College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Graduate/Alumni Updates

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 2011-2018!

Graduates 2018

Mirishahe Syla

Research Title

“The Mentors In Violence Prevention Model through Intersectional Lense: 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.

Graduates 2017

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 Fund for the Public Interest.


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.

Graduates 2016

Rachel Marie Gregory

Research Title

“Sex and Political Participation on Facebook”

Committee Chair

Dr. Justin Holmes

Graduates 2015

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

Graduates 2011

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 is the Sexual Violence Justice Institute Director in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She also completed a TEDx Talk that focused on her dissertation research and her years of experience in occupational identity development.