University of Guelph has experts available to comment on topics related to International Women’s Day March 8.
Prof. Samantha Brennan – Women in Sports and Fitness
Dean, College of Arts
Prof. Samantha Brennan is the co-author, with Tracy Isaacs, of the book Fit at Midlife: A Feminist Fitness Journey, which explores the many issues women face when seeking fitness in their 40s and beyond. The book focuses on encouraging women who may have experienced the embedded gender barriers to sports and fitness while growing up and through their 20s and 30s to reclaim their athleticism. In addition to her research related to women and fitness, Brennan is an expert in feminist philosophy.
Prof. Mary Wells – Women in STEM
Phone: 519-824-4120, Ext. 53125
Dean, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Prof. Mary Wells, dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, has spent the past decade addressing the continued under-representation of women in the engineering profession. In 2013, she was appointed as chair of the Ontario Network for Women in Engineering. To improve the gender diversity of the engineering profession, she has led initiatives to both understand the root causes of the lack of participation of women in engineering as well as programs to address these barriers. Wells studies metallurgical and materials engineering.
Prof. Belinda Leach has studied the expansion of home-based industrial work and contraction of unionized industrial work in rural and urban Ontario, and how families and individuals both accommodate and resist changing work patterns.
Prof. Paula Barata studies housing discrimination against battered women, how women are broadly impacted by sexual and physical violence, and what can be done to ameliorate that violence. She recently conducted research to implement a new sexual assault prevention program.
Prof. Alyssa Woods – Women and Hip-Hop Music
Phone: 519-824-4120, Ext. 54985
School of Fine Art and Music
Prof. Alyssa Woods studies popular music, especially race, gender, and politics in hip-hop music and culture. She has recently explored the trend of female artists who have appropriated and re-imagined the “booty video.” Employing strategies of parody and hyperbole, artists such as Beyoncé, Lily Allen and Nicki Minaj have reclaimed the discourse surrounding the female body from within the hyper-masculine norms of hip-hop culture.
Prof. Deborah Stienstra – Women and Disability
Department of Political Science
By studying women and girls with disabilities, Prof. Deborah Stienstra helps to shift the narrative from seeing women with disabilities as victims, vulnerable and invisible to recognizing them as leaders and actors for women’s rights and for their own rights. Her most recent published research has focused on women, Indigeneity and disability in Labrador; gender and disability in Vietnam; and gender and resource development, including specific impacts on Indigenous women.
Prof. Melissa Perreault – Women and Health Research
Phone number: 519-824-4120, Ext. 52013
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Prof. Melissa Perreault studies mechanisms of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disease, such as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Most recently, she reviewed the body of literature on preclinical studies about depression and found large knowledge gaps in studies using female subjects. She says understanding the sex-dependent differences in brainwave activity and how they affect depression is critical to understanding what makes women more susceptible to depression. Ultimately, she argues more women need to be included in clinical research to develop treatments for depression that are effective for both sexes.
Prof. Leah Levac studies historically marginalized citizens – particularly young women and women in Northern communities – and the framing and development of public policy. She has recently worked with women in two Northern communities (Indigenous and settler populations working together) on effects of resource extraction projects.
Prof. Kim Anderson – Women in Indigenous Families
Phone: 519-824-4120, Ext. 58027
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
An Indigenous (Métis) scholar, Prof. Kim Anderson works to improve Indigenous family well-being in Canada. She has published on Indigenous mothering and feminism, Indigenous masculinities and Indigenous knowledge in urban settings. She is helping bring attention to the Indigenous feminist perspective during an era of reconciliation, and has worked at creating Indigenous feminist space, on and around campus.
Prof. Carla Rice holds the Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender and Relationships, and heads the Re•Vision Centre, which uses the arts and storytelling to discuss the need for change in health care, education and the arts. One of her research projects is titled “Through Thick and Thin: Investigating Body Image and Body Management Among Queer Women in Southern Ontario.” Through video, women share their stories and feelings about negative experiences within the Ontario health-care system to help care providers develop a more critical understanding and approach to body image, weight, exercise and nutrition with queer women clients.\
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