Founder of Women and Politics Institute Visits Campus To Kick-Off New Women’s and Gender Studies Program

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 26, 2011 – In honor of the new Women’s and Gender Studies minor, High Point University will host a lecture given by Dr. Karen O’Connor, founder of the Women and Politics Institute at American University in Washington, D.C. O’Connor will present, “The Importance of Being Woman,” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 in the Phillips Hall Auditorium. The event is open to the public; no tickets are required.

O’Connor will discuss the value of a women’s studies education in relationship to a liberal arts education and our day-to-day lives.

O’Connor, who has an extensive background with women’s studies, as well as years of teaching experience, is also the Jonathan N. Helfat Distinguished Professor of Political Science at American University, as well as past president of the Women’s Caucus for Political Science, the Organized Research Section on Women and Politics Research, and the Southern Political Science Association. She has also served as editor of “Women and Politics” for two terms and has co-authored articles with more than 20 students, one of whom is HPU’s Alixandra Yanus, assistant professor of Political Science.

“It is truly fitting to have someone of Dr. O’Connor’s caliber – someone who has embodied a feminist perspective throughout her career – to kick-off our new Women’s and Gender Studies minor at HPU,” said Judy Isaksen, assistant professor of communication, and also one of the directors of the new minor.

The Women’s and Gender Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program that exposes students to a wide range of courses in the departments of history, religion, modern foreign languages and communication, all of which focus on the history and modern day role of women and gender. The program began at HPU this fall.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of “Colleges of Distinction,” as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at

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Pam Haynes

Communication Specialist


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