Hear from our Alumni

Hear from our Alumni

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Rebecca Malotke-Meslin, Graduated 2003
Rebecca Malotke-Meslin graduated from Oakland University in December 2003 with a dual degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. Shortly thereafter she entered the graduate program in the Women’s & Gender Studies Department of Eastern Michigan University. During her time as a student, Rebecca worked for The Girl Scouts of Macomb County, interned at the Michigan Women’s Commission, and held several leadership positions for the National Organization for Women locally, statewide, and nationally. In 2008 she relocated to New Jersey, taking a position in the Admission Office of The Lewis School of Princeton, PK-12 school serving children with language-based learning disorders. She was quickly promoted to Director of Admission, and remained in that position until 2011 when she moved to Naperville, IL. Now she is the Director of Admission and Marketing of The Avery Coonley School, a PK-8th grade independent school serving gifted children in the Chicago suburbs. 

Emily Eisele, Graduated 2011
Emily Eisele completed her Bachelor's degree in Women and Gender Studies in 2011. She parlayed her WGS internship into a full time job at Haven, a crisis shelter for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She works a Daily Living Specialist, where she manages an intersection of duties including special dietary needs and menus, life skills education, and crisis intervention. She also liaises with the HAVEN Garden Project, Haven’s on site organic education garden, of which she was the director for two years. Emily is a member of the National Women’s studies Association and, as you can tell, she has freely sown her feminist outlook into everything from catering jobs to organic farming.

Andrea Rossi, Graduated 2010
Andrea Rossi is a Staff Attorney at Legal Services of Eastern Michigan University and a Policy Analyst for the Center for Civil Justice. Andrea states: "I am a 2010 O.U. graduate with a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies. I will treasure my experiences in that program as some of my fondest memories. I benefited from the intimate class sizes and the supportive compassion of my WGS professors. I felt at home in the WGS program and look back on it fondly and with great pride in my school and education. Law school was a great leap from the comforting sphere of my WGS undergraduate studies. I was nonetheless prepared for the challenge and felt that I had an advantage over students who pursued traditional pre-law, political science, etc. type undergrad degrees. I am able to look at legal concepts from more dimensions and with a more analytical eye for how solutions may create more problems than anticipated at first glance, and from more perspectives than just that of the privileged. I owe a great debt to the WGS program and faculty, and I highly recommend the program. Go Grizzlies!" 

Victoria Martinuzzi - Graduated 2010
Victoria Martinuzzi graduated in December 2010 from Oakland University with a major in Political Science and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. As an undergraduate student she interned at the 52-4 District Court with adult probation, interned in her current position, and was a student research assistant. After graduation, she started in her present job as a juvenile probation officer working for Oakland County Circuit Court - Family Division. As a juvenile probation officer, Victoria conducts preliminary inquiries/investigations and makes recommendations to the Court regarding what will best help the juvenile and his/her family. Victoria supervises youths on two different types of probation, as well as youths who are placed in residential treatment programs. Victoria is currently working on her Master's Degree in Public Administration at Oakland University. Victoria met her husband at Oakland University and they married in the Oakland Center (The Grizz also made a special appearance). Victoria and her husband are avid fans and season ticket holders for Oakland University basketball. Besides cheering on the golden grizzlies, Victoria also is a volunteer for OU's Alumni Admissions Ambassador Program. Victoria's passion for promoting Oakland University and helping juveniles, as well as the community is what keeps her motivated each day! Victoria says: "My experience at OU has taught me to be a strong, confident, and independent career woman. The WGS program has assisted me in being a juvenile probation officer. Each day I work with parents, youths, and the community and take into account both the needs of the child and the protection of the community. WGS opened my eyes to the struggles that women, children, and men face everyday. These challenges are seen in my profession and I believe I have an insight on how to handle and help these families due to being a part of the WGS program. Lastly, the biggest thing that the WGS program has personally given me is to embrace who I am. Being a WGS minor was a personal journey on discovering my strengths and what I can accomplish in the world." 

Braelin Settle - Graduated 2009
"I graduated from the WGS program in May of 2009. I started at Wayne State the following fall and just completed all coursework for the M.A. in Sociology. I'm in the process of writing my thesis titled "Social Experiences of Voluntarily Childless Women." The study focuses on the experiences and stigma that voluntarily childless women face and comparing women who are still in their childbearing years and those beyond them. I recently won first place in WSU's Sociology Research and Award Day's poster contest, which discussed my thesis. After earning my MA I plan on pursuing my PhD (not sure where yet). OU's WGS program really helped me prepare for grad school in making me a stronger writer, verbal communicator, and researcher. I couldn't have asked for a better undergraduate education." 

Laura Hoehner - Graduated 2007
Laura majored in both Women's Studies and History.  She went on to pursue her Master's degree at Eastern Michigan University. Before starting at Eastern, she shadowed the community outreach and education coordinator at HAVEN Oakland County. She also attended the 160th Women's Rights Convention Anniversary at Seneca Falls, New York.

Wendi Johnson - Graduated 2006
Wendi majored in both Women's Studies and Sociology. She completed her WGS internship with Alternatives for Girls (AFG) working with their outreach program, “Safe Choices.” She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and minors in Social Psychology and Quantitative Methods from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in 2013. Prior to coming to OU, where she now works as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at BGSU funded through the National Institute of Justice. Her research examines longitudinal patterns and change in antisocial behavior and intimate partner violence (IPV) across adolescence and young adulthood. Her most recent work, “The Age-IPV Curve: Changes in the Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence During Adolescence and Young Adulthood,” published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, examines gender differences in age-related patterns associated with the perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence. She is currently teaching Introduction to Criminal Justice, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice, and the Criminal Justice Capstone.  Wendi says: "I can't begin to say what an integral part women's studies played in my education. While my graduate work [was in] in sociology (specializing in criminology and gender), I'm sure that the lessons learned from women's studies will be playing a central role as I continue my education. Additionally, the friendships I made through women's studies remain. There are people I am sure I will have contact with for the rest of my life. I love them all"! 

Duane A. hurt II - Graduated 2005
"Since graduation, I've been taking as much time to explore the world. In August 2005, I left Michigan to live, study and work in Orleans, France. While studying French and teaching English in Orleans, I met my partner, Alexis. In July 2006, after finishing my studies in Orleans, we moved to Lille, a dynamic city in the far north of France. I am currently teaching English and American Civilization as a special lecturer at University of Lille III, learning yoga and learning a lot about myself and this beautiful continent I live on (Europe).

I recently completed a teacher training program and I am teaching English as a Second Language.

Women's studies and gender studies are important because they bring empowerment to academia. Far too often what we study seems so distant from our daily lives. Women's studies changes this. It gives attention to the issues that women and other vulnerable minorities experience on a daily basis. It also provides the opportunity to challenge everything we've ever known. There is nothing more powerful and beneficial than to question where you are and how yo got there. In addition, women's studies provides community. You will create many lasting connections. It teaches respect for ourselves but also for others. What more can you ask for?"

Elizabeth Comer - Graduated 2005
Elizabeth majored in both Women’s Studies and Political Science. "I graduated from Oakland’s Women Studies program in 2005. I initially was only a minor but as I became more involved on campus in various feminist activities I realized that studying feminist theory and fighting patriarchy were what I really wanted to focus my life on. I also really enjoyed the camaraderie of the program. Often times, as the program is smaller than some, you develop close bonds with other students in Women Studies. It was a great way to make lasting friendships with people who shared my interests and beliefs. After graduation I took a year off, and although I was no longer in the academic world of women studies the knowledge I gained I used in my everyday life. I knew that I wanted to continue in my learning and chose to begin my Masters in Women and Gender Studies in 2006 at Eastern Michigan University. The program there is awesome, and I find myself very excited about the next step, getting a Ph.D." 

Katie Livingston - Graduated 2005
Katie was a Women's Studies Major as well as a member of the Honors College. Current occupation: Coordinator at Affirmations. "I'm a femme, feminist and writer, currently coordinating the crisis and referral Helpline at Affirmations, the community center for Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. I graduated in 2005 as an Honors College student with a B.A. in Women's Studies. I was involved in the Women's Issues Forum and encourage Women's Studies students to speak up in class, make space for folks of all gender identities and expressions and get invoved in their campus feminist organization! I hope to return to school to pursue graduate studies in teaching writing." 

Ginger Houghton - Graduated 2005
Ginger majored in both Women's Studies and Political Science. Current occupation: Camp Director and Entrepreneur. "Currently, I'm a Camp Director at Camp Mirage in Plymouth and run my own business with my husband in Auburn Hills. I'm taking graduate classes in Youth and Family Services at Eastern Michigan University. Right now, I'm working towards starting my own business working with youth. I'm really passionate about creating exciting, engaging, and affordable alternatives to daycare programs that empower kids and support the needs of modern families. In the future, I hope to utilize all my education, work, and traveling experiences to improve the lives of women and children. Potential women's studies majors or minors should know in advance that an education in WS will change their lives. Without a doubt, WS provided me with a social network, incredible professional and peer mentors, and a wealth of opportunities inside and outside Oakland University. WS will inevitably serve you in your personal and professional life!"