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AASU to Offer Minor in Women's Studies

Savannah, GA–Armstrong Atlantic State University has received approval from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to begin offering an interdisciplinary minor in women's studies this fall. AASU's decision to offer the minor follows a trend among universities across the Southeast.

At AASU, seventy percent of the student population is female "suggesting an obligation to give careful attention in academic matters to the perspectives and issues of women," said Teresa Winterhalter, one of the coordinators of the Women's Studies Program.

Completion of the minor will require fifteen semester hours of study from an approved list of courses. Offerings will include a small number of special courses on women's studies topics and an assortment of courses related to the discipline that are offered by several other departments on campus.

"This supplement will offer a unique avenue for students to make connection across fields of research," said Winterhalter.

The courses will be taught by faculty who regularly contribute to the scholarship of women's studies, from the diverse disciplines of literature, history, art, health science, nursing, and education. The addition of the minor will allow faculty who "frequently are sequestered within their own departments to work collaboratively, said Winterhalter. "It also will build a larger foundation of intellectual capital within the university at large."

Winterhalter received the 2002 Gignilliat Professorship to support her proposal to begin a women's studies program at AASU. She offered the first women's studies course this spring, which was so popular with students–male and female– that the waiting list grew to twenty students, following a large enrollment of thirty-seven.

As part of the professorship, Winterhalter also coordinated the university's first ever conference on "Women's Studies: Visions and Perspectives." The conference was a success, drawing more than two-hundred attendees and nearly thirty speakers from the faculty and graduate programs. Winterhalter says that the success of the conference and the positive media coverage has generated interest in the program from members of the community.

"My phone is still ringing," said Winterhalter. "People are genuinely excited and curious about the program."

For more information about AASU's Women's Studies Program, contact Teresa Winterhalter at 912.921.5632 or visit www.as.armstrong.edu/women_studies.

May 8, 2002


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