Women's and Gender Studies

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Women's & Gender Studies

Overview: What is Women's and Gender Studies?

The Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) interdisciplinary minor exposes students to the historical, economic, social, psychological, and political factors that have shaped traditional gender roles, contemporary issues of gender and sexuality, and  historical struggles and achievements of women. As a discipline that addresses how gender intersects with categories such as sex, race, class, ethnicity, and nationality to shape identities and communities, WGS is committed to the ideals of inclusivity and diversity and shares in the Franciscan tradition of working toward social justice. By developing students’ awareness of diversity, equality, and justice, this program participates in Alvernia’s mission to provide students intellectual breadth and an ethical foundation for their life-long personal and professional growth. The interdisciplinary nature of WGS also intersects with the mission of Alvernia’s General Education Program to equip students with the skills to approach problems from several perspectives and worldviews in order to recognize their depth and complexity.

Women’s and Gender Studies is a discipline generated from historical struggles for equality, social justice, and the promotion of underrepresented voices. As such, it is firmly committed to the idea that theory and practice are necessarily interrelated and equally indispensable in developing solutions for contemporary issues. WGS courses utilize a variety of pedagogical approaches to problem-solving that can be applied in any discipline to develop a deeper understanding of the social forces that influence its institutions and practices and to recognize underlying causes. Women’s and Gender Studies is committed to making both the university and community aware of the importance and centrality of these issues for identity, social and communal engagement, and global awareness. WGS aims to educate students to their roles and responsibilities and to clarifying how these practical concerns for social justice, equality and the eradication of discrimination translate to their lives.

Objectives: Aims of Women’s and Gender Studies:

  • To provide a systematic knowledge of the multidisciplinary scholarship about the socialand historical context of women and gender, in the U.S. and globally;
  • To teach the application of a women's studies and/ or gender lens and feminist analyses of culture and sex/gender systems can challenge traditional historical and cultural assumptions and claims of knowledge;
  • To identify and analyze sources of power and oppression, including the ways systems of dominance such as sexism and racism function and have changed;
  • To teach how gender, and its intersection with race, sexuality, class, and ethnicity is fundamental to the construction of identity and the organization of human relations;
  • To support the needs of communities and diverse populations by fostering  recognition and sensitivity towards others


Benefits of Women's and Gender Studies

With its interdisciplinary foci, and rootedness in the liberal arts, Women's and Gender Studies produces students who are excellent candidates for many professions, and whose well-defined interests, breadth of knowledge and innovative scholarship will set them apart. Women's and Gender Studies’ emphasis on marginalization and social justice can enhance students’ abilities to identify issues that affect diverse populations and can aid in the development of community-oriented leadership skills. Students gain experience in social critique and analysis. Women's and Gender Studies graduates work in a number of fields including law, medicine, journalism, media, researchers, teachers, psychologists, politics and counselors and bring an awareness of the complexities of contemporary society that is highly desirable.


Contact Information

Janae Sholtz 

Janae Sholtz, Ph.D.

Coordinator of Women's & Gender Studies
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

     Francis Hall 229
     Phone:  610-568-1488


Upcoming Course Offerings:

FALL 2015

  • ENG 216/C/20: Women Literature:Women of Color Mod 2 TR 5:30 PM - 7:50 PM
  • PSY 308/C/01: The Psychology of Gender MW 7:15-8:45 AM
  • CJ 216/C/01: Women and the Criminal Justice System MWF 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
  • CJ 218/C/N1: Multicultural Issues and Criminal Justice Wed 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • MUS 222/C/01: Multicultural Music MWF 10:15-11:15 AM
  • PSY 220/C/01: Close Relationships MWF 10:15-11:15 AM
  • SW 202/C/01: Social Services to Children T TH 9:30-11:00 AM
  • SW 203/C/17D: The Process of Aging (Philadelphia Center)
  • PSY 215/C/27: Multicultural Issues (Philadelphia Center)

women's and gender studies

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