Women and Gender Studies

Our Mission

The Women and Gender Studies Program at Clarion University is an interdisciplinary community where students gain an understanding of gender issues across cultures. Our values include respect for diversity, open-mindedness, and self-exploration.  We strive to cultivate supportive relationships for students and faculty, to make connections between personal experience and intellectual development, and to take action for social justice.  Our goal is for our graduates to be involved, informed and empowered citizens.


Undecided on a major?

Try Integrative Studies: Women and Gender Studies Concentration!


This scholarship was established by Dr. Deborah Burghardt in honor of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Women and Gender Studies Program at Clarion University. The intention of this scholarship is to support students in their pursuit of feminist ideals through scholarship, personal development, and service. WGS anticipates giving out two awards of $740.00 each for the spring 2020 grant cycle. More details to follow.

Student learning outcomes

The success of the WGS Program can now be measured by the level at which students who elect to minor or concentrate in WGS achieve the following: 

Students will:

  1.  Demonstrate an interdisciplinary understanding of women and gender studies.
  2.  Analyze gender issues in a global context.
  3.  Recognize the gendered nature of power in interaction with race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, sexuality, region,    and religion at the institutional, interpersonal and individual levels. 
  4.  Demonstrate respect for and appreciation of differences.
  5.  Apply feminist theory and analysis to their major field of study.
  6.  Place their personal and professional experiences in a social and political context by evaluating women’s and men’s changing status in society. 
  7.  Advocate for and take action to promote social justice by feel comfortable exercising leadership, asking questions and standing up for their beliefs. 
  8.  Work collaboratively in an inclusive and civil manner, maintaining an open mind and engaging in constructive dialogue. 
  9.  Feel a sense of community connection and support resulting from civic engagement.

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SPRING 2020 Course Listing

WGS 100                   Survey of Women and Gender Studies                   3 Credits                                                                  
C01 (1418)                 TuTr          11:00 AM-12:15 PM        Davis 103           Melissa Downes    
W01 (1055)                Web Based                                        Online                 Renae Shawgo                                  
ANTH 216                Gender  and Culture                                                      3 Credits                                                                  
C01 (2435)               TuTr        12:30PM-1:45PM              Founders 105        Crystal Sheedy
PSY 220                    Human Sexuality                                                             3 Credits
C01 (2151)               TuTr        12:30 PM-1:45 PM              Harvey 121           Donna Ashcraft
C02 (2152)               TuTr          2:00 PM-3:15 PM              Harvey 121           Donna Ashcraft
ENGL 317                Images of Working-Class Life                                      3 Credits
 V01 (2406)              TuTr           2:00 PM - 3:15 PM           Montg. 404          Renae Shawgo
ENGL 321                Love, Sex, and Violence in                                           3 Credits
                                     Medieval & Renaissance Literature
W01 (2262)               Web Based                                         Online                   Janet Knepper       
PSY 340                    Psychology of Women                                                  3 Credits  
C01 (2154)               Wed           2:00 PM - 4:30 PM          Harvey 121           Donna Ashcraft
SOC 352                   The Family                                                                        3 Credits
C01 (1650)                TuTr           9:30 AM - 10:45 AM      Founders 104       Jeffrey Tienes
C02 (2132)                TuTr           12:30 PM - 1:45 PM      Founders 104       Jeffrey Tienes
SOC 362                   Race and Ethnic Relations                                           3 Credits                                                               W01 (1536)               Web Based                                        Online                    Jane Walsh
NFSS 370                 Gender in Sports                                                            3 Credits
C01 (2374)                9:30 AM - 10:45 AM                       Harvey 118             Carol Brennan Caplan
W01 (2375)               Web Based                                      Online                    Carol Brennan Caplan
ENGL 404                 Advanced English Studies                                          3 Credits
W01 (1558)               Web Based                                      Online                    Melissa Downes
SOC 451                    Qualitative Research Methods                                3 Credits
C01 (2224)                 TuTr 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM                 Founders 204       Jane Walsh
MGMT/MKTG 463   Gender and Diversity                                                 3 Credits
                                          in Management and Marketing
W01 (1834)                Web Based                                      Online                 Miguel Olivas-Lujan

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Any Questions?
              Visit the WGS Center in 207 Harvey Hall to meet our staff:
Program Director - Wednesday 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Dr. Melissa Downes   210 Harvey Hall      814.393.2720     mdownes@clarion.edu
                                   - Tues/Thur   8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
                                      112B Davis Hall.        814.393.2160      {English}

Program Secretary - Monday      1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
                                     -Wednesday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.                             

Debb Sigworth            207 Harvey Hall      814.393.2720      dsigworth@clarion.edu

Program Student Assistant -  Monday        10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
                                                        Tuesday        11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
                                                        Wednesday  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. / 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
                                                        Thursday      11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. / 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sadie Comstock           207 Harvey Hall      814.393.2720    m.m.comstock@eagle.clarion.edu

Last Updated 3/23/20