Author Archive | Percy Haas

Feminism in Motion 2021 Program!

FeMo program preview

Alumni Spotlight: Jackie Fielding (she/her)

Jackie Fielding headshot

How did you come to be interested in WGS as an undergrad, and what memorable experiences with WGS during your time at the College can you share with us?

When I first came to CofC, WGS wasn’t a major yet! I initially didn’t have housing figured out, and I was placed in a living/learning community, where an entire class of people lived in the same dorm (McConnell) and took both Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies and Intro to American Government. (This was a really fun setup, and a great way to get to know people!) Before college, I don’t think I considered myself a feminist—I didn’t see the many ways, large and small, that sexism, misogyny, and numerous privileges and biases permeate in my life and the larger society. After my first WGS class, I was hooked, and made it my major as soon as that was possible!

My favorite WGS-related experience was working on the Vagina Monologues (one year as a participant, and one year as a co-director). The group of people who were willing to take evenings and weekends to gather and work on the performance were wonderful! I also really loved my WGS capstone class—everyone wrote really interesting papers! I ended up submitting my capstone paper to a conference and presenting about it, and that experience was pretty cool as well!

What have you been doing since graduation? What are your aspirations for the near future?

After graduation, I spent two years serving in full-time volunteer programs (which subsidized my housing, food, and healthcare expenses): I spent one year working at a nonprofit daycare center aiming to help teen moms in Chicago through an AmeriCorps program, and a second year working at a restraining order office in Milwaukee through another volunteer program. I then worked in Chicago for an additional two years, deciding about and preparing for law school. I attended the University of Minnesota Law School in my hometown, and just graduated in the spring of 2020. Thankfully, I passed the bar last fall, and I’m now a licensed attorney! I’m currently working (remotely) as a fellow and counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where I work on criminal legal system policy reforms to help end mass incarceration.

My aspirations are to continue building my knowledge and expertise in the criminal legal system reform field, as well as explore how I can contribute novel ideas and reports to my field. I want to grow as an expert in the intersection of women and the criminal legal system as well. I also consider teaching or writing a book some day!

How did your studies in WGS prepare you for your current work/activism/research project? How do you find yourself incorporating skills that you learned in WGS classes in your life/career today?

My WGS courses opened my eyes to a world of injustices—microaggressions, a lack of intersectional feminism, pervasive racism, classism, and disability discrimination—basically, it was foundational in my journey as a social justice advocate. I carry the lens of feminism with me throughout all of my experiences, from the media and entertainment I consume, to the art I support, to the policies I advocate for. (I have been working on only watching movies that pass the Bechdel test, which I learned about as a WGS major!) I have tried to remain curious about who is telling the stories I hear, who is left out of key conversations, and how to engaging in affected people when coming up with solutions to problems.

VIEW NOW: “Inspiring Women Letterpress Prints: Voices Across Her/story” – Virtual Art Exhibit!

As a part of our celebration of Women’s History Month, the Inspiring Women Letterpress Prints: Voices Across Her/story virtual art exhibit is right here on our blog! Use the links below to view the exhibit, and don’t forget to tune in to the signature event featuring letterpress printers who contributed to the exhibit on 3/23 (more details and flyer below).


Art Exhibit Panel flyer

Women’s History Month 2021

March is Women’s History Month!

Women’s History Month is intended to commemorate, honor and make visible the contributions of women throughout history (or better yet, her-story). But, being visible does not always equate to being legible, or being heard.

This year WGS at the College of Charleston is theming our programming in celebration of our first woman Vice President, Madame Kamala Harris, who now famously quipped to her rudely interrupting debate opponent, “Excuse Me, I’m Speaking.”

Our programming looks back and also forward, intending to make visible and legible those women and femme-identifying rebels, agitators, knowledge creators, artists, and visionaries who trailblaze for equity and justice – historically and in present day. Join us in celebrating HER-stories!

WHM event calendar

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. JaQuinda Jackson (she/her)

JaQuinda headshot

How did you come to be interested in WGS as an undergrad, and what memorable experiences with WGS during your time at the College can you share with us? 

I was “accidentally” enrolled in Intro. to Women’s & Gender Studies one semester, but after I got to class I fell in love with not only the discussions centered around the works of women and the roles that women play in society. I soon realized that enrolling in this class was no accident — it was purposeful in jump-starting my career in trauma reproductive work.

What have you been doing since graduation? What are your aspirations for the near future? 

After graduating from CofC, I went on to Washington, DC where I received my Masters in Community Counseling as well as my Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. I did community health work which helped me learn and understand how trauma impacts an individual’s ability to develop and utilize healthy social emotional skills.

I currently have my own private practice where I primarily work with individuals who have experienced trauma. I also have a non-profit that teaches social emotional skills to students and educators. For the future, I want to develop an organization that focuses on healthy attachments between children and caregivers utilizing a therapeutic approach.

How did your studies in WGS prepare you for your current work/activism/research project? How do you find yourself incorporating skills that you learned in WGS classes in your life/career today? 

My studies in WGS prepared me for my work in trauma support and advocating for people in many ways. I incorporate the skills I learned in WGS like researching and examining the roles women hold and have held in society to empower women who have experienced trauma. It is empowering to see women who have experienced setbacks overcome them and understand the power they hold in the world. It is a magical feeling!

READ NOW! Upcoming WGS event featuring Dr. Bettina Love – Write-Up in the College Today!

Preview image of article in the college today

WGS Research Colloquium – Thursday, February 25 at 5:00pm!

colloquium flyer featuring pictures of speakers

Please join WGS as we hear from our newest faculty affiliates about their current research projects on February 25th, 5:00-6:30pm, via Zoom:

Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community Supporters are all welcome!

READ NOW: “Late Professor’s New Book Leaves a Lasting Legacy”

Photograph of Alison Piepmeier's new book cover + text

Click the banner image above or the button below to read the write-up on the late Alison Peipmeier’s new book, Unexpected: Parenting, Prenatal Testing, and Down Syndrome, which The College Today‘s Amy Mercer writes “offers interviews with parents of children with Down syndrome as well as scholarly research, weaving a narrative that is both deeply personal and academic.”

Launch of Alison Piepmeier’s Last Book

Book cover of Alison Peipmeier's "Unexpected: Parenting, Prenatal Testing, and Down Syndrome" with a picture of Alison and young girl on tricycle

Alison Piepmeier’s last book, Unexpected: Parenting, Prenatal Testing, and Down Syndrome, will be published soon by NYU Press. Before Alison passed away, she asked George Estreich and Rachel Adams to complete her unfinished manuscript. They have done so, adding an introduction and chapters of our own. The book will be out from NYU Press on February 23rd!

There will also be a virtual book launch, sponsored by the Heyman Center at Columbia University. Estreich and Adams will be joined by Alondra Nelson and Sayantani Das Gupta for the launch.

For more information on the book, please visit:

Student Spotlight: Mariam Amireh

headshot of Mariam Amireh

What is your hometown, your pronouns, and your major(s)/minor(s)?

My hometown is Charleston, South Carolina. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m a double major in Communication and Sociology and a minor in International Studies. I am also the current recipient Skirt. Magazine Endowed Scholarship.

What areas/aspects of gender activism and/or advocacy for women and girls you find most engaging/interesting/what you’re most passionate about? 

I am very passionate about social justice and the empowerment of women, children, and minority groups. There is so much injustice in our world, a lot of which is targeted toward women and minority populations and perpetuated through systemic inequity. One way to combat these injustices is through education, which can help empower people with the confidence and strength that they need to be a part of creating positive change.

Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing (ex. volunteering/local activism), or any involvement you have on campus with clubs/organizations. 

I believe that education is the beacon of a brighter future. The learning process can be challenging, especially for kids that face language barriers, and I am committed to tutoring and mentoring elementary and middle school students to help them overcome this barrier and any others they might face. I have mentored students in Charleston and during my studies abroad, but I have become even more committed to this work as the pandemic has forced students to transition from traditional to online learning formats. Helping my students adjust to this new format while working on the skills and confidence they need to succeed in their studies is extremely rewarding. It allows me to help them gain self-confidence and realize that they can succeed in the classroom and in all aspects of their lives.

I also frequently volunteer in animal shelters and enjoy fostering kittens until they’re ready to be placed for adoption. The only downside to that is that I often get too attached to them!

What impact did your WGS course have on you? and/or: Why should every CofC student take a WGS class before they graduate? 

One of the first courses I took during my college career was Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. It turned out to be one of my favorites! I truly enjoyed it because not only did it present a foundation for a solid understanding of issues relating to women and gender, but it also gave insight into the structural and cultural origins of current inequity and injustice. In Intro to WGS, a variety of topics are presented through a multitude of perspectives, which leads to a broader, more well-rounded understanding of these important issues.

Every CofC student would benefit from taking a WGS course before they graduate because understanding how to navigate issues of gender and sexuality provides historical context and perspective on past, present, and future obstacles to equality. WGS courses also create productive spaces for students to have critical discussions on relevant social issues.

What are your plans and goals post graduation?

After I graduate, I hope to pursue a career that allows me to help underprivileged and underrepresented groups overcome the structural hurdles that restrict them from equal access to opportunities and resources. I’m really interested in finding a position within the field of communication, especially one that intersects with social work. While I am not totally sure where life will take me, especially during these unprecedented times, I am hopeful that my future endeavors allow me to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

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