Author Archives: Karin Hanta

Sister-to-Sister Summit on November 11

The widely successful “Sister-to-Sister” Program is hosting its thirteenth summit for middle school girls on Saturday, November 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Middlebury College’s Kirk Alumni Center. “Sister-to-Sister” brings together middle school girls from Bristol, Middlebury and Vergennes with female Middlebury College students. In a one-day summit and monthly follow-up events during the rest of the school year, the students develop activities that encourage girls to try new things outside of the classroom (art, music, dancing, yoga, journaling, etc.). “Sister-to-Sister” also focuses on discussions of such topics as body image, relationships, and identity. A national program originally conceived by the American Association of University Women, “Sister-to-Sister” works to develop strategies that support girls. The program recognizes that in addition to teachers and textbooks, achievement is affected by what happens in the hallways, between classes, and even outside of school.  “Sister-to-Sister” strives to make a positive difference by giving a voice to the needs and interests of middle school girls. The program provides a “safe space” to talk about the challenges that girls face in this day and age. It enables girls to develop friendships with other girls, even if they don’t go to the same school. The program is supported by roughly 100 volunteers and financial sponsors such as Chellis House (Middlebury College’s Women’s Resource Center), Middlebury College’s Community Engagement Center, and private donors. “Sister-to-Sister allowed me to get involved in the Middlebury community by connecting me with fellow students, faculty and staff members, volunteers and most importantly, middle school girls,” says Grace Giles, a Middlebury College graduate, who was involved with the program for three years. “Every generation represented in our sisterhood is experiencing the environment we live in through a different lens. When we communicate our perspectives, our lives become so much richer.”

All events are free. To register or organize transportation, please call Karin Hanta at 443-5937 or email khanta@middlebury.edu.

The 2017 Feminist of the Year Awards

 

From left to right: Feminists of the Year Carly Thomsen, Morgan Grady-Benson ’18, Sarah Karerat ’18, Jingyi Wu ’17, Katie Preston ’17, Katrina Spencer

On May 13, 2017, the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program and Chellis House, the Women’s Resource Center, celebrated all the nominees for the Feminist of the Year Award. Nominees and celebrants were able to gather in the backyard of Chellis House as the sun was shining before the big rain hit the area for the weekend. This year, close to 50 students, staff, and faculty members were nominated. After a poetry performance by Tabitha Mueller and Matthew Blake, the awards were handed out. Carly Thomsen was distinguished as the faculty Feminist of the Year. A first-year tenure-track member of the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program, Professor Thomsen was especially commended for making her courses sites of feminist praxis by requiring her students to do engaged research projects. Students staged a 5K run to raise awareness about reproductive rights, for example and critically examined feminist science in a public forum. Carly Thomsen also served as the advisor to the Queer Studies Academic Interest House and helped make it a more active and engaged space on campus.

Katrina Spencer was distinguished in the staff category. Even though she only joined the library staff as recently as February, Katrina has already made an impact on this campus. She organized the Blowtorch Reading Series in which community members get together once a month to read aloud from the most important texts of our times that address human rights and responsibilities. For this purpose, she has also arranged constantly rejuvenating displays in the library that feature important works for Women’s History Month, for example. She also has made the library more visible in social media during the “Teachable Tuesdays” series on Facebook, reading two minute quotes with students and her colleagues from thought-provoking books.

Five students garnered the prize this year. Morgan Grady-Benson ’18 was distinguished for her work for “Stares & Stairs,” a performance art group that draws attention to sexual assault and misogyny at parties at Middlebury.

Sarah Karerat ’18 was honored for her work with the Vagina Monologues, which she directed, produced and acted in this year. A leading organizer of JusTalks, she also volunteers and serves on the board of WomenSafe.

Sandra Luo ’18 was honored for her work as co-president of Women of Color, which she turned into a welcoming and thought-provoking space for students to come together. Sandra also was the prime force behind organizing a series of events to raise awareness and funds for Standing Rock, thus bringing together gender activism and environmental justice.

Katie Preston ’17 was honored for her many years of service of raising awareness about sexual violence. A member of the Sexual Assault Oversight Committee in her first two years, she has also been a driving force behind It Happens Here, a national speak-out platform against sexual violence.

Another leading member of It Happens Here as well, Jingyi Wu ’17 was also honored for her feminist work. Jingyi has been a vocal about feminist issues over the past four years, appearing in various productions of the Vagina Monologues and shining a light on feminism in China. This year, she brought to campus Lu Pin, the founder of “Feminist Voices,” the leading feminist publication in China.

All of the winners and the nominees gave attendees of the celebration great hope that our future will continue to be just and equitable.

Sister-to-Sister s’mores party on May 12!

Sister-to-Sister S’mores party!

Middlebury College’s Sister-to-Sister club is inviting all middle school girls to a s’mores party at the organic garden. We’ll make a fire and play games.

We’ll meet at Middlebury College’s Chellis House (56 Hillcrest Road) and walk over to the organic garden. In case of rain, we will stay at Chellis House.

For more information contact Karin Hanta: khanta@middlebury.edu, 802-443-5937.

Please nominate your Feminists of the Year!

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS:

 The Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and Chellis House, the Feminist Resource Center, are seeking nominations for the student, staff, and faculty feminist of the year.

We are looking for feminists who actively engage with our community around issues of gender, sex, and sexuality as they are experienced in relation to race, class, ability, and geography.

You may nominate persons in one or all of the following categories—student, staff, and faculty—by sending your nominations by email to khanta@middlebury.edu)or by campus mail to Karin Hanta@Chellis House. The deadline is Monday, May 8, 6 p.m. 

I nominate __________________________ for student feminist of the year because

 

I nominate __________________________ for staff feminist of the year because

 

I nominate __________________________ for faculty feminist of the year because

 

The committee reserves the right to not consider nominees who don’t meet these criteria. Thank you for your nominations!

 

We will celebrate all the nominees at the end-of-the-year Chelle-bration on Saturday, May 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Chellis House with music, poetry and good food!

Sister-to-Sister Summit on Saturday, November 19!

sts-4-2015The widely successful “Sister-to-Sister” Program is gearing up for its twelfth season of mentoring middle school girls. Since 2005, Middlebury students have invited girls from the three middle schools in Addison County – Middlebury, Vergennes, and Bristol – to participate in monthly two-hour events on campus and a one-day summit in November. At events, one “fun” activity is usually paired with a discussion. When sisters meet at the pool for log rolling, for example, they will get together after splashing in the water to discuss conceptions of body image. In general, “Sister-to-Sister” strives to make a positive difference by giving a voice to the needs and interests of middle school girls. The program provides a safe space to talk about the challenges that girls face in this day and age. It enables girls to develop friendships with other girls, even if they don’t go to the same school. The program recognizes that in addition to teachers and textbooks, achievement is affected by what happens in the hallways, between classes, and outside of school.  

Our big summit is scheduled for Saturday, November 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kirk Alumni Center. Activities will include fun workshops such as improv theater, acapella singing, dancing, yoga, and cup cake decorating.

All events are free and include breakfast, lunch and snacks (gluten-free, vegetarian options available). To register or organize transportation, please call Karin Hanta at 443-5937 or email khanta@middlebury.edu. Transportation requests need to be submitted by Wednesday, November 16.

Sister-to-Sister Summit on Saturday, November 19!

sts-4-2015The widely successful “Sister-to-Sister” Program is gearing up for its twelfth season of mentoring middle school girls. Since 2005, Middlebury students have invited girls from the three middle schools in Addison County – Middlebury, Vergennes, and Bristol – to participate in monthly two-hour events on campus and a one-day summit in November. At events, one “fun” activity is usually paired with a discussion. When sisters meet at the pool for log rolling, for example, they will get together after splashing in the water to discuss conceptions of body image. In general, “Sister-to-Sister” strives to make a positive difference by giving a voice to the needs and interests of middle school girls. The program provides a safe space to talk about the challenges that girls face in this day and age. It enables girls to develop friendships with other girls, even if they don’t go to the same school. The program recognizes that in addition to teachers and textbooks, achievement is affected by what happens in the hallways, between classes, and outside of school.  

Our big summit is scheduled for Saturday, November 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kirk Alumni Center. Activities will include fun workshops such as improv theater, acapella singing, dancing, yoga, and cup cake decorating.

All events are free and include breakfast, lunch and snacks (gluten-free, vegetarian options available). To register or organize transportation, please call Karin Hanta at 443-5937 or email khanta@middlebury.edu. Transportation requests need to be submitted by Wednesday, November 16.