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 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

Stay tuned for our full 2021-22 Academic Year Schedule!

Reading Guides for previous meetings can be found HERE.

Our recommended reading list can be found here.

September 2021 Meeting

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

Register Here

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 the use of CARES funding for research grants and course release 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 2021 Meeting

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

October 29, 2021.  6:30-8:00pm
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-Whitewater’s Counseling Center
Recommended Podcast:  Sisterhood Is Critical to Racial Justice

Spring 2021 Schedule


Our recommended reading list can be found here.

Liz Cannon headshot
Dr. Liz Cannon

January 28, 2021 from 6:30-8pm:
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. Stylus Publishing, 2016.
January Reading Guide

Michele Berger photo
Dr. Michele Tracy Berger

February 25, 2021 from 6:30-8pm:
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: Yolanda Flores Niemann, Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, and Carmen G. González, Eds. Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia. Utah State University Press, 2020.
February Reading Guide

Kate Burns headshot
Dr. Kate Burns

March 25, 2021 from 6:30-8pm:
Guest:  Dr. Kate Burns (she/her/hers), Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UW-Green Bay.
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: Dixon, Ejeris and Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement. AK Press, 2020.
April Reading Guide

Fall 2020 Schedule


Our recommended reading list 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:
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:
Guests:  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.
November Reading Guide

December 2020:
We will not be meeting in December; however, we will post reading questions. Stay tuned!
Reading: Joshua Moon Johnson and Gabriel Javier, Eds. Queer People of Color in Higher Ed. Information Age Publishing, 2017.


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.