Saint Martin's adds minor in Women's Studies

Friday, April 19, 2002

Lacey, Wash. - Saint Martin’s College will begin the 2002-2003 academic year with a minor in Women’s Studies. The new minor, approved by the Board of Trustees April 17, is a comprehensive program providing students with a multidisciplinary body of knowledge about women and their experience, history and changing roles.

Coursework will include scholarship by and/or about women in literature, the arts, history, science, politics and other relevant fields of study. It also will analyze the experiences of women with respect to social, psychological, cultural and biological factors, says Jacqueline Johnson, the college’s vice president for academic affairs. While it is a multidisciplinary minor, it will be housed with the college’s social science division, where many of the participating faculty members serve. A faculty chair to oversee the program will be appointed shortly.

Addition of the new minor, in part, is a response to student interest in the field, which provides a valuable background for most professions and complements any major, she said. Student surveys in February showed wide support for the program.

Additional impetus for the Women’s Studies minor came from the college’s desire to enrich its overall curriculum, acknowledge forces transforming American Society, move toward more integrated programs and provide substance to the college’s stated mission to welcome, encourage and honor diversity, Johnson said.

“Women’s Studies scholarship has profoundly influenced all the traditional fields of learning,” she said. “It has stimulated new inquiry and altered how we approach and analyze intellectual problems and issues - and in doing this, it has refashioned our understanding of who we were, who we are and who we may become.”

Courses being offered during fall semester include “Introduction to Women’s Studies,” “Women’s Sports History,” “Body Image and Eating Disorders” and “Literary Criticism.”

The new program brings to 23 the number of minors at the college. Saint Martin's offers 22 undergraduate majors, six graduate programs and a variety of other pre-professional and certificate programs at its main campus in Lacey and extension campuses at Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.

For more imformation:
April 19, 2002 Jacqueline Johnson
Vice president for academic affairs
360-438-4310 or jjohnson@stmartin.edu

Holly Harmon, director of communication
Office of communication
360-438-4332 or hharmon@stmartin.edu