Feminist Leadership Working Group

Monthly Virtual Meetings During the 2020-21 Academic Year

Stephanie Rytilahti headshot
Dr. Stephanie Rytilahti

The Feminist Leadership Working Group is a new WGSC initiative that supports graduate students, faculty and staff across the UW System interested in obtaining administrative leadership positions. It will take place during virtual meetings from 6:30-8pm on the last Thursday of the month (unless noted otherwise) during the 2020-21 academic year. 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 30 minutes will consist of a brief dialogue from an administrative leader across the UW System who will explain their leadership on a specific diversity initiative.  In the next 60 minutes, we will discuss the selected monthly reading. 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.

Schedule: 2020-21 Academic Year

Reading guides for each meeting can be found here.


Kat Werchouski headshot
Kat Werchouski, M.S.

September 24, 2020 from 6:30-8pm:
Guest:  Kat Werchouski, M.S. (she/her/hers), Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Senior Diversity Officer, UW-Superior.
Reading: Simons, Nina. Nature, Culture & the Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership. Green Fire Press, 2019.
September Reading Guide


Sara Docan-Morgan headshot
Dr. Sara Docan-Morgan

October 29, 2020 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest:  Dr. Sara Docan-Morgan (she/her/hers), Professor of Communication Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies Department Chair, and Founding Member of the Women of Color Collective at UW-La Crosse
Reading: Ahmed, Sara. On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.
October Reading Guide



Christie Launius headshot
Dr. Christie Launius
Holly Hassel headshot
Dr. Holly Hassel

November 19, 2020 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest:  Dr. Christie Launius (she/her/hers), Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Kansas State University;  Dr. Holly Hassel (she/her/hers), Professor of English at North Dakota State University
Reading: Kirsti Cole and Holly Hassel, Eds. Surviving Sexism in Academia: Strategies for Feminist Leadership. New York: Routledge, 2017.


December 3, 2020 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest:  TBD
Reading: Virginia: Sylus, 2017. Queer People of Color in Higher Ed (2017)

Liz Cannon headshot
Dr. Liz Cannon

January 28, 2021 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest:  Dr. Liz Cannon (she, her, hers/ey, em, eirs), Director, LGBTQ+ Resource Center & Senior Lecturer, Women’s and Gender Studies, UW-Oshkosh
Reading: Nicolazzo, Z. Trans in College: Transgender Students’ Strategies for Navigating Campus Life and Institutional Politics of Inclusion.  


Michele Berger photo
Dr. Michele Tracy Berger

February 25, 2021 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest: Dr. Michele Tracy Berger (she/her/hers), Director, Faculty Fellows Program, Institute for the Arts and Humanities; Associate Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Reading:  Byrd, Carson et. al. Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses. Rutgers, 2019.


Kate Burns headshot
Dr. Kathleen Burns

March 25, 2021 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest:  Dr. Kathleen Burns (she/her/hers), Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Reading: Kezar, Adrianna and Posselt, Julie, Eds. Higher Education Administration for Social Justice and Equity: Critical Perspectives for Leadership.  New York: Routledge, 2020.


Glendali Rodriguez headshot
Glendalí Rodríguez, M.ARCH

April 29, 2021 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest:  Glendalí Rodríguez, M.ARCH (she/her/hers), Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UW-Stout
Reading: Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement. AK Press, 2020.



Alicia Johnson headshot
Dr. Alicia Johnson
Veronica Warren headshot
Dr. Veronica Warren

May 6, 2021 from 6:30-8pm: REGISTER HERE
Guest:  Dr. Alicia Johnson (she/her/hers), Director of the Women’s Center at UW-Oshkosh, and Dr. Veronica Warren (she/her/hers), Associate Director at UW-Oshkosh’s Counseling Center
Reading:  Unlikely Allies in the Academy: Women of Color and White Women in Conversation.



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 will 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 will 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.