Panther Profiles

Creating an engaged and supportive alumni network is very essential to the Women's and Gender Studies program and fundamental to the success of the program overall! Recording important details about our alumni is our way of fostering a spirit of loyalty and strengthening the ties between our alumni and the WGS program.

Here are updates of some WGS alumni from 2011 - 2022!


Alia Afzal

Research Title: Feminist Qualitative Study of Victim Blaming of Sexually Assaulted Women in India

Committee Chair: Dr. William Michael Fleming

Where are they now? She is now studying English Literature, at UTSA - The University of Texas at San Antonio. 


Hasina Jalal

Research Title: A Study of the Institutionalized Discrimination Against Afghan Women At the Workplace

Committee Chair: Dr. Tom Hall

Where are they now? Hasina is working as a Research Associate and studying as a PhD Scholar in Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating the UNI, she joined the Georgetown University as a Fellow and studied for a semester there in the School of Foreign Services before going to Pittsburgh. 

Elena Golosova

Research Title: Barriers and Opportunities for Adoptation of Refugee Women from Burma in Black Hawk County, Iowa 
Committee Chair: Dr. Andrey N. Petrov

Melody Kosobucki

Research Title: Supporting LGBTQ Survivors of Sexual Violence: Understanding Specific Barriers to Accessing Care
Committee Chair: Dr. William Michael Fleming
Where are they now? Melody is working with Riverview Center as a sexual assault advocate. A few of the main responsibilities she has include: providing information and support to survivors of sexual assault when they receive the evidence kit collection, legal advocacy which includes filling out no-contact orders, working with law enforcement, Title IX offices, and navigating the court systems, counseling, and connecting clients with resources in the community. She does a significant amount of outreach in an effort to build community partnerships to work together to combat sexual assault.

Melody also provides presentations on healthy relationships to students in addition to defining consent and what to do to act as an upstander against sexual assault. Additionally, she works on creating an LGBTQ+ coalition in the Cedar Valley.

Phales Milimo

Research Title: Exploring the Barriers to Healthcare Access Among African Refugee Women in Iowa During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Committee Chair: Dr. Andrey Petrov
Where are they now? Phales is pursuing a PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Global health.

Noah Andrew 

Research Title: How Have You Experienced Being on Testosterone? Narrative Inquiry into the T-Body Experience   
Committee Chair: Dr. Catherine H. Palczewski

Rifat Rezowana Siddiqui

Research Title: Exploring the Rhetoric Constitution of a Safe Space for Women in Begum Rokeya and Frances Ellen Watkins Happer’s Works   
Committee Chair: Dr. Julie Husband
Where are they now? Rifat is pursuing a PhD in Literature under the Arts and Humanities program at University of Texas, Dallas.

Sedomda Kpikpitse

Research Title: Agrochemicals and Rural Women’s Health in The Volta Region of Ghana 
Committee Chair: Dr. Mark Grey
Where are they now? Sedomda is working for Duke University as a Patient Service Associate.



Ahlam Laouar

Research Title: Bleeding Cuts, Magical Spells, Sealed Hymens: A Study of the Tasfih in Algeria
Committee Chair: Dr. Danielle McGeough

Shareece Burrell

Research Title: Gender and Racial Inequality in College Sports: Breaking the Stereotypes and Barriers for African American Female College Basketball Coaches
Committee Chair: Dr. Anne Woodrick

Sara Naughton

Research Title: Issues of Accessibility in Victim Services for Survivors with Disabilities: An Agency Assessment
Committee Chair: Dr. William Michael Fleming
Where are they now? Sara is a Community Impact Manager, Data and Evaluation at United Way of Erie County, Erie, Pennsylvania.



Ashley Myers

Research Title: Beyond "Born This Way": Reconsidering Trans Narratives
Committee Chair: Carolyn Hildebrandt
Where are they now? Ashley is attending Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.  Ze is pursuing a PhD in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. 

Joyceline Amoako

Research Title: Women's Occupational Health and Safety in the Informal Economy: Maternal Market Traders in Accra, Ghana 
Committe Chair: Dr. Mark Grey
Where are they now? Joyceline is attending the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada.  She is pursuing a PhD in Public Health and Health Systems.

Konul Karimova

Research Title: Social Support in Online Support Groups for the Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Quantitative Content Analysis
Committee Chair: Dr. Wm. Michael Fleming
Where are they now? Konul is attending Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.  She is pursuing a PhD in Prevention Science in the Human Development Department.

Kristen McNutt

Research Title: Empowering Children's Social Ecology, Reenvisioning Post-conflict Reconstruction and Education in Rural Liberia
Committee Chair: Dr. Annette Lynch
Where are they now? Kristen is  continuing her work as a feminist scholar-practitioner by further developing and implementing programs in Liberia, West Africa with the nongovernmental organization, Supporting Programs in Community Empowerment that she co-founded as part of her WGS thesis research.  In addition, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and Social Change and a Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies at the Union Institute and University.

Megan Vogt - Kosner

Research Title: Community Perceptions: Views of a Local Shelter
Committee Chair: Cindy Juby
Where are they now? Megan is working at UNI fulltime as a Research Analyst in the Institutional Research & Effectiveness program.



Mirishahe Syla

Research Title: “The Mentors In Violence Prevention Model through Intersectional Lens: Understanding the Link between Masculinity and Violence as a Primary Prevention Strategy and Framing Strategies that Account for Cultural Differences”
Committee Chair: Dr. Wm. Michael Fleming
Where are they now? Mirishahe works at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Kosovo. She is also conducting a research paper on “The Role and Engagement of Youth in Violence Prevention”.

Tsering Kyi

Research Title: “An Examination of the Mentors In Violence Prevention (MVP) Model Through an Indian Cultural Perspectives”
Committee Chair: Dr. Wm. Michael Fleming
Where are they now? Tsering works as a section officer in the Women's Empowerment Desk (WED) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). As a section officer, she works exclusively on projects related to the empowerment of Tibetan women and any gender related issues.

Finn A. Blaho

Research Title: “Analyzing How We Think About Gender: Reevaluating the Categories of Transgender and Cisgender in Society”
Committee Chair: Dr. Susan Hill
Where are they now? Finn works as a receptionist at New Directions, a mental health agency based in Waterloo. Additionally, Finn is doing LGBTQ+ activism work in the Waterloo area with a group called Cedar Valley Unity. The group focuses on educating organizations, institutions, and businesses to make the Cedar Valley a more inclusive place.


Alexis St. Clare

Research Title: “Anthropocentrism, The Other Face of Patriarchy: An Investigation Into the Patriarchal Attitudes and Perceptions Of Non-Human Nature”
Committee Chair: Dr. Jack Yates
Where are they now? Alexis served as an adjunct instructor for the Women’s and Gender Studies program in Spring 2018. She is currently working at NextGen Iowa as a field organizer.

Jessany Latrice Maldonado

Research Title: “Afro Culture and Performance Within the Bar Space”
Committee Chair: Dr. Charles Kyle Rudick

Kelli Rae Larson

Research Title: “Addressing the Concerns of the LGBTQ Community in Bystander Prevention Programs”
Committee Chair: Dr. Wm. Michael Fleming

Casey Anne Brimmer

Research Title: “For Two or Two Hundred: A Workbook for Making a Difference”
Committee Chair: Dr. Danielle Dick McGeough
Where are they now? Casey Anne is currently completing their second MA in Communication Studies and teaching fundamentals of oral communication for Hawkeye Community College. They plan on attending Virginia Tech to pursue a PhD in Sociology with focus on Trans and Gender variant issues.


Rachel Marie Gregory

Research Title: “Sex and Political Participation on Facebook”
Committee Chair: Dr. Justin Holmes


Xavia Publius

Research Title: “Suggestions for Transgender Inclusion in Classical Music: A Mini-Cycle”
Committee Chair: Dr. Cynthia Goatley
Where are they now? Xavia is a second year PhD student in Performance Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. She is preparing for conferences and her first non-thesis professional publications.

Vijayalata D'Mello

Research Title: “Hahn Hao “Our House” Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa Transitional Housing Project”
Committee Chair: Dr. Victoria DeFrancisco


Johnanna Joy Ganz

Research Title: “Defining the “Good” Mother: Examining the Myths of Motherhood and the Hierarchical Construction of Femininity in “Weeds” and Weekly Magazines”
Committee Chair: Dr. Susan Hill
Where are they now? Johnanna recently completed a TEDx Talk that focused on her dissertation research and years of experience regarding occupational identity development.  The title is "When It's More Than 'Just a Job'" Her PhD dissertation titled, "Contested Titles: Gendered Violence Victim Advocacy and Negotiating Occupational Stigma in Social Interactions." was obtained at Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio in 2015.

Ganz, Johnanna. "Making a Difference for Whom?: Interrogating Race and Identity in Victim Advocacy." International Review of Qualitative Research 12, no. 2 (2019): 147-164.
Ganz, Johnanna. "Chapter Two Mammies, Maids & Mothers: Representations of African-American and Latina Women’s Reproductive Labor in Weeds." What the Village Gave Me: Conceptualizations of Womanhood (2013): 19-35.
Ganz, Johnanna J. "“The Bigger, the Better”: Challenges in Portraying a Positive Fat Character in Weeds." Fat Studies 1, no. 2 (2012): 208-221.

2014 -Women’s Equity Action League Graduate Research Competition, 2nd place.
2014 -Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award-Winner for 2013, Bowling Green State University.
2013 -1st Place Humanities, Charles E. Shanklin Award for Research Excellence, Bowling Green State University. Research competition for graduate students, 1st place award.
2013-Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award-Nomination for 2012, Bowling Green State University.