Coming Up: Martha S. Jones Book Talk

Book Talk flyer in red and yellow featuring photograph of author and cover of book (event details reproduced below)

Martha S. Jones Virtual Book Talk and Q&A – December 2, 2020 at 5:30pm on Zoom

Join WGS, the Avery Center, CofC Libraries, African American Studies, History, HSS, and Political Science for this special virtual book talk with author Dr. Martha S. Jones! In this conclusion to this semester’s book club and read-a-long of Dr. Jones’s book, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality For All, Dr. Jones will join us for a virtual discussion and Q&A over Zoom.

Pre-register for the Zoom event here:

Student Spotlight: Jody Bell

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your pronouns? Your hometown? Your major(s)/minor(s)?

My hometown is Greenwich, Connecticut.  I use she/her/hers pronouns and I am majoring in Finance with a minor in International Studies.

What areas/aspects of WGS do you find the most engaging? OR what are you most passionate about?

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved in some sphere of activism. Whether that was protesting atop my mother’s shoulders when I was 5-6 years old, or organizing walkouts in middle school. However, when I turned 15 something shifted, and I didn’t quite feel content with volunteering or protesting. I was experiencing some serious burnout, and I kept thinking of ways that I could maximize my impact and activism in more efficient ways that aided hundreds or thousands of individuals in need. 

At that time I had a few friends with undocumented parents, and I was in the process of researching what they should do in case of parental deportation. In this process I realized that this was my opportunity to maximize my impact and deliver aid to thousands instead of a few. That’s why I released my first venture; In Case of Deportation ( I took all of the research I compiled, and released it in an online format that was holistic enough to help any individual with undocumented parents learn about their next steps.

It was this shift from a more “follower” centered activism role to a leadership position that really ignited my passion and made me understand what I was truly capable of. It lit a fire in me that has seeped into my perception of myself, and motivated me to just keep producing new, innovative, and sometimes unorthodox ways of engaging in activism. 

photograph of Jody Bell speaking at a "Girls with Impact" event

Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing, or any involvement you have on campus with clubs or organizations.

I still have a major focus on the undocumented/mix-status communities. Most of the work I’m doing currently is drawing awareness to this issue here in South Carolina, where immigration is not a major focal point. So, I am going to be a TedX speaker about this topic this March, and I am currently working to create a college-student-specific branch of In Case of Deportation. 

Given the events of this past summer, I have also committed to educating myself about the Black Lives Matter movement, and doing what I can to begin activism work within that sector. I engaged in an independent research project with Honors Faculty Professor, Lancie Affonso, and freshman, Brandon Alston, to assess equity within the College of Charleston’s maintenance and dining staff. Through this research, we learned that these groups are predominately Black (60.3%) and are at the absolute frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through examining employee benefit packages, risk mitigation work, and community spread in the areas that employee’s live, we are working to uncover how our campus offers a microscopic view of systemic racism, and thus describes how the Black population is disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

What does being a Ketner scholar mean to you?

Currently I have no financial support for my education. I already work two jobs to pay for my cost of living, however, the Ketner scholarship has greatly alleviated the financial burden of my tuition. Without this scholarship I would most likely need another job, and thus wouldn’t be able to devote my time to the activism initiatives that I am passionate about. Quite frankly this scholarship has given me the financial freedom to aid my community through my work.

What are your plans for the future?

While I am currently just a sophomore, I have pretty big plans! I do interpret activism through an unorthodox lens — hence why I am majoring in Finance. I hope that once I graduate, I can go into the wealth management field (specifically ESG investing), and aid individuals in sustainable asset management solutions. In less finance-y terms, I want to help people invest in companies that are actively doing good in their communities; this way we can help people accumulate wealth while supporting businesses that aim to do good for the world. 

However, these are just my post-graduation plans. As I mentioned before, I am financing my own education, so once I work in finance I hope to attend law school with my earnings. Specifically, I want to do human rights law; fighting discimination on a case-to-case basis and making a career out of the pursuit of justice.

“How NOT to Blow Up the Holidays: Learn to Avoid Food Fights & Keep the Peace with WGS” – 11/23

Holiday themed event flyer with flying foods surrounding the text (reproduced below)

Join WGS next Monday, 11/23 from 3:00-4:00 on Zoom for a special event to learn strategies to navigate difficult socio-political discussions with you fami8ly members over the holidays. Facilitated by Vivian Appler (THTR), Kris De Welde (WGS), Melissa Hughes (BIO), and Julia McReynolds Pérez (SOCY/ANTH).

Join us on zoom:
Passcode: 488512

Student Spotlight: Sarah Claire Mullis

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your pronouns? Your hometown? Your major(s)/minor(s)?

I am from Greenville, South Carolina. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a Women’s and Gender Studies major, and I’m minoring in anthropology and psychology.

Why did you choose to study WGS?

I first wanted to go into a social science field and just tailor my electives around my interests in sustainability and WGS. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was only truly passionate about my WGS courses. They were the ones that made me crave knowledge, seek action, and reevaluate my individual perspective. I decided I wanted to spend my time learning about things that made me passionate, so I became a WGS major! Its interdisciplinary perspective promotes a holism that takes students further than most majors.
Sarah Claire Headshot

What areas/aspects of WGS do you find the most engaging? OR what are you most passionate about?

I am particularly interested in/passionate about reproductive justice, and race/gender/sexuality and environmental studies. I have a lot more to learn, but I am interested in plant medicine as a method for emotional and physical healing. There is a movement called rewilding I am really interested in as well.

Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing, or any involvement you have on campus with clubs or organizations.

I am on the leadership board for Alliance for Planet Earth and the new WGS Student Advisory Committee. I’m also the current Alison Piepmeier Endowed Scholarship recipient.

What does WGS mean to you? Why should every CofC student take at least one WGS class before they graduate?

WGS courses are important because they provide a perspective students really can’t get from any other discipline. They show that there is more to life than meets the eye, and they teach students how to look below the surface at the true issues facing individuals and populations.

What are your plans post-graduation?

WGS teaches you things that can be applied in every aspect of life. Studying minorities and injustice builds more empathetic, intuitive people, and this can be used regardless of what you are doing. I am interested in becoming an herbalist (plant medicine) and doula. I hope to use plant medicine to provide people with access to low-cost medicine that can also be emotionally healing. Specifically, I am interested in promoting herbal resources related to family planning/reproductive health. But I still have a lot more to learn.

“WGS in the Garden” with the Student Advisory Committee – 11/18 @ 5-7pm

WGS in the Garden event flyer featuring a bright blue sky, picket fence, and birds - text reproduced below

Join the WGS Student Advisory Committee for WGS in the Garden – a special, socially distant meet-and-greet event for WGS majors and minors. Get connected and enjoy the atmosphere of Stern gardens with kindred spirits in WGS on Wednesday, 11/18 from 5-7pm.

GSECond Thursday: Salary Negotiation Workshop

Salary Negotiation Flyer with piggy bank (text reproduced below)

Thursday, November 12 at 4:00 – GSECond Thursday: Salary Negotiation Workshop

Join WGS, GSEC, and the Career Center for a Salary Negotiation Workshop! Don’t leave money on the table – learn how to negotiate a salary for a new job! Gain confidence in your negotiation style through facilitated discussion and role-play, and learn about the wage gap, including its long-term consequences, and what you can do to help. Use this link to register on Handshake! 

T.E.A. with WGS: “Education for Liberation: Beyond Diversity & Other Metaphors”

Blue and black T.E.A. with WGS flyer (text reproduced below)

Thursday, November 12 from 9:00-10:30am – T.E.A. with WGS: Education for Liberation: Beyond Diversity and Other Metaphors

Join WGS for the latest T.E.A. (Teaching to Engage and Activate) workshop, facilitated by Transformative Teaching Collective members Kristi “kaj” Brian (WGS, GSEC) and Drisana McDaniel, former WGS Community Advisory Board member. 

Student Spotlight: McKayla Cook

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your pronouns? Your hometown? Your major(s)/minor(s)?

My hometown is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and I use she/her/hers pronouns. I am a Biology major (B.S.) and Spanish minor.

What areas/aspects of WGS do you find most engaging/interesting? What are you passionate about?

Reproductive rights is an aspect of gender-based activism I am especially passionate about, and a big part of this is comprehensive sexual education. For me it’s about having an informed choice about what happens to our bodies and how to care for and love them. What happens to our own bodies is something only we should decide, and in the area of reproduction this right is continuously disregarded. Repro rights are truly human rights.
Makayla Cook headshot

Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing (ex. volunteering/local activism), or any involvement you have on campus with clubs/organizations.

On campus, I am the president of Planned Parenthood’s Generation Action chapter where we offer students ways to support our local Planned Parenthood, protect reproductive rights, gain education on healthy safe sex and legistlature surrouding repro rights, and gain a community that values bodily autotomy. We also volunteer for other organizations such as the SC democratic party, for example, to phonebank for this recent election. I am the treasurer of the sports club, belly dance, which this is my 7th semester participating in. I am also a Supplemental Instructor with the Center for Student Learning for BIOL111 this semester, and I am a Senior Leader for the SI program as well, mentoring new SI’s. This semester I am also working on a Bachelor’s Essay on proteomics research with Dr. Michael Janech at CofC.

What does the Ketner Scholarship mean to you?

The Ketner scholarship for me has been a source of community, inspiration, and motivation. I have gained much awareness of the community/CofC and what I can do to help improve it, and have met the kindest coolest people along the way, and it drives me to keep fighting for equality. I am so grateful for the mentorship of Dr. De Welde and the generosity of Linda Ketner that has changed my life for the better and shaped my college experience into something positive and persistent.

What are you plans post-graduation? And how will you take what you’ve learned in WGS with you once you’re no longer a student here?

After graduation, I will be taking the MCAT and applying to medical school. During my gap year I plan to work with my phlebotomy certificate, research (probably in women’s health), and continue to volunteer with Planned Parenthood as well as engage with local activism. My Ketner community has taught me that there are endless connections to make, work to be done, and ways to make positive change, you just have to start talking to people! No matter where I am or what I do I can get involved.

Spring 2021 Course Types Cheat Sheet

Curious about the different course type offerings for next semester? Looking to better understand the difference between asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid courses? See below for a handy guide (thanks to the Psychology department for forwarding us this template!).

Class cheat sheet detailing the different online class options

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