Stephanie Rytilahti

Position title: Director of UW System Women's and Gender Studies Consortium


Phone: (608) 262-3056

3304 Sterling Hall

Stephanie Rytilahti headshot


Experienced feminist leader with a demonstrated history of advancing the field of Gender and Women’s Studies across the University of Wisconsin System.  Skilled in event planning, financial oversight, operational logistics, project management, public relations, mentoring, fundraising, and institutional analysis.  An innovative and self-motivated professional fluent with the theoretical frameworks and practical applications of WGSS.


Stephanie (she/her) received an undergraduate degree in History and Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005.  After working in retail bank management and community engagement, she began graduate school, earning a Master’s in Gender and Women’s Studies from UW-Madison in 2010, and a Ph.D. in History and certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University in 2018.   Her research interests focus on U.S. social justice movements, the history of gender and sexuality, and the development of liberal religious movements at the global and national level. Her current writing and research focuses on the role of intersectionality in diversity and inclusion work within higher ed.

Stephanie Rytilahti became the director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium in 2018.  As director, she facilitates the collaboration of research, pedagogical initiatives, and strategic planning of all gender and women’s studies programs and departments across the UW System.  She currently serves as the co-chair of a systemwide task force on caregiving, and also coordinates a monthly feminist leadership series, a decolonizing pedagogies workshop, and GWS student mentoring events. Her work also includes the planning and development of the annual Wisconsin Women’s and Gender Studies Conference, a joint initiative between the Consortium and the UW-Madison 4W Initiative on Women, Well-Being, Wisconsin and the World.  Information on the conference can be found here:

The Director’s Office is housed in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.