Women and Gender Studies Program

February 2011 WGS Alumni Updates

KRISTIN ESPEY, After graduating in 2004 from the Women and Gender Studies Program, Kristin quickly found a position as an outreach case manager with Frannie Peabody Center, the largest community-based HIV/AIDS services organization in Maine. The agency works to prevent the spread of HIV and to provide support for people living with HIV/AIDS.  She reports that she has found the past six years as a case manager to be “an exploration of how to work with men; it has been most empowering, especially when working with prison inmates.  Through this work, I have learned to see issues through the perspectives of other genders/cultures, while continuing to believe that consciousness-raising for men must involve a feminist lens. A degree in Women and Gender Studies certainly has been a practical degree for me. Special thanks to Professors Chapkis, Feiner, Eagan, Wininger and Holden.  Each of you had a vibrant, personal flare when teaching; I think it's called ‘passion’.” Kristin and her partner Tina will be celebrating twelve years together this spring; they enjoy camping, snowshoeing, and sailing Casco Bay, and can be found at Portland's local dog parks and beaches with their “fur baby” London.

LISA MARIE LINDENSCHMIDT graduated from USM in 1997 with a Philosophy and Women's Studies degree. After working at USM for several years, she decided to devote her life to her passion:  food. She started "Rite Food and Company" from a desire to ritualize food gathering, preparation, and consumption ("rite food") and to help abolish the shame and secrecy with which women, specifically, relate to food (being "in company"). This undertaking quickly split into three projects: Rite Chocolate, Sweet Peas Podcast, and Need To Rite . Rite Chocolate is a line of spoonable chocolates created from raw, local, and organic ingredients. Each flavour is a story, telling of relationship, encouraging you to re-rite your own food stories. Sweet Peas Podcast is a weekly podcast produced by Lisa Marie, her husband, Jim, their daughter, Mo, and their miniature poodle, Edgrrr. The podcast chronicles their journey toward conscientious living through nutrition and sustainability. Guests are interviewed, recipes are shared, and the hard questions are asked. Absolutely no censors are allowed here. Need To Rite is a blog that Lisa Marie keeps as a storehouse for all her writings. Covering topics ranging from nutrition to authenticity of being, these articles hope to inspire others to question the paradigm and to step above it. Of her experience with the USM's Women's Studies program, Lisa Marie notes, "I never knew my story would be important to others. I never understood that sharing just one piece of my life could profoundly affect and alter another's. The Women's Studies program and its professors gave me license to explore those things that were kept hidden out of fear and ignorance. It was so much more than a degree: it was a license to freedom and joy."

HILARY MANUEL, BA Media Studies, Women & Gender Studies, 2008, has been busy and hard at work in Boston. She hit the ground running for her Master’s degree in Political Science at Suffolk University in September 2009, and defended her thesis a year later on the role of Iraqi media in the process of democratizing Iraq. This summer, Hilary put her studies to the test by running a field office for Rosa Scarcelli’s gubernatorial Democratic primary campaign. She is currently utilizing one of her hobbies, playing with computers and code, as a Data Integration Analyst for an online retailer. Hilary plans on attending law school in September 2012. 

LIS JANES earned a BFA in 2007 with a minor in Women and Gender Studies and in 2010 she completed her MFA from SUNY New Paltz. Currently she is an adjunct faculty member at SMCC while pursuing her own body of work. She is also organizing an artist’s portfolio exchange to be exhibited at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery at 112 High Street during the last week of June. Sales of the portfolios will benefit the organization Cultivating Community. Updates for the portfolio will be posted to her blog.