Women and Gender Studies

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2154

Who Should I Contact?

If you have an interest in pursuing a major or a minor in WGS, contact Dr. Jo Reger, Director of WGS.


Recently, the Communications Team at Affordable Colleges Online learned that girls are about twice as likely as boys to be, both the victim and perpetrator of cyberbullying. This led them to create a resource which could illuminate this growing problem and provide possible solutions.  You can check it out at Understanding Cyberbullying in College.



Scholarship and Awards

The WGS program annually awards the Barbara Hamilton Leadership Award and the Scholastic Achievement Award to majors and minors in WGS and LGBTQIA Studies.  These are given out at the winter semester luncheon.  View flyer.  For more information on the awards and their deadline, contact WGS interum director Valerie Palmer-Mehta at vpalmer@oakland.edu.  

The Mary Van Sell Scholarship is awarded once and sometimes twice a year.  The scholarship is for $2,000 and students must qualify for financial aid.  For the application, please visit the scholarship page.  For information about the deadlines for applying, please contact WGS Interum Director, Valerie Palmer-Mehta at vpalmer@oakland.edu.

Interesting tidbits on Barbara Hamilton:

Professor Hamilton began her career in writing and rhetoric at Oakland University in 1972.  With some time out for PhD work in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Southern California, she taught all levels of writing and writing pedagogy until she retired in 2010 with emerita status. 

One of the highlights of her time at OU was working together with other committed colleagues to start the Women's Studies program, followed by years working to create the Women's Studies (now Women and Gender Studies) major.  For years she served on the Women's Studies executive committee, helped spearhead Women's Studies conferences, and hosted numerous Women's Studies parties and picnics on her property, Bittersweet Farm.



Women and Gender Studies Program

Welcome to Women and Gender Studies!

You might be wondering...Who Are We? 
The field of Women and Gender Studies (WGS) investigates the systems of gender, power, and representation that shape the lives of women and men, girls and boys. As an interdisciplinary field of study, WGS scholarship puts gender - what it means to be masculine or feminine - at the center of analysis. We ask such questions as: How does one's gender influence participation in the family, economy, politics, and the arts? How do language, ideology, and visual representation convey meanings about women's and men's status in society? How has that status changed historically? How does the experience of gender vary according to one's race, class, nationality, religion, and sexual identity? Through our interdisciplinary orientation linking the humanities, arts, social sciences, and education, WGS enables and inspires women and men to work together to promote social justice.

Why Should I Major in WGS? 
Deciding to major in Women and Gender Studies is an exceptional choice for those who wish to be on the forefront of a vastly changing and competitive transnational marketplace. As our culture shifts from a manufacturing to a service based economy, and as our workforce becomes more diverse, WGS majors find that they are strategically positioned to be leaders in the new economy. Additionally, WGS is an important complement to all fields and is particularly important in professions concerning people and social institutions, such as journalism, law, social work, teaching, communication, government and governmental relations, and much more. For those interested in pursuing an advanced degree, a WGS major provides excellent preparation and intellectual grounding for a variety of academic disciplines. Finally, the WGS minor complements other minors across the disciplines and provides excellent career preparation for business, criminal justice, social work, psychology and international studies majors.