Keene State College  

In the Women's Studies seminar students apply their knowledge of feminist theory while advocating on behalf of women and children in the greater Monadnock community. After learning about community needs, students requested a specific project "match" and established their own goals in conjunction with the advocacy needs of the agency. Their work varied across a wide range of activities and was truly inspiring. Students kept weekly journal entries and wrote a paper in which they analyzed their service-learning experience from a feminist theoretical perspective. After completion of the course some even stayed in the Monadnock region to volunteer with their agencies.

“Service-learning is not just simply showing up at your designated organization and putting in time. It involves a complex web of powerful relationships and privilege that should be examined before and during the experience.” - a Women's Studies Seminar Participant

Women's Studies Capstone Taught by Professors Anne-Marie Mallon and Sara Hottinger, Spring 2006
Students and Community Partners
Meagan Danforth, Linda's Closet
Linda's Closet is a local non-profit organization that collects gently used work clothes (everything from suits to hospital scrubs to jeans and flannel for the factory floor) for women who are in need. Meagan met with the all-volunteer group on a regular basis in order to determine their greatest needs. She established a binder that includes a mission statement, a record of common practices and training materials, and an oral history of the organization. This binder will be used to train and teach new volunteers to the program.

Meaghan Dooley, Girls Group, Project KEEP
Project KEEP is a volunteer group that organizes after school programming for girls in kindergarten through fifth grade. Meagan met with these girls twice a week and developed programming that dealt with empowerment (girl power!), feminism, media awareness, and women in history.

Brittany Harrison-Grace, Working Futures, RIDESHARE
Working Futures' RIDESHARE is an organization that serves the needs of women who are transitioning back into the workforce. It includes an eight-week training course to prepare women in skills acquisition, resume building, and successful interview techniques. Many of the women who would qualify and benefit from this program cannot use these services because of childcare and transportation needs. Brittany's work this past semester involved discovering and researching the possibility of establishing a Rideshare program in the Monadnock region in order to facilitate the transportation needs of Working Futures clients.

Aimee Rhodes, Cheshire Mediation Violence Prevention, Keene High School
Cheshire Mediation organized a Violence Prevention Week at Keene High School. Amy worked with the Women's Studies class at Keene High and the KSC Mentors for Violence Prevention program to coordinate a program on sexual violence for Violence Prevention Week at Keene High.

Emily Royer, Girls Group, Hinsdale High School
Hinsdale Coalition is an agency working to establish after-school programming for middle school and high school girls in the Hinsdale, NH community. Emily met with a group of girls once a week and talked with them about feminism, empowerment, and media awareness.

Sample syllabus (.doc)

Independent Study
In Spring 2006 Jennifer Fitzpatrick worked with Professor Karen Cangialosi on an independent study focused on feminist activism. She created a curriculum for middle school female students in Hinsdale , New Hampshire . The purpose of her project was to teach media literacy and self-confidence, using feminism to bring awareness of important issues to young female students in the Monadnock region. She helped students examine mainstream media using a feminist analysis and introduced them to the foundations of feminist theory and media literacy. Meeting for two hours each week from January to May they learned to break down potentially harmful belief schemas often exhibited by girls and young women. At the end of the program students reported having a generally higher self-esteem, understanding the workings of advertising, and feeling more connected to their peers. Jennifer plans to keep the project going by connecting the Girls Group to the Women's Studies program at Keene State College, and by donating her work to future interested students.

Teaching a Feminist Perspective on Mainstream Media to Young Girls
Jennifer Fitzpatrick - Spring 2006
PDF version (751KB)
PowerPoint version (1 MB)