Department of Diversity and Community Studies

http://www.wku.edu/dcs

Jane Olmsted, Department Head
Women’s Studies Center
1532 State Street
(270) 745-5787
dcstudies@wku.edu

The Department of Diversity & Community Studies houses three programs that offer graduate certificates or degrees: Gender & Women's Studies (graduate certificate); Global Pathways to Sustainability (graduate certificate); and Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities (master's). These interdisciplinary programs share certain important affinities:

  • Conceptual frameworks for understanding diverse communities, their histories and contemporary expressions, the structural challenges they face and the contributions they offer to the fabric of American society;
  • A commitment to working for social justice and equality of treatment across differences;
  • A record of working collaboratively within communities in service projects as well as participatory research;
  • An understanding that social systems are interconnected in perpetuating institutional oppression and dominant group privilege;
  • A conviction that interdisciplinary analysis and community experience are essential to addressing real world problems.

Individually, the programs focus on the particular issues and sectors of society that define their curriculum, programming, and outreach. For more information about our department, visit www.wku.edu/dcs and the websites associated with our programs.

Faculty

Professor

Jane Olmsted, PhD (English, Feminist Studies), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 1996

Associate Professor

Kristi R. Branham, PhD (English), University of Kentucky, 2006

Dana M. Cuomo, PhD (Geography, Women's Studies), Pennsylvania State University, 2015

Molly B. Kerby, PhD (Educational Leadership Organizational Development), University of Louisville, 2007

Assistant Professor

Cheryl R. Hopson, PhD (English), University of Kentucky, 2008

Judy Rohrer, PhD (Political Science), University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2005

Andrew J. Rosa, PhD (Afro-American Studies), University of Massachusetts, 2005


African American Studies Courses

AFAM 480G   Independent Study in African American Studies    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 9 hrs)

Designed primarily for advanced students. This course will permit students to pursue selected topics dealing with the life and times of the people of African ancestry in Africa and America.
Prerequisite(s): AFAM 190 or permission of instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

AFAM 490G   African American Seminar    3 Hours (repeatable max of 9 hrs)

Designed primarily for advanced students. This seminar will include topics dealing with the African American, present or past.
Prerequisite(s): AFAM 190 or permission of instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

Gerontology Courses

GERO 501   Perspectives in Aging    3 Hours

Overview of the fundamental theories, issues and concepts in gerontology. Includes individual and societal aging; and disciplinary perspectives of adaptations and changes to aging.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; fall 2015; spring 2016; fall 2016; spring 2017; fall 2017

GERO 503   Policy Foundations of Aging Services    3 Hours

Provides students with knowledge of the policy process and the politics of aging. Focuses on aging policy development and analysis by offering insight into relevant aging issues.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2016; spring 2017

GERO 505   Development and Change of Aging Programs    3 Hours

Prepares students to develop gerontology programs and services for diverse aging populations. Provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and/or administer services in the field of aging.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

GERO 510   Current Issues in Aging    3 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

Addresses selected topics in aging presented at an advanced level considered key for gerontology professionals.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; summer 2015; spring 2017

GERO 581   Global Aging    3 Hours

Provides an understanding of international population aging and explores the problems and solutions encountered in different sociocultural contexts for dealing with challenges and opportunities of aging.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

GERO 590   Independent Study in Aging Studies    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 3 hrs)

Supervised individual study and/or field-based experience in a topic or area of Gerontology of particular interest to the student.
Recent Term(s) Offered: summer 2015; spring 2016

Gender and Women's Studies Courses

GWS 421G   Women, Gender, and Science    3 Hours

Study of women's participation in the natural and physical sciences, the scientific education of women, contemporary workplaces, and feminist critiques of science.
Prerequisite(s): Six hours of science from General Education category D1 or permission of instructor and junior standing.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

GWS 470G   Special Topics in Gender and Women's Studies    3 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

A detailed study of a specialized topic in Women's Studies.
Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing and permission of the instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

GWS 535   Roots of Feminism    3 Hours

Survey of key historical feminist writings with emphasis on intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality in feminist theory.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2016

GWS 545   Feminist Knowledge and Social Change    3 Hours

Examination of both feminist knowledge and research as political practices that have the goal of improving the lives of women and challenging rigid configurations of race, class, gender, and other elements of difference.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

GWS 555   Global and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women    3 Hours

Examination of a range of scholarship done in various disciplines on women's political practices around the world and a comparison of women's experiences cross-culturally.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2016; spring 2017

GWS 565   Black Feminism and the Politics of Community    3 Hours

Examination of the U.S. Black feminist movement, with attention to challenges with Black communities and across social movements such as feminism and Civil Rights, and to transnational perspectives.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2017

GWS 570   Special Topics in Gender & Women's Studies    1-6 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

A detailed study of a specialized topic in gender & women's studies.
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Certificate in Gender & Women’s Studies or permission of the instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: summer 2015; summer 2016; summer 2017

GWS 575   Gender, Justice, and Sustainability    3 Hours

A multidisciplinary examination of political and economic implications of global sustainability, with particular attention to gender and justice.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2017

GWS 589   Internship in Women's Studies    3 Hours

Supervised work situation with cooperating business, industry, social or governmental agency whose primary purpose is advocacy for women. Emphasis on the application of advanced knowledge and skills in women's studies and applicable academic discipline.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

GWS 590   Directed Study in Women's & Gender Studies    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

Individual research in a specific area of women's studies in close cooperation with supervising faculty in women's studies or other field.
Prerequisite(s): Students must have completed 9 hours toward the graduate certificate in women's and gender studies and permission of the instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

GWS 625   Women and Leadership    3 Hours

Cross-disciplinary study of women leaders, issues of gender, race, class and power in relationship to women leaders and contemporary issues facing women leaders.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

GWS 630   Feminist Pedagogies    3 Hours

Multidisciplinary seminar examining a range of approaches to feminist teaching including standard methodologies, issues of professionalism, academic hierarchies, ethics, and feminist communities of research.
Prerequisite(s): Student must have completed a minimum of 9 credit hours toward the graduate certificate or permission of the instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2017

Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities Courses

SRSC 510   Perspectives on Social Justice    3 Hours

A consideration of major perspectives concerning social justice issues.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

SRSC 515   Utopias, Dystopias, & Intentional Communities    3 Hours

A study of fictional and historical utopias, dystopias, and intentional communities, with particular attention to environmental concerns.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2016

SRSC 520   Community-based Research Methods    3 Hours

The study of and training in community-based participatory action research across different disciplines, focusing on shared perspectives that apply sustainable, community-based problem solving.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

SRSC 525   Place and the Problem of Healing    3 Hours

A study of place as it relates to environmental and human/animal suffering and healing.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2016

SRSC 530   Social Policy    3 Hours

A study of the convergences and discontinuities between social justice and social policy using critical interdisciplinary theories.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2016; summer 2017

SRSC 540   Community-Building for Sustainability    3 Hours

Direct participation and research in a topic related to sustainable community-building
Prerequisite(s): SRSC 510, SRSC 520.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2016; spring 2017

SRSC 570   Special Topics in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities    1-6 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

A detailed study of a specialized topic for students in the master's program in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities.
Prerequisite(s): Admission to the master's program in Social Responsibility & Sustainable communities or permission of the instructor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: summer 2015; fall 2015; fall 2016; summer 2017

SRSC 579   Independent Study in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities    1-3 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

Supervised individual study and/or field-based experience in a topic of particular relevance to the M.A. in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor and the SRSC advisor.
Recent Term(s) Offered: None

SRSC 590   Sustainability Symposium    3 Hours

Culminating residency requirement for students seeking the Master's in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities. Includes group site evaluations and concluding symposium.
Prerequisite(s): SRSC 510, SRSC 520, SRSC 540, ECON 530, and LEAD 500.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2015; spring 2016; spring 2017

SRSC 599   Thesis Research/Writing    1-6 Hours (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

For students pursuing the thesis option of the Master's in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities.
Prerequisite(s): SRSC 520 and 21 earned hours in the program.
Grade Mode: Pass/Fail
Recent Term(s) Offered: summer 2015; fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

SRSC 600   Maintaining Matriculation    1 Hour (repeatable max of 6 hrs)

For students needing to maintain matriculation.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.
Grade Mode: Non-graded
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2017; fall 2017

Sustainability Courses

SUST 512   Foundations of Sustainability    3 Hours

Examination of the social, economic, and environmental principles of sustainability, with a focus on case studies at both local and global levels.
Recent Term(s) Offered: summer 2015; summer 2016; summer 2017

SUST 514   Environmental Justice and Public Spaces    3 Hours

An examination of environmental justice and place, including historical movements and case studies of the uses and misuses of public space and resources.
Recent Term(s) Offered: fall 2015; fall 2016; fall 2017

SUST 517   Sustainable Places    3 Hours

Examines key features and principles of sustainable places, including advantages of, challenges to, and the importance of governance in creating sustainable places (communities, cities, countries).
Recent Term(s) Offered: winter 2015

SUST 518   Organizational Change for Sustainability    3 Hours

An examination of approaches to organizational change for comprehensive sustainable performance, including analysis of institutional barriers and examples of successful change strategies.
Recent Term(s) Offered: spring 2017