Student panels and the presentations of the Ziegler-Gee Award and Virginia Cyrus Scholarship on April 12 will highlight the annual Rider event, followed by the New Jersey Gender Studies and Women’s Consortium Colloquium on April 13.
Sean Ramsden

Dr. Cynthia Cyrus of Vanderbilt University will present the keynote address at the Gender and Sexuality Studies Colloquium.

The Gender and Sexuality Studies program at Rider University will celebrate its 30th anniversary with the annual Gender and Sexuality Studies Colloquium on Thursday, April 12. The daylong program will feature five panels on related topics before the presentations of the prestigious Ziegler-Gee Award and the Virginia Cyrus Scholarship.

The GSS Colloquium will also feature the keynote address by Dr. Cynthia Cyrus, the associate provost of Undergraduate Education and professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt University, entitled Once a Prostitute, Now a Nun: Singing as Social Redemption in Medieval Vienna. Dr. Cyrus, who will speak from 4 to 5 p.m., is the daughter of the longtime Rider professor, Dr. Virginia Cyrus, the founder of the Gender and Sexuality Studies program.

All panels, as well as Cyrus’ address and the presentation of the Ziegler-Gee Award, will be held in Sweigart Auditorium, Room 115. The Virginia Cyrus Scholarship will be awarded in the lobby of the Yvonne Theater, inside the Fine Arts Center. The entire Rider community is invited to attend any and all events.

Student panels in the Sweigart Auditorium are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. through 3:20 p.m., with such topics as Gender and Sexuality: Then and Now; The Homosocial Spectrum: From Bromance to Gay Marriage; Gender and the (Social) Sciences; Gender and Music; and Gender, Sexuality and Ethnography. More than 15 Rider students will be presenting in the five sessions.

Dr. Mary Morse, associate professor of English and director of the Gender and Sexuality Studies program at Rider, will receive the Sadie Ziegler-Bernice Gee Award at 3:45 p.m. The Ziegler-Gee Award, established in 1986, honors Rider faculty, staff and administrators who have contributed significantly toward ending gender-based discrimination on campus, in their fields, and in their communities.

Following this presentation, there will be a special GSS service award presented to Dr. Judith Johnston, professor of English and a former director of Gender and Sexuality Studies, who is retiring at the end of the spring semester. Johnston was a co-recipient of the Ziegler-Gee Award in 1992.

Eric Balboa ’13 and Megan Pendagast ’13, both Gender and Sexuality Studies minors, will share the Virginia Cyrus Scholarship for the 2012-13 academic year. The two juniors will be honored at a 5 p.m. reception to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Gender and Sexuality Studies program in the lobby of the Yvonne Theater, inside the Fine Arts Center.

Balboa, a Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology double major, and Pendagast, an English major with a second minor in Law and Justice, were named the recipients of the scholarship in recognition of their achievements in Gender and Sexuality Studies as well as their potential to improve the status of women through scholarship and activism.

The following day, Friday, April 13, Rider will host the 8th Annual New Jersey Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium Undergraduate Research Colloquium, featuring student presenters from colleges and universities throughout the Garden State. Three Rider students, Lauren McConnell ’12, Kady Stockman ’13, and Aimee Simone ’13, had their papers selected for the NJWGSC event.

McConnell will present a paper on Dual-Gendered Heroines: Rethinking Heroism and Gender in “Judith,” “Elene,” and the Anglo-Saxon Sex/Gender System, while Stockman’s research focuses on Becoming Un: Transgender Performance in Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked. Simone’s paper is entitled War and Peace: Conflicting Gender Functions in “The Wife’s Lament,” “Wulf and Eadwacer,” and “Beowulf.” McConnell and Stockman will be featured during Panel 1, while Simone presents during Panel 2. The panels will be held concurrently in Memorial Hall from 9:45 to 11:15 a.m.

The keynote speaker at the NJWGSC Colloquium will be Suzanne Kim, J.D., associate professor of Law at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, whose scholarship focuses on the intersection of gender, critical theory and family law. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, Kim was a lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, and she also served as an appointed member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns from 2007 to 2009.

For more information about either day’s events, please contact Dr. Mary Morse, director of the Gender and Sexuality Studies program, at 609-895-5570, or at [email protected].