Feminist Leadership Working Group

Monthly Virtual Meetings During the 2021-22 Academic Year

Stephanie Rytilahti headshot
Dr. Stephanie Rytilahti

The Feminist Leadership Working Group is a WGSC initiative that supports graduate students, faculty and staff across the UW System interested in learning more about feminist leadership initiatives across UW System. This group meets virtually from 6:30-8pm on the last Thursday of the month (unless noted otherwise). Additional details, including schedule, are below.

This working group is co-facilitated by Dr. Stephanie Rytilahti (she/her/hers), Director of the UW System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium, and Dr. Silviana Amethyst (she/her/hers), Assistant Professor of Mathematics at UW-Eau Claire.

Silviana Amethyst headshot
Dr. Silviana Amethyst

The first 45 minutes will consist of a brief dialogue from a leader across the UW System who will explain their leadership on a specific diversity initiative.  In the next 45 minutes, we will facilitate a large group discussion and Q&A. The full schedule is listed below.

We will also have a Facebook page for the working group, and participants can share articles from The Chronicles of Higher Ed and other relevant publications.  We anticipate that the goals and format of this group may change, and that it will become an ongoing meeting space in subsequent years.

2021-22 Academic Year Schedule

Reading Guides for previous meetings can be found HERE.

Our recommended reading list can be found here.

Register Here

Spring 2022 Schedule

January Meeting

January 27, 2022, 6:30-8:00 pm

Join Amanda Florence Goodenough (she/her) and Laura Abellera (she/her) as they share their non-linear leadership trajectories in and out of higher education. For those committed to justice and transformational change, Amanda and Laura will provide strategies for navigating institutional barriers and messages for disrupters who stay (whether out of necessity or hope), feel stuck, or explore leaving higher education.

Photo of Amanda Florence Goodenough, a smiling woman with dark brown hair, wearing a bright yellow shirt which reads: Note to self, you the sh*t, boo
Amanda Florence Goodenough

Guest: Amanda Florence Goodenough (she/her/hers) is a dedicated educator operating from a cultural humility framework to center and elevate historically marginalized voices, promote belongingness and mattering, disrupt structural inequities, and advance intersectional social and racial justice. Leaning on 17 years of professional experience in justice, equity, decolonization, and interconnectedness (JEDI) efforts within a higher education setting, Amanda engages in systems-change work and strives to speak truth to power as an act of love and liberation.

(Read more…)

Photo of Laura Abellera, a smiling woman with blonde hair, sitting outside near some leafy plants
Laura Abellera

Guest: Laura Abellera (she/her) received her M.S.Ed. from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) while spending her graduate assistantship in the Research and Resource Center for Campus Climate working with college students involved with social justice programming. She has experience with hate response, prevention, and intervention and was a member of UWL’s Hate Response Team. She also received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago, focusing on civil rights, public interest work, and legislative/policy research. Laura has undergraduate teaching experience in the area of Racial & Ethnic studies, in UWL’s Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department.

February Meeting

February 24, 2022, 6:30-8:00 pm
“A Wild Patience Brought Me This Far”

Photo of Dr. Anny Morrobel-Sosa, a smiling woman with short gray hair and glasses wearing a light blue top.
Dr. Anny-Morrobel-Sosa

Guest: Dr. Anny Morrobel-Sosa serves as the chief academic officer for the UW System. Her areas of responsibility include academic programs, diversity and inclusion planning, data and policy analysis, faculty and staff development, student affairs, developmental education, and instructional technology. She also provides leadership in strategic planning and predictive analytics focused on talent development to support the current and future economic development needs of the state and nation.

Morrobel-Sosa has held numerous other administrative and tenured faculty positions at institutions across the United States. She served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York, from 2012-2016. Of the many initiatives led by Morrobel-Sosa during her tenure at Lehman College, the most significant were: the reverse-transfer agreement for the three CUNY campuses in The Bronx, the planning/prioritization process, and the shepherding of Lehman’s first stand-along applied doctoral program (Doctorate in Nursing Practice, DNP).

(Read more…)

March Meeting

March 31, 2022, 6:30-8:00 pm
“Transitions of Justice & Care”

Guest: Dr. Melinda Brennan is the new Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. Previously, Dr. Brennan served as Co-chair of the UW System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium, as a member of the Rapid Response Team for Hate and Bias Incidents, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Board Consultant for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Project, and worked at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as the assistant chair of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Fall 2021 Schedule

September Meeting

Systemwide Caregiving Leadership: September 30, 2021, 6:30-8:00 pm

This month’s event features the work of the systemwide Caregiving Task Force. Since the summer of 2020, this group has supported short and long-term initiatives to advance equity for caregivers across UW System. The Caregiving Task Force consists of faculty, staff, students, and instructors from all UW System campuses and applies a deeply intersectional focus to the topic of caregiving.  Join us during our first meeting to learn more about the following issues:

  1. An Overview of the Task Force and our 2021 caregiving survey results (Stephanie Rytilahti and Jennifer Schuttlefield Christus, co-chairs of the task force)
  2. The Unique Issues Facing Caregivers in STEM (Jennifer Schuttlefield Christus, Director of UW System Women and Science Program)
  3. Strategies for Advancing Caregiving Initiatives at the Campus Level
  • The formation of a caregiving task force and initiatives at UW-LaCrosse (Nicole Gullekson and Erica Srinivasan)
  • Advancing Caregiving Initiatives through the University Staff Chair at UW-Green Bay (Sue Machuca, University Staff Chair)
  • Drawing on shared governance groups to advocate for a caregiving committee at UW-Madison (Vaishali Bakshi, Chair of UW-Madison Ad Hoc Caregiving Committee)

October Meeting

October 2021 Meeting

Alicia Johnson headshot
Dr. Alicia Johnson

October 28, 2021.  6:30-8:00 pm
Guest:  Dr. Alicia Johnson (she/her/hers), Director of the Women’s Center at UW-Oshkosh and Lead Organizer of The Intersection [Fond du Lac and Fox Cities Campuses] at UW Oshkosh.
Recommended Reading: Educating for Wholeness in the Intersections and The (Mis)use of Intersectionality in Student Affairs: A (Revised) Call to Practitioners & Researchers

Putting Intersectionality into Action

  • Defining Intersectionality: What is it, and why is it such an urgent topic in Higher Ed. right now?
  • How to integrate intersectionality in Campus Policy and Practices
  • Case Study: Co-Creating an Inclusive Community through “The Intersection”, a new student center serving UW-Oshkosh-Fox Cities and Fond du Lac Campuses

December Meeting

December 2, 2021, 6:30-8:00 pm

Dr. Heather Ann Moody

Guest: Dr. Heather Ann Moody is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) and has been with UWEC since Fall of 2007. Her undergraduate degree is from UW-Eau Claire in American Indian Studies and holds a Master of Arts degree in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ as well as a Certificate of Museum Studies from UW-Milwaukee. Her Ed.D. is in Teaching and Learning from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her work centers around her background in teaching and learning in relation to the incorporation of accurate American Indian curriculum in K-12 and beyond. In addition to her campus work, she is a teacher exemplar and works with surrounding school districts to implement Act 31. In 2019, she received the UW Outstanding Woman of Color in Education Award and in 2021 the UWEC Faculty Excellence in Service Award. Dr. Moody also serves as a co-advisor for the Inter-Tribal Student Council at UWEC, the Chair of the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee and recently became the Acting Director of the UWEC Center for Racial and Restorative Justice.


The goals of the Feminist Administrative Leadership Working Group include providing concrete models of feminist leadership, and an exploration of the experiences and frameworks needed to apply a critical feminist lens to the execution of diversity and inclusion initiatives at the campuswide level.

We investigate organization of administrative level positions in higher education, current issues facing administrators in higher education, and how these trends interface with the field of Gender and Women’s Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, Queer Studies, and other related disciplines.  Engagement with monthly readings will provide an overview of the fundamentals of how administrative leadership works in a variety of positions and campus models.  We will also learn analytical tools for evaluating institutional policies and practices with a gendered, intersectional feminist lens.  As a working group, we support one another in answering how to execute feminist leadership and have a meaningful impact on campus planning, policies, and outcomes.

Additional Goals:

  • Understand the basic governing structure of institutions of higher education, including the unique models of Women’s and Gender Studies units
  • Fluency with major issues and current events shaping higher education in the United States, particularly as they relate to core issues in the field of Gender and Women’s Studies and the viability of WGS as an academic discipline
  • Adeptness with tools to critically evaluate and offer solutions to the policies of institutions of higher learning through an intersectional feminist lens of equity and inclusion
  • Understand how Women’s and Gender Studies units contribute to the goals of institutions of higher learning and solutions for putting
  • Create a leadership pipeline across the UW System and beyond of individuals focused on applying a critical intersectional, feminist lens to work focused on equity, inclusion, and diversity.