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Women and Gender Studies
Women and Gender Studies
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Faculty & Staff

Jenn Brandt- jbrandt@highpoint.edu
B.A. Drew University, M.A. Bowling Green State University, Ph.D. University of Rhode Island, Graduate Certificate University of Rhode Island
Director of Women’s and Gender Studies
Norcross Graduate School 209
336-841-9558

Dr. Jenn Brandt serves as the director of Women’s and Gender Studies, as well as an assistant professor of English at High Point University. Dr. Brandt overseas the day-to-day operations of the program, as well as teaches for both Women’s and Gender Studies and the Department of English. Her favorite aspect of the job, though, is mentoring students whose research interests explore the intersections of gender with public policy, culture, and social justice.

“I am honored and thrilled to be the director of HPU’s brand new minor in Women’s and Gender Studies,” says Brandt. “Women’s and Gender Studies is a vital and growing academic field, and its inclusion in the HPU curriculum is another testament to the diversity and excellence of academics at High Point University.”

Dr. Brandt’s work focuses on gender and cultural studies in literature, film, and television, and she is particularly interested in the ways in which politics have shaped and are reflected in the contemporary novel. One of Brandt’s main research interests is feminism’s relationship to popular culture and the problematics of postfeminism. This fall her essay, "Here's To Not Being Fake: Bravo's The Real Housewives and the Postfeminist Heroine" will be published in Foregrounding Postfeminism and the Future of Feminist Film and Media Studies,and she recently completed a chapter for the edited collection Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Family, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo. Dr. Brandt’s current research project is a book-length study of the life and works of artist and writer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

Brandt earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Drew University. She received her Master of Arts degree in popular culture from Bowling Green State University, before completing her doctorate in English and graduate certificate in Women’s Studies at the University of Rhode Island.
Nahed Eltantawy- neltantawy@highpoint.edu
M.A. American University, Ph.D. Georgia State University
Assistant Professor of Journalism
Qubein School of Communication 357
336-841-9175

Dr. Nahed Eltantawy is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at High Point University where she teaches a variety of courses in convergent journalism.

Eltantawy grew up in Cairo, Egypt, where she earned undergraduate and masters degrees from the American University in Cairo and worked as a Reuters correspondent before moving to the US to complete her PhD in Public Communication from Georgia State University.

Dr. Eltantawy teaches WGS/COM 3374: Global Media Representations of Women. “I’m excited to be teaching this course,” she explains, “because it allows me to bring together some of my research interests, including media representation of women, gender issues and globalization.”
Claudia Femenias- cfemenias@highpoint.edu
B.A. Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, M.A. and Ph.D. University of Kansas
Associate Professor of Spanish
Wilson School of Commerce 109
336-841-4594

Dr. Claudia Femenias earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Kansas, and her B.A. in English Literature and Education from the Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso. She is an Associate Professor of Spanish at High Point University, where her research focuses on contemporary Latin American literature, contemporary Chilean Literature, and Latin American women writers. Her course “Latin American Women Writers” is cross-listed with Women’s and Gender Studies and Spanish.

Dr. Femenias has presented papers at several international, national and regional conferences. In 2007, her article entitled “Taratuta by José Donoso: An Exploration on the Writer’s Responsibilities in Contemporary Chilean Society” appeared in Hispanofila. The article “Subjectivities of the Market: Marketing, best-Sellers and Female Subjectivity in Nosotras que nos queremos tanto y Antigua vida mía by Marcela Serrano” was published in Confluencias. More recently she has presented: "La desesperanza by José Donoso: Reflections on the role of art and the artist in an authoritarian society,” “La subjetividad femenina en la narrativa de Marcela Serrano” at the International Conference of Hispanic Literatures organized by the University of Pennsylvania, and “Marketing, Best Sellers y la subjetividad femenina” at the International Symposium: Women and Society in Latin America, organized by the Instituto Cultural Hispánico.

Additionally, Dr. Femenias is active in the greater Triad community. She was president of Amistad de Guilford, a non-profit organization through which she developed an after-school program for Hispanic children at Oak Hill Elementary School. As she explains, “I am interested in teaching our community the richness of the Hispanic culture, which was my objective when, in conjunction with the Greensboro Public Library and Greensboro College, I organized the first of many Latin American Film Festivals in 2000.” Dr. Femenias has also served as co-advisor of the Spanish Club at HPU since its beginning until the spring of 2007.
Joshua Fisher- jfisher@highpoint.edu
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Norcross Graduate School 244
336-841-9267
Terrell Hayes- thayes@highpoint.edu
Ph.D. Vanderbilt University
Associate Professor of Sociology
Norcross Graduate School 246
336-841-4662

Dr. Terrell A. Hayes, Associate Professor of Sociology, received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University. He has been a member of the HPU faculty since 2001. His primary research interest is in the sociology of consumption and consumer culture: its causes and consequences.

Dr. Hayes teaches a number of courses in the Sociology Department, including SOC/WGS 4015: Sociology of Work and Family. "As a sociologist I am particularly excited to be affiliated with WGS. The study of gender has emerged as one of the most important subfields in sociology. Sociological research on gender shows that all social interactions, and the institutions in which the interactions occur, are gendered in some manner. Thus, gender is a key component to understanding the ordering and shaping of society at both the micro and macro level."
Judy Isaksen- jisaksen@highpoint.edu
Ph.D. University of South Florida
Associate Professor of Media and Popular Culture
Qubein School of Communication 345
336-841-6308

Dr. Judy Isaksen earned her PhD from the University of South Florida and has been teaching at High Point University since 2004. She is an Associate Professor in the Nido Qubein School of Communication where she teaches at the intersection of cultural studies and rhetoric, focusing on media, popular culture, hip-hop culture, race studies, and women’s and gender studies.

Dr. Isaksen’s recent publications include “Radio’s Early Culture: Racial Theorizing from the Ether to the ‘Other’,” “Girls Talking Back,” and “Obama’s Rhetorical Shift: Insights for Communication Studies.” Discussing her research, Isaksen remarks, “I'm deeply interested in systems of oppressions and privilege, difference and inclusivity, performance and identity politics in a variety of social categories, but primarily in race, class, and gender identity.”

Dr. Isaksen was a founding member of the Women’s and Gender Studies minor at High Point University, and teaches courses such as “Women, Gender, and Culture” and “Gender Speak” for WGS. “Bringing Women’s and Gender Studies to HPU has been a splendid journey, and one that we eagerly continue!”
Tony Kemerly- tkemerly@highpoint.edu
Chair of Exercise Science
Norcross Graduate School 217
336-841-4653
Elizabeth Lee- elee@highpoint.edu
B.A. University of Notre Dame, M.A. University of Notre Dame, Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union Ethics and Social Theory, Certificate in Women’s Studies in Religion
Instructor of Religion
Wilson School of Commerce 318-E
336-841-9453
Laura Linker- llinker@highpoint.edu
BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, MA, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, PhD, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Assistant Professor of English
Norcross Graduate School 213
336-841-9560

"I am excited to teach courses for the WGS minor that engage students in theoretical and cultural conversations about gender and literature."

My primary area of interest is British literature and culture of the "long" eighteenth century, 1660-1830. I have a longstanding interest in British women writers, and I've presented research at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) and the Folger Shakespeare Library, where I received several grants and two ASECS fellowships for research and participation in Folger Institute conferences and seminars (2007, 2010, and 2012). My first book, Dangerous Women, Libertine Epicures, and the Rise of Sensibility, 1670-1730 (Ashgate, 2011), considers the female libertine figure, the neo-Epicurean revival, and the rise of sensibility in literature written from the late Stuart to the early Georgian periods in England. Recent articles have appeared in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research, CEA Critic, and Papers on Language and Literature, among other peer-reviewed journals, books, and encyclopedia entries. Current projects examine early medical theories of hysteria and the depiction of women's bodies in texts written between 1660-1750.
Jenny Lukow- jlukow@highpoint.edu
B.A. Lynchburg College, M.S. Indiana State University, Ph.D. Indiana University
Associate Professor of Sport Management
Wilson School of Commerce 320
336-841-9184

Dr. Jenny Lukow, Associate Professor of Sport Management and Coordinator of the Sport Management Program, joined High Point University in 2006. She teaches courses in:

  • sport marketing

  • facility management

  • sociology of sport

  • sport law

  • sport finance

  • gender issues in sport


Her courses are very popular among students! Dr. Lukow also supervises sport management students as they do internships with sports organizations such as local youth leagues, collegiate athletic departments, and professional sports teams.

Dr. Lukow was awarded a High Point University Think Big! Grant for her proposal “Leadership Challenge Course.” Her research interests focus primarily on gender equity issues in collegiate athletics. She recently presented her work titled, Winning and Losing in the Quest for Head Coaching Positions at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Convention. She also participated in a roundtable presentation at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference entitled, Crises of Representation: More Visibility, Less Agency?

Dr. Lukow has served in various capacities on HPU committees including the Women’s and Gender Studies Committee, Graduate Council, Faculty Senate, Admissions Committee, and the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Dr. Lukow earned her Ph.D. in Leisure Behavior with an Emphasis in Recreational Sports Management from Indiana University. She earned her M.S. in Sport Management from Indiana State University and her B.A. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing from Lynchburg College.
Paul Namaste- pnamaste@highpoint.edu
B.A. Brandeis University, M.S. Syracuse University, Ph.D. Indiana Univesity-Bloomington
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Norcross Graduate School 248
336-841-4623

Dr. Paul Namaste earned a BA in both Sociology and Psychology from Brandeis University, an MS in College Student Development from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington. A great deal of Dr. Namaste's previous research deals with understanding self and identity. This includes topics such as the impact of women’s infertility on their sense of self and the influence of graduate education on the development of the professional self (professional socialization), particularly how social support is perceived and utilized by female graduate students. Dr. Namaste's current and projected research projects will look at the role of identity on environmental behaviors, as well as differences in the social perceptions of love and how these differences impact behaviors within relationships.

Dr. Namaste, an Assistant Professor of Sociology, teaches a variety of courses at HPU including SOC/WGS 2030: Sociology of the Family and SOC/WGS 2040: Race and Ethnicity. "I am excited to be with WGS because I love to speak with people who are passionate about exploring social justice and understanding why people act the way they do, and gender is a major component in both of these topics."
Kathy Shields- kshields@highpoint.edu
B.A. Mississippi State University, M.A. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Head of Library Reference and Instruction
Smith Library
336-841-9068

Kathy Shields is the Head of Reference and Instructional Services at the Smith Library. Kathy attended Mississippi State University and received her B.A. in English, with a minor in Spanish. Ms. Shields received her Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been at HPU since December 2009.

Shields states that her research interests are “in just about everything, which is why I became a librarian! But, I am interested in technology and the role it plays in research and education.” As part of her duties at the library, Shields is the liaison for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. In her own words, “I love working with the WGS program as their library liaison! Because WGS is such an interdisciplinary area, it's really a thrill to help students and faculty find just the right resources that will allow them to connect and articulate their ideas. I'm constantly learning something new whenever I help them with research."
Karen Summers- ksummers@highpoint.edu
B.A. Salem College, M.A. UNC-Charlotte, Ph.D. UNC-Greensboro
Instructor of English
Norcross Graduate School 201
336-841-9348

Dr. Karen Summers claims Charleston, SC, as her hometown, but has lived in several towns in both North and South Carolina, as well as nine years in Tokyo, Japan. She started college at Appalachian State but graduated from Salem College with a BA in English and History. Summers received her MA from UNC-Charlotte, and her PhD from UNC-Greensboro.

“My affinity for Women’s and Gender Studies began with my first class in grad school, which focused on medieval women," Dr. Summers explains. "So often, texts involving women are told about them, rather than by them, even today; it’s fascinating to read about women’s perceptions of themselves and their places in the world in their own words. I’m especially interested in the Constance saga and other tales of castaway queens, and in the ways that women both subvert and uphold cultural norms in medieval stories. As time goes by, the relevance of these tales to our own culture becomes more and more evident, because they serve as a lens through which we can gain different views of ourselves.” Dr. Summers has developed the course WGS/ENG 2000: Medieval Women, which will be offered for the first time in the fall of 2013.
Kara Dixon Vuic- kvuic@highpoint.edu
Ph.D. Indiana University
Associate Professor of History
David R. Hayworth Hall 103
336-841-9543

Kara Dixon Vuic is a historian of the twentieth-century United States whose research bridges the history of wars and militarization, the history of gender and sexuality, and social and cultural history. At HPU, she teaches courses on war and society, women and gender, and social and cultural history. She earned her Ph.D. in History from Indiana University in 2006 and was a Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in 2011-2012.

Dr. Vuic’s first book, Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War
Far from mere entertainment, women’s recreation work formed an essential component of the military’s war-making efforts, the extension of American empire, and the construction of appropriate wartime gender norms. Her analysis of women’s entertainment work expands our understanding of the history of gender, sexuality, the military, and empire by investigating the complicated ways the armed forces utilized women as symbols of obligation, longing, domesticity, and normative gender and heterosexual relationships.

Dr. Vuic is excited to be teaching courses in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, as it “presents an exciting opportunity to examine the history of women and gender in an interdisciplinary context while enabling students to draw necessary connections between the past and the present.”
Alixandra B. Yanus- ayanus@highpoint.edu
B.A. American University, M.A. and Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Roberts Hall 346
336-841-9247

Alixandra B. Yanus is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at High Point University, where she teaches courses in American Politics generally, and Women and Politics and Judicial Politics, specifically. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from American University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Her scholarly research has appeared in peer-reviewed venues including Justice System Journal and Politics and Gender and in book chapters published by Oxford University Press, CQ Press, and Sage. Sheis also co-author of American Government: Roots and Reform, 12th edition, with Karen O’Connor and Larry J. Sabato.

Dr. Yanus is an enthusiastic supporter of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at High Point University, where she teaches the course “Women and Politics.” She is particularly fond of the program’s “community of engaged faculty and outstanding students,” who, according to her, “are among the best on campus.”
Dana Yates- dyates@highpoint.edu
WGS Administrative Assistant
Norcross Graduate School 241
336-841-9401

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Tours are available 7 days a week. Please contact us to schedule your visit.
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