Stories have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and to instill moral values. Featured women in our academic community tell the story of their academic journey, share their inspiring memoirs to empower young women to choose to be the authors of their own lives.
Throughout the discussion four notable women, including Gabeba Baderoon, South African poet, will share their journey to university. Embracing the ups and downs, they have made footprints in the soft sand, thick mud and grassy fields of life to find power, happiness, and abundance of self.
Embrace women of varied background, their journey to higher education and future endeavors
Learn by collaborating and networking with other women’s groups
Raise awareness of AAUW to general population of PSU students, faculty and staff
Alicia C. Decker
Alicia C. Decker is an Associate Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, where she co-directs the African Feminist Initiative with Gabeba Baderoon. She is the author of In Idi Amin’s Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda (Ohio University Press, 2014), and co-author with Andrea Arrington of Africanizing Democracies: 1980 to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2014). Her scholarly articles have appeared in the International Journal of African Historical Studies, Women’s History Review, Journal of Eastern African Studies, History Teacher, Afriche e Orienti, and Feminist Studies, as well as various edited book collections.
Gabeba Baderoon is an Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University, where she co-directs the African Feminist Initiative with Alicia Decker. She is the author of Regarding Muslims: from Slavery to Post-apartheid (Wits, 2014) and the poetry collections The Dream in the Next Body and A hundred silences. She is an Extraordinary Professor of English at Stellenbosch University.
Linda Higginson is Assistant Dean for Advising Emerita, having retired from Penn State in 2013 following a 42-year career focused on undergraduate education. In 1994-1995 she was one of three University Administrative Fellows, followed by several roles with Penn State’s statewide system of commonwealth campuses. Much of her career was spent in the Division of Undergraduate Studies as Academic Adviser, Programs Coordinator for the Colleges of Health and Human Development and Agricultural Sciences, and Interim Executive Director.
Dr. Higginson’s scholarly publications and presentations focus on new student orientation, academic advising programs, and assessment of the quality of academic advising. She has served the local community as President of the State College Branch of AAUW, Chair of the Centre County Women’s Resource Center Board, and currently as Board member and Chair of the Funds Distribution Committee for Centre County United Way. She holds the B.A. degree in mathematics from the University of Delaware and M.Ed. and D.Ed. degrees in counselor education from Penn State.
Nawal Qureshi was born in Pakistan and moved to the US when I was 8 years old. I am a senior at Penn State, with a triple major in International Politics (BA), French (BA), and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (BA). I am the former Vice President and the current President of Iota Iota Iota (TRIOTA), the Women's studies Honor's society. We partake in feminist activism on campus and around the community in various ways. I have interned with Community Cafe's, working on series of facilitated community conversations about the prevention of child sexual abuse, held in the State College and Bellefonte area. I have also interned for the Women's Resource Center in their shelter working with victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, after completing an 80-hour Volunteer Counselor/Advocate training program. I currently volunteer monthly on their 24-hour hotline, which provides phone counseling and advocacy, while also providing advocates to be present at the hospital to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and rape. As a technology and people lover, I work as an IT consultant at Penn State, fixing computers and helping people with computers through customer service.
Anya Wallace is currently a PhD candidate in Art Education and Women’s Studies at Penn State University. In addition to her scholarship, she is a visual artist—with concentration in black and white craft photography and painting. She received a BA from Agnes Scott College in Studio Art and Spanish and studied Photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work in photography is shaped by a desire to visually narrate the stories of Black girlhood. She has worked in the service of girls through program and curriculum development with the Girl Scouts of the USA (Savannah, GA) and recently as the Director of MOCA, North Miami’s Women on the Rise! outreach program for girls. She is the founder of The Vibrator Project a creative space designed to investigate the self-knowledge of young women of color regarding their perceptions of sex, sexuality, and pleasure. And her research interests center on the intersection of art theory, social justice, literature, and women’s health. Combined with photographic field study, her scholarship invests in documenting the pedagogies and social activism related to reproductive health, sex, and sexuality among Black women and girls. Follow Anya on Twitter @anyamwallace.