Women and Gender Studies Program

WGS Awards Reception held April 12, 2013

2013 Graduating Seniors in Women and Gender Studies


Kathleen I. MacPherson Outstanding Feminist Facult Award for Excellence in Feminist Scholarship, Teaching and Service

This award is named for Kathleen I. MacPherson, a retired nursing faculty professor and a founding member of the Women and Gender Studies Program.


2013 Award Recipient: Rebecca Lockridge

Rebecca Lockridge has been a member of the Women and Gender Studies faculty council since 1990. In 2005-2006 she also served as the program’s internal Joint Appointment. Courses that she has taught in the program include such seminars as “Cinema and Women” and “Feminism and Film.” In recent years, she has served on the WGS Diversity and Equity Committee and Personnel Committee. In 2012 she contributed to WGS programming by participating on a panel on feminism and art. Her scholarship, too, has been in the area of gender studies. In 2012, Professor Lockridge co-edited an anthology, Mothers and Daughters: Complicated Connections Across Cultures (co-edited with Alice Deakins and Helen Sterk; published by University Press of American, Rowan Littlefield) and co-authored (with Sarah Lockridge) an essay on “Mother Daughter Care: the Bridge that is my Back.” She has been a reliable member of the Maine Women’s Studies Consortium and has done national professional service in the area of gender by serving on the Executive Board of the Organization for the Study of Language, Communication and Gender; in 1998, she was instrumental in bringing that organization’s annual conference to the state of Maine. In her service, teaching and feminist scholarship Rebecca Lockridge has performed with distinction.


Nancy K. Gish Award for Excellence in Feminist Social, Intellectual, Political, or Cultural Practice

This award is named for Nancy K. Gish, founding Director of the USM Women and Gender Studies Program and a sustaining force of feminist academics and engagement on campus, in the community, and in the world. The award recognizes recipients for their commitment to feminist social, intellectual, political or cultural practice at the University of Southern Maine.


2013 Award Recipient: Gabriel Demaine

Gabe Demaine has been a campus leader in diversity activity and feminist practice since 2006. She has worked in many capacities at USM including as the Interim Coordinator for the Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity, the Provost’s Diversity and Scholarship Liaison, the assistant to the Campus Safety Project, and, most recently, as the USM Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusivity Programming. Over the past three years, she has linked over 100 classes to specific co-curricular diversity events. She has also deepened relationships between the university and its community partners; through her outreach, USM has co-sponsored feminist political and cultural events with Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Peace Action Maine, AddVerb Productions, Southern Maine Community College, University of New England, Bates College, Bangor Theological Seminary, Maine College of Art, Space Gallery, and the Portland Museum of Art. In 2011, Gabe created a feminist “zine” Ink on Paper (2011) with excerpts of published articles by Women and Gender Studies faculty and affiliated scholars. She is a published poet and has performed at Women and Gender Studies events. Gabriel Demaine has been a significant resource for feminist practices at USM and in the surrounding community.


Friend of Women and Gender Studies Award is given each year to an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the Women and Gender Studies Program and/or to gender equity in the Southern Maine community.


2013 Award Recipient: Megan Williams

Megan Williams is the President of Hardy Girls Healthy Women, a national, research-based non-profit empowering girls with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and a platform to drive social change. She is a graduate of Colby College with a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Megan was hired at HGHW in 2005 as the first paid staff and has transformed HGHW from a volunteer-run, Maine-based organization to a national brand, widely respected for its girl-powered social change approach. During her tenure at HGHW, Megan created the Girls Advisory Board and launched the Hardy Girls Healthy Women Training Institute. She also established a statewide awards program, the Girls Rock Awards, to recognize girls and young women who are demonstrating leadership in their communities and advocating for a better Maine for all people.  Megan has received consistent accolades for her leadership including inclusion in MaineToday Media’s 2011 40 Under 40 List and selection for the 2010 Open Door Award by the Frances Perkins Center honoring a woman under 30 who has demonstrated exceptional leadership. Megan is an avid runner, hiker, and skier and spends as many weekends as she can at Sugarloaf with her 12 year-old black lab, KB.


Outstanding Graduate of Women and Gender Studies Award is given each year to an alumnae/I of the Program who has done outstanding service in the area of gender equity and/or has exhibited professional or academic excellence since graduation.


2013 Award Recipient: Julia Davidson

After graduating summa cum laude from USM in 2008 with a Social Work Major and WGS minor, Julia Davidson went on to earn a Master’s degree in social welfare public policy, community organizing and social work administration at Rhode Island College. She then worked for several years in HIV services including doing HIV testing, needle exchange, safer sex education and outreach, and HIV case management. She also volunteered for many years on the Crisis and Support Line for Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine where she recently accepted a position as an Advocate; her duties at SARSSM include weekly outreach in jails and the women’s shelter and participating in the steering committee for Take Back the Night 2013. In her spare time, she has worked with the progressive social workers to organize a regional chapter of the Social Welfare Action Alliance, a group dedicated to informing and responding to local social welfare policy, promoting social justice and a culture of change for consumers and practitioners of services. Julia credits the USM Women and Gender Studies department for honing her critical thinking skills, teaching her the importance of coalition building, as well as nurturing and supporting her passion for radical politics.


Graduating with Honors in Women and Gender Studies

The following students will be graduating in May of 2013 with honors in the major:

Susanne Cyr

Leah Farber

James Melanson


For more see: http://www.usm.maine.edu/publicaffairs/2013-usm-women-and-gender-studies-awards-presented-0