Women and Gender Studies Program

September 2010 WGS Alumni Updates

Jenna Mehnert graduated with a degree in Women’s Studies in 1993.  She went on to earn her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Bryn Mawr College.  In the 15 years since finishing school, she has worked for the Mayor’s Offices in NYC and DC, and Governor Rendell’s Administration in PA.  She is currently serving as the Executive Director of the PA Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.  In this capacity, she oversees all association operations and serves as the association’s primary lobbyist.  Jenna is married to Andrew and has three children, two dogs and a bunny.

Lauren Webster graduated from the Women and Gender Studies Program in 2002 and completed her American and New England Studies MA in 2007. In her capacity as Assistant to the Director of Women and Gender Studies she revamped the program’s website this summer and managed the office as usual. In her creative double life, she launched an online jewelry store for her designs and spent beautiful summer weekends camping, hiking and sailing.

Gina Capra graduated from USM's Women and Gender Studies Program in 2005.  She is currently working as a Women's Shelter Advocate at Family Crisis Services in Portland, Maine, a local non-profit that works to end domestic violence in both Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties. On the side, Gina is also coordinator of the Women and Gender Studies Alumnae Association- where graduates, faculty and staff of the program, have the opportunity to keep in touch, and stay actively involved with the department, through a series of social and educational activities and events, as well as through our Facebook Group and listserv. In her down time, Gina enjoys traveling, spending much time at the ocean, cooking, visiting with friends and being crafty!

Max Probst graduated from the USM Women and Gender Studies Program in 2001. Since graduation he has taught part-time as a Sociology and Women's Studies instructor at William Paterson University, Berkeley College, Warren County Community College, and Sussex County Community College in New Jersey from 2004-2009. He also worked at a peace organization part-time during this time period. Currently, he is teaching Sociology and Women’s Studies full-time at Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania.  About his degree in WGS, he says, “I can't even tell you how many ways this degree enriched my life. Everything I do, everything I teach, comes from the feminist and conflict perspective that was developed in Women and Gender Studies classrooms.”

Michaela Stone is a 2003 graduate of Women and Gender Studies. During her senior year, she did an internship experience at the Family Violence Project and continued to work on their crisis line for a while after college. She then became a Licensed Social Worker and worked for a local child abuse and neglect council for years - supporting, advocating and teaching families. She currently works with low-income families as a Case Manager at Head Start.  She is also a mom and recently completed a sprint triathlon with an amazing group of women.

Aprill Newman graduated in 2006 with a Women’s Studies degree from USM. She has worked in reproductive health care for the past five years, where theory and activist practice intersect. She is also raising healthy, strong, feminist daughters and making art. She continually strives to maintain the evolving delicate balance that allows for family life, work in women’s health, and creative life to happily coexist. Of her years in the Women and Gender Studies program she observes, “I knew the major would be reading and writing intensive, which was exactly what I wanted from college. I also felt as though without an emphasis on feminist theory, I would simply being going through the motions; studying gender and feminist theory made academic work meaningful and important in ways that nothing else would have for me. The department and degree have informed so much of my life by providing a solid foundation of critical thought.  I am so much richer for the knowledge I gained.”

In 2004 Ashley Newton graduated with a major in Women and Gender Studies. During her time at USM she completed an internship with Literacy Volunteers of America teaching English to immigrant women from various cultures and served as a writing tutor at the Multicultural Center.  Since graduation she has been working in the workforce Development field where she works with individuals with various disabilities to help them develop the skills necessary to enter competitive employment positions.   She is also in graduate school getting a Masters in Social Work. She says of her WGS degree, “The department provided me with a postmodern, feminist framework which I use to navigate my life, which in itself led me to choose a career path where I get to work with individuals who are marginalized and help them overcome their barriers and change their lives.”

Steffan Morin moved to San Francisco in 2007 after graduating from WGS. In 2009, he received his MA in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University and has taught sociology of sex and gender at SF State. His current projects include radical homemaking and working with Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco to promote local, sustainable food systems. A committed disciple of all dairy products, Steffan spends his free time cooking and thinking about what to cook next!