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Campus invited to celebrate distinguished alumni of women’s and gender studies

The women’s and gender studies program invites the campus community to join in celebrating its distinguished alumni during a reception at 12:30 p.m. today — Thursday, April 4 — in room 263, Chrysler Hall South.

This year’s honorees are Kael Sharman and Alyssa Schenk.

Kael SharmanSharman, pictured at left, earned a degree in psychology and women’s studies in 1999 and went on to complete a bachelor’s of education. Now a teacher with the Greater Essex County District School Board, he serves on its Gender and Sexuality Alliance Committee and has delivered workshops for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation on anti-racism and supporting transgender students and staff.

He has returned to campus in several capacities — accompanying his students to Model United Nations and debate competitions, as a presenter for the High School Social Justice Forum, and as a guest speaker in the women’s and gender studies courses “Boys to Men: A critical exploration of masculinities” and “Gender, Sexuality, and Social Justice.”

Alyssa SchenkSchenk, pictured at right, graduated with a degree in social work and women’s studies in 2013. She was active as an undergraduate, serving on program committees and holding several executive positions within the WGS student association. She went on to complete a master’s degree and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Carleton University, with the intention of further developing the understanding and applicability of feminist social work in Canada.

In the community, Schenk has helped organize Take Back the Night in Windsor and Ottawa. Outside of school, she has worked with immigrant and refugee youth providing education and tools to combat social injustices, as well as co-facilitating an all-girls program that promotes leadership, advocacy, and empowerment for young women.