Angela Gay Brings Attention to Gender, Equity

Angela Gay

Angela Gay is the graduate programming assistant in the Women’s Center. She completed her undergraduate and master’s level work at UNC-Charlotte, where she focused on organizational communication and clinical mental health counseling, respectively, with an express interest in women’s and gender studies. She is currently in her first year of the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD) Scholar Leader Higher Education doctoral program.

Since coming to the Women’s Center, what are some of the projects you have worked on?

I have had the opportunity to work on a number of programs and projects. In addition to maintaining the Center’s social media presence, I program for Feminist Fridays, a weekly student-led and student-centered discussion on various feminisms and how they co-interact within the multiplicity of our identities on a social, cultural and institutional level.

Additionally, I have co-sponsored events with Multicultural Students Affairs and the African American Cultural Center, such as My Sister’s Keeper and Black Girl: Linguistic Play – A Conversation. Often, we in the Women’s Center strive to meet students where they are; therefore, I assist with creating events to meet the immediate needs of students, such as fostering a space called SisterChat, which is free-form and fosters open discussion. Proposal Writing Hours, another such event, is linked to the upcoming Gender and Equity Research Symposium. I am currently programming for Denim Day on April 26, 2017 as well as the 2017 Gender and Equity Research Symposium, to be held on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. At the last Feminist Friday on April 28, 2017 the Women’s Center will wrap up an amazing semester and year of programming that speaks to our values of being and cultivating educators, advocates and leaders at NC State.

Tell us more about the upcoming Gender and Equity Research Symposium.

The 2017 Gender and Equity Research Symposium is a first-year initiative of the Women’s Center. It was born in collective dialogue during the Women’s Center fall 2016 retreat. We wanted to further engage our campus community in ways that were meaningful and focused on the university motto of “Think and Do.”

At a land grant, STEM-focused institution, it is important that we catalyze the work of the Women’s Center as well as that of our campus and community partners who are steeped in gender and equity work. Our practice is guided by research, and we acknowledged there are already some pretty amazing research and practice being done by our faculty, staff and students at NC State and within the triangle area. Through the implementation of the symposium, you will find the work of the Women’s Center is multifaceted, interdisciplinary and intersectional. The purpose of the event is to highlight and spotlight research that promotes a more equitable and justice-oriented society.

Who can participate, and how?

Students, faculty and administrators at NC State and area institutions are encouraged to submit a proposal for a poster presentation. Social justice work is intersectional in nature and gender and equity are interdisciplinary. I have seen research in computer science, engineering and environmental science, as well as the humanities, that addresses ways to create equitable environments and/or addresses similarities and differences in how the social construction of gender affects various outcomes.

If someone is considering submitting a poster, but unsure if it fits, I would recommend they come to one of the next proposal writing hours on either March 10 or March 17. 2017. These writing hours have been effective to help students clearly articulate their ideas and/or transforming their current research into a workable poster presentation. The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, March 17, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Proposals are submitted via the web form. The most frequently asked question I receive is, “Does the research have to be completed?” The answer is no. While it is important to think through your methodology and how you may implement a research study, it is not necessary for the research to be carried out at this point to submit a poster presentation proposal. In fact, students may receive valuable feedback on how to move forward in their research from faculty who attend the symposium. The impact for students is they will be in community with faculty and administrators who are doing the work and able to showcase their unique research and ideas. Students will have the opportunity to win prizes for their participation. Faculty and administrators will also benefit from having their work highlighted, recognized and shared among colleagues.

What do the organizers hope to achieve through the Symposium?

The guiding tenets of the Women’s Center are education, advocacy and leadership. In our 25th year at NC State, the Women’s Center hopes participation in the Gender and Equity Research Symposium fosters these three values by providing a space for researchers to present and dialogue with others regarding topics that are important to them and also relevant to addressing broader and significant societal woes. Poster presentations are a unique way to build leadership and mastery over a topical area; therefore for students, we hope to cultivate a culture of putting ideas into action and research into practice. Additionally, we hope to move the needle in terms of how we talk about gender and equity within higher education as well as continue to build connections with faculty who are already doing the work and inspiring our students. Our intention is to make this an annual event, celebrating the work in which our communities are engaged and informing how NC State moves forward as social justice leaders.