Student Book Award

The Gender Studies Student Book Award is a yearly form of recognition given to one student chosen for his or her outstanding representation of gender and identity studies on WTAMU campus. Student nominations are provided by Gender Studies affiliated faculty and staff (with the deadline of March 31 each year). A committee selects one student per year to receive the award, which is given in the form of a book selected especially for the student and is presented each May.

Annual Winners


The Spring 2019 Award went to Olivia Smirl, an English major. Olivia received the book Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawaii for her outstanding work in the Introduction to Gender Studies course that Dr. Jean Stuntz taught in Fall 2018. Congrats Olivia!!

The Spring 2018 Award went to Katie Rowan, a Comm and Dance major. Katie’s commitment to feminism is seen in the research that she has conducted in her Communication courses. For example, she recently presented her feminist analysis of the character Eliza Hamilton as portrayed in the musical Hamilton. Her paper was one of the 89 selected for presentation at the 2018 Undergraduate Honors Conference, a national conference. In her work in WTLeadership, Katie was also very aware of gendered stereotypes and helped the high school students she mentored begin to recognized "gendered" messages. Katie is also passionate about equality of opportunity. That is probably influenced by her experiences as a dance major and as a dance instructor. She is sensitive to how young girls are often focused too much on their appearance and societal expectations and not as much on the qualities that make them unique. Congrats, Katie!!

The Spring 2017 Award went to Abby Betts, a Mass Comm Major. Though Abby is not a Gender Studies Certificate recipient, she has demonstrated the very scholarship, values, and activism that the Gender Studies Program encourages. She saw a chance to make a positive change in light of gender discrimination on campus, and acted on it. She discovered that the sculpture of Molly Goodnight outside of Cornette Library lacked the same honorary plaque with historical information that decorated and identified the statue of her husband, Charles Goodnight (located outside of the PPHM). Abby then brought the suggestion to add such a plaque for Molly's statue to the WT administration, and with the help of Dr. Kris Drumheller, Abby got the plaque added. Abby’s efforts brought to light the gender biases at work in art and history that caused Molly’s story to be left untold while Charles’s was openly celebrated, the biases that gave Charles his acclaim as the "Father of the Texas Panhandle," while simultaneously denying Molly’s role as a pioneering "Mother" from being acknowledged on equal footing. Abby has made a lasting difference on our campus for gender equality, and she deserves our recognition. During the Mass Comm Awards Banquet in April, she fittingly received a copy of the book No Turning Back: The Art of Veryl Goodnight, which features the work of the artist of the Molly Goodnight sculpture, and a familial relative of Molly. Congrats, Abby!!

The Spring 2016 Award went to Hannah Ellis, a Corporate Communication Major from Colorado who plans to graduate in May 2017. Hannah was nominated by Dr. Trudy Hanson. She has an overall GPA of 3.69, has strong campus involvement, and hopes someday to return to Colorado to teach courses like Paula Schlegel's Gender Communication course, which Hannah "fell in love with." Hannah was awarded Sherry Turkle's Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (2015). Turkle is a well-known media scholar who investigates how the lack of conversation undermines our relationships, creativity and productivity. See an online interview with Turkle discussing her book here: Click here to play the Video.Congratulations, Hannah!!



Dr. Amy Von Lintel
Director of Gender Studies