The Center for Gender Studies
Radford University

Radford University Center for Gender Studies

Report on 2013-16 Activities and Overview of Accomplishments

Advisory Board:  Dr. Hilary Lips (Director, 1989-2015), Dr. Jeff Aspelmeier (Interim Director, 2016), Dr. Tracy Cohn, Dr. Carla Corroto, Dr. Ann Elliott, Dr. Sarah Hastings, Dr. Rebecca Scheckler

Graduate AssistantsRachel Turk (2015-16), Bethany Hall (2013-14 and 2014-15)

Web design, administration, and maintenance: Wayne Andrew


Mission Statement: The influence of teaching and learning about gender issues touches virtually every aspect of human life. The Center for Gender Studies is committed to providing women and men with knowledge and experience that facilitate intelligent and informed choice and communication regarding gender issues. Knowledge and experience empower individuals to function as competent decision makers in their own lives; sensitivity and awareness enable individuals to arrive at wise decisions and communicate them effectively. The Center seeks to serve as a responsible broker of gender-relevant knowledge and experience for students and other members of the academic community, which necessarily implies service to broader local, national, and international constituencies. The mission is global; the focus is on service to the multi-cultured society in which we live.


  • To maintain resources for and models of excellence in gender-related teaching and research.
  • To involve students in quality research, service, and building skills in domains where knowledge about gender is relevant.
  • To gather and disseminate information which will further understanding of women and men, including knowledge developed through the Center's own research and other research findings.
  • To support and promote campus and community efforts to provide access to gender-related information and experience through networking, clearinghouse activities, and cooperation with involved groups.
  • To maintain high standards of excellence both in sponsorship of training and public service activities and in sponsorship of research publications/presentations.
  • To encourage and support University recruitment of a diverse student body, faculty, and staff, especially insofar as these efforts ensure continuing significant presence of women's perspectives in the University.
  • To implement consistent planning and evaluation of the Center's programs

Summary Statement / History

The Center for Gender Studies has been in existence since 1989, making it among the longest-existing centers for gender studies nationally. The years from 2013 to 2016 represent a time of productivity, leading up to a period of transition for the Center. Center Director Hilary Lips retired from her faculty position in December, 2015. It is anticipated that she will continue her association with the Center as a Research Faculty member and that longtime Advisory Board member and gender researcher Jeff Aspelmeier will be Interim Director during the transition period. The Center will move into new quarters in the soon-to-be-completed building housing the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences. Because we are at transition point, it seems appropriate to review the Center’s accomplishments.


Visiting Speakers

Over the last 27 years, the Center has sponsored visiting speakers as diverse as political columnist Molly Ivins, singer-songwriter Gerri Gribi, author/activist Mariah Burton Nelson, author and lecturer Claudia Brenner, Children’s Advocacy Center Director Connie Nicholas Carnes, NBC News producer Barbara Raab, nurse practitioner and activist Laurie Buchwald, and counselor Amy Burns, as well as well-known academics such as Dr. John Money, Dr. Florence Geis, Dr. Katherine Allen, Dr. Meredith Kimball, Dr. Shanette Harris, Dr. Martha McCaughey, Dr. Steven Schacht, Dr. Esther Chow, Dr. Xiaomei Chen, Dr. Kimberly Chang, Dr. Irene Frieze, Dr. Mary Crawford, Dr. Wendy Wood, Ms. Phelele Tengeni, Dr. Arnold Kahn, Dr. Cynthia Cupit Swenson, Dr. Patti Watkins, Dr. Pam Remer, Dr. Kim Davies, Dr. Robb Travers, Dr. Mindy Erchull, Dr. Miriam Liss, and Dr. Cheryl Travis. Funding for these speakers was sought and obtained from the contributions to the Center for Gender Studies, conference registration fees, and, in two cases, the Scholarly Lectures Committee of Radford University.

International Speakers

We have hosted Fulbright Foundation-funded international speakers Dr. Carmen Varela (Spain), Dr. Ludmilla Karpova (Russia), Dr. Irina Akimushkina (Russia), Dr. Marta Gonzalez-Garcia (Spain), Dr. Hanne Haavind (Norway) and Dr. Phelele M. Tengeni (South Africa).  Funding for these speakers was sought and obtained from the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, the Scholarly Lectures Committee of Radford University, and through fundraising activities of the Center.


The Center has organized and hosted six national and eleven local student research conferences that attracted student and faculty participants and presenters, not only from Radford University, but also from other institutions in the region, such as the University of Tennessee, Roanoke College, University of Virginia at Wise, the Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Tech, The College of Charleston, Emory and Henry College, James Madison University, William Patterson University, and Greensboro College. At one of these conferences we held the Southwest Virginia premiere of the film Beyond Killing Us Softly; at another we premiered an original dance work, The Woman I Am, by students in Dr. Margaret Devaney’s Choreographic Studies course. The downsizing from nationally-advertised to locally-focused conferences occurred as a result of university administrative changes and conditions beyond the Center’s control, which resulted in diminished financial resources to support our conferences.

Students and Alumnae

More than 60 students have worked directly with the Center on research projects, through independent or directed studies, thesis projects, or as paid or volunteer research assistants. Students working with or supported by Eleanor E. Kemp grants from the Center have made more than 150 presentations at local, regional, and national conferences, and some have co-authored publications with faculty members.  Now that the Center has been in existence for many years, we have been fortunate to be able to welcome back, as speakers, a number of alumnae who worked with the Center as students and who have now established themselves in successful careers, including Dr. Sudie Back, Dr. Cynthia Hall, Ms. Emily Wilkinson Stallings, Dr. Susan Wiese, Dr. Emily Keener, Ms. Josie Loomis, and, most recently, Dr. Katie Lawson.

Radford University Faculty

The Center has sponsored many on-campus presentations by Radford University faculty members with expertise in gender studies, including Dr. Jeff Aspelmeier, Dr.  Moira Baker, Dr. Tracy Cohn, Dr. Denise Copelton, Dr. Danielle Currier, Ms. Anne Dornberg, Dr. Ann Elliott, Dr. Sarah Hastings, Dr. Diane Hodge, Dr. Hilary Lips, Dr. Jeanne Mekolichick, , Dr. Nora Reilly, Dr. Rebecca Scheckler, Dr. Cathryne Schmitz, Dr. Albert Smith, Dr. Julia Smith, Dr. Jenessa Steele, Ms. Lee Carter, Dr. Janet Wagner, Dr. Jolanta Wawrzycka and Dr. Christy Weer.

Documenting our History

Much of the history of the Center is documented in detail on our website (  Further documentation can be found in the Center for Gender Studies Collection of the McConnell Library Archives and Special Collections ( 


Center Activities, 2013-2016

On-Campus Activities Sponsored, Organized, and Publicized in the Past Three Years

For the activities listed here, most of the publicity (e.g., advertising the events on nationally relevant sites such as the Women’s Calendar and the Feminist Majority Foundation, sending information to University Relations, emailing reminders to relevant departments and classes) and all of the Web documentation (including pre-event announcements, flyers, speaker biographies and contact information, photography of the event, posting of pictures of speakers and participants, abstracts of presentations) was done entirely by the Center; this is our typical practice. Here is one example:




  • October:  Public lecture by Dr. Miriam Liss and Dr. Mindy Erchull, University of Mary Washington: Negotiating Family Life: Equality is hard to achieve
  • March: Public lecture (for Women’s Month) by Dr. Hilary Lips, Radford University: Women working for less: What’s the Problem?


  • October: Public lecture by Dr. Katie Lawson (RU Psychology alumna), Ball State University: Are Girls Still Nurses and Boys Still Doctors? Gendered Occupational Segregation: A Persistent Issue
  • October: Round-table meeting of Dr. Katie Lawson with psychology graduate students to discuss career paths and options
  • April:  (scheduled) Public lecture by Dr. Shelly Wagers, Radford University. Title TBA.
  • April (scheduled): Public lecture by Ms. Apryl Alexander (RU Psychology alumna): Juvenile Injustice: How Psychology Can Inform Public Policy and the Law
  • (scheduled). April: Gender Studies Symposium at the Student Engagement Forum

Kemp Awards to Support Student Research in the Past Three Years

Each year, the Center awards small grants to student applicants to support gender-related research. The grants are made possible by an endowment in memory of Dr. Eleanor Kemp, one of the founding Advisory Board members of the Center. Research by these awardees is not necessarily carried out at the Center, but is supported and encouraged by the Center through the provision of competitive grant support, publicizing the research on our Website, and sponsoring presentations by the awardees at on-campus and off-campus research conferences. The Center often develops special Web pages, with photos, to document and publicize these presentations; all the Web programming for such pages is done by the Center. Here is an example:

In the following listings, faculty supervisors of the student researchers are listed in parentheses.


  • Stirling Barfield (Dr. Ruth Riding-Malon):  Free to play: Resilient kids—part of a symposium on “Risk and Resilience: Overcoming the odds of community violence
  • Jennifer Glass (Dr. Sarah Hastings): Rural Lesbians’ Perceptions of the Impact of Coming Out Within Family  Relationships:    A Qualitative Investigation
  • Jaclyn Mullins (Dr. Sarah Hastings):  Posttraumatic Growth among Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors: The Role of Giving and Receiving Social Support
  • Matthew Ostrander (Dr. Pam Jackson): Sex differences in anxiety’s effect on cannabinoid-treated rats’ spatial learning 


  • Savannah LeBarre (Dr. Ruth Riding-Malon):  The contribution of religious support: Postraumatic growth in rural breast cancer survivors

During the Spring 2016 Gender Studies Symposium, the awards will be presented to the recipients listed below

  • Sarah Abercrombie (Dr. Sarah Hastings): Predicting workplace incivility: The role of stereotyped beliefs and personal characteristics
  • Alissa Goldstein (Dr. Sarah Hastings): Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Processes of Change for Caregivers
  • Priya Lall (Dr. Jay Caughron):  Investigating Justifications of Unethical Decisions in the Workforce
  • Anastasia Formica (Dr. Dayna Hayes): Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats: Gender and Strain Differences
  • Kathryn Rehberg (Dr. Niels Christensen): The Good, Bad, and Indifferent: Do Habits Have Trait-Like Qualities? 

Off-Campus Presentations in the Past Three Years

Presentations listed here involve the Center’s ongoing project on gender pay equity and/or students or alumni whose research projects were supported by Kemp research grants from the Center. In some cases these presentations are in response to explicit invitations to address gender-related issues on other campuses; the invitations often result from the Center’s Web presence. To ensure appropriate recognition of the Center and of Radford University for the work that goes into these presentations, the Center often participates in developing the flyers and Web publicity in advance of the presentations and produces Web pages that record the event through photographs, presentation abstracts, and links to topic-relevant resources as well as to the host institution, Radford University, the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, and the Psychology Department. Here is an example:'15.htm


  • Lips, H. M. (2014, June). Possible Futures at Work:  Anticipation of Power and Pay by U.S. College Students.  Paper presented at the International Conference on Gender Work and Organizations, conference stream on Youth Job Insecurity: Gender, working life and life plans , Keele University, Staffordshire, England.
  • Lips, H. M., Hastings, S., Whittington, A. Simpson (LeBarre), S., & Cooke, S. (2014, March) Rural women’s experiences of breast surgery and reconstruction after a breast cancer diagnosis. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology, Columbus, OH.
  • LeBarre, S., Lips, H., Hastings, S. L. (2014, March). Counseling psychologists reaching out to breast cancer patients. In S. L. Hastings (Chair), Helping and healing: Counseling psychologists working with survivors of breast cancer. Symposium conducted at the International Counseling Psychology Conference, Atlanta, GA.
  • Lips, H. M., Hastings, S., Whittington, A. Simpson, S., & Cooke, S. (2014, March) Rural women’s experiences of breast surgery and reconstruction after a breast cancer diagnosis. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology, Columbus, OH.
  • Gordon, A. E., & Lips, H. M. (2014, March).  Ambivalent sexism and gender role traditionality as potential moderators of the motherhood penalty.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology, Columbus, OH.
  • LeBarre, S., Lips, H., Hastings, S. L. (2014, March). Counseling psychologists reaching out to breast cancer patients. In S. L. Hastings (Chair), Helping and healing: Counseling psychologists working with survivors of breast cancer. Symposium conducted at the International Counseling Psychology Conference, Atlanta, GA.


  • Gordon, A. E., & Lips, H. M. (2015, March).  Ambivalent sexism and liberal feminist attitudes as potential moderators of the motherhood penalty.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology, San Francisco, CA.
  • Hastings, S. L., Lips, H. M., & LeBarre, S. (2015, April). Experiences of Rural Breast Cancer Survivors Post-mastectomy. Presented at the annual conference of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Hilton Head, SC.
  • Lips, H. M. (2015, April). Women working for Less: What’s the Problem? Invited address, Slippery Rock University, April, 2015.
  • Lips, H. M. (2015, April). Women working for Less: What’s the Problem? Invited address, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, April, 2015.


  • (scheduled)  Lips, H.M. (2016, March. Older women and work: Dilemmas and possibilities. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • (scheduled) Lips, H.M. (2016, June). Pay, power, and possibilities: The slow closing of the gender “value” gap.  Invited featured address, Canadian Psychological Association, Victoria, British Columbia.

Web Resources

The Center continues to maintain an extensive website with information about the past and present activities of the Center as well as links to resources about a variety of gender-related issues. Included on the site, for example, is

  • Background information about guest speakers
  • Information about the Kemp Awards for Student Research and the awardees
  • Summaries and photographic records of Center-sponsored events and presentations
  • An extensive section of resources on the gender pay gap and workplace gender issues
  • A section of resources on sexual harassment, sexual assault, and violence against women
  • Links to websites, reports, and databases relevant to a variety of gender issues, including gender and health, gender and the media, and global gender issues
  • Links to Radford University resources relevant to sexual assault and substance abuse, diversity and inclusion, and women’s studies

Transition to New Space/Facilities

The upcoming transition of the Center to the new building for the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences in the Spring of 2016 is both welcome and challenging. Much of the challenge comes from the fact that our current computers, now too old to be re-imaged, will be replaced by more up-to-date computers running Windows 10. The changeover is much-needed and overdue. However, this transition to newer computers requires that all computer data and archives be reviewed and re-organized. The task is a daunting one, because it involves, according to an estimate by our Web administrator, about half a million files!  The work of review and re-organization is currently being done. It is intensive work that is hidden from view, but if it is not done carefully and well, we risk the loss of the Center’s history and databases. In addition, the transition to new leadership and new space requires that the Center’s Web site be revised and re-worked, in consultation with the Interim Director and the Advisory Board. The size and complexity of our Website makes this a very large job.

Special Report: 2013-2016

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