most recent activities include a zine entitled "I'm Not Manly, You're Not Manly, and Feminism Thinks That's Okay" as a final project for Intro to Women's Studies. He also created "I Could Say No to Myself," a zine discussing the generational and institutional hurdles of reducing HIV/AIDS stigma. Since June 2013, Ryan has been working with Robert Coulter, MPH, on a systematic review discussing resiliencies of sexual minority youth at the Graduate School of Public Health. They hope to complete their work in April 2014.

Announcing the First Annual Undergraduate Sexuality Studies Symposium


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