Brookdale welcomed dozens of students, faculty and community members from over 10 different colleges and universities across New Jersey on April 1 for the 12th annual New Jersey Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium (NJWGSC) Undergraduate Colloquium.
The conference – which opened with a keynote address by Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy – featured engaging presentations by 26 students from colleges and universities across the state, including Brookdale’s own Bailey Falco, Vincent Pino, and Melissa Hanson.
Falco, who presented her research paper “A Stagnant Silence,” was also honored with the conference’s Emerging Scholar Award.
“At the conference I was able to listen to the work of others, but also present my own, which is something I had always been afraid of doing but wanted to do,” said Falco. “I voiced and shared my ideas with confidence. I’ve never won anything before, and winning an award for something I put so much effort and passion into felt incredible.”
Brookdale has been affiliated with NJWGSC for nearly 10 years, helping drive the consortium’s mission to expand and strengthen women’s and gender studies programs throughout the Garden State.
English Professor Roseanne Alvarez, who serves as an NJWGSC executive board member alongside assistant English Professor Margaret Natter, said the relationship is an important one for Brookdale students, allowing them exposure and opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.
“We see it as a priority to keep community colleges and our students in the conversation at the state level,” said Alvarez, who also serves as Women’s and Gender Studies Coordinator at Brookdale. “Creating state-wide initiatives and opportunities for our students to network and present their scholarship is what drives our work, and we’re incredibly proud of their efforts and success.”
That success has been noteworthy: in 2012, Brookdale alumnus Ryan Arnold won the NJWGSC conference’s Honorable Mention award for his presentation; in 2014, graduate Amy Lee was recognized as an Emerging Scholar; and in 2015, alumna Karen Berger took the conference’s top prize for her paper submission.
“These students are presenting alongside juniors and seniors from institutions across New Jersey,” said Alvarez. “We know how incredible our students are, but we’re always happy when they get to shine and showcase their work to a broader audience.”
NJWGSC is a state-wide networking organization to initiate forum discussion and support to all aspects of the Women and Gender Studies Programs.
Click here for more information on the New Jersey Woman and Gender Studies Consortium.
– Article by Mikaela Mazzeo, college relations intern
– Photos courtesy of Roseanne Alvarez