The Ethnic and Women's Studies Department will be recognized regionally and nationally for its unique approach, programmatically and institutionally, to the integration of critical race, ethnic, gender and multicultural studies. Our graduates will be distinguished for their intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, their openness to new ideas and diverse peoples, their justice-oriented and compassionate sensibilities, and their dynamic leadership in working to create a more just and humane world.
As a diverse community of teacher-scholars and staff, we are dedicated to advocating for and advancing knowledge about ethnic/racial, gendered and other underrepresented groups in society, including the processes by which groups are constituted and transformed over time. We prepare students to manage, nurture, advocate for, and shape an open democratic society/world, where diversity is valued, inter-group relationships are promoted, and social justice principles are embodied. We achieve this mission through:
- Critical pedagogy and student centered classrooms
- Dynamic and relevant interdisciplinary curriculum, inclusive of global perspectives
- Common intellectual experiences
- Intense advising and mentoring of students
- Service and community-based learning
- Collaborative assignments and projects
- Writing-intensive courses
- Undergraduate research
- Senior Capstone Projects with annual GEMS Symposium presentations.
Our Mission is rooted in our Core Values.
Affirmation and Celebration of DiversityWe value and embrace the diversity of the world's peoples and cultures. We are committed, through our research, advocacy, and teaching, to the inclusion of those groups, whose voices, experiences, and contributions have been submerged, erased, distorted, or denied from the socio-historical record.
Experientially–based Knowledge and Applied ResearchWe value knowledge that is grounded in experience and which leads to the creation of a more just, inclusive, and humane world. We are, therefore, committed to an educational praxis which includes reflection and action, classroom and community, critical analysis and cultural/artistic appreciation.
Intellectual Curiosity and RigorWe value critical engagement with received bodies of knowledge in order to produce new perspectives and paradigms for understanding the diverse and full range of human experience. We maintain the broader our understanding of the world, the more intelligent we will be.
Inter-and intra Group Understanding and CollaborationWe value relationships and opportunities to work collaboratively with others. As a department, we work collaboratively and creatively across academic and ethnic/gender focused disciplines to build cross-cultural understandings and relationships. We are dedicated to working with groups across campus (both in Academic and Student Affairs) and in the wider community to create a more inclusive and relational world.
Social Justice and Human RightsWe are advocates of social justice and human rights. We value the democratic principle that all human beings have the right to fully and equally participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the resources of their societies. We are, therefore, committed to identifying and analyzing social structures, practices, and bodies of knowledge that discriminate against groups and individuals, and we are dedicated to working for the achievement of a more open, just, and democratic society.
Student – Focused EducationWe value our students. They are participants with us in the pursuit and production of knowledge. We are committed to the embodiment of this value in our classroom pedagogy, where students are expected to be teacher-learners; in our advising, where students are both supported throughout the program and guided in their pursuit of a career or post-baccalaureate degree; and in our scholarly mentoring, where students are encouraged and assisted in their research-based senior projects and other research projects.