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Women's Studies Faculty & Staff


Dr. Yi-Chun Tricia Lin
Director and Professor of Women's Studies
Women's Studies Program
Office (203) 392-6133
Fax (203) 392-6723   

Graduate Coordinator:

Dr. Heidi Lockwood
Graduate Coordinator & Professor of Philosophy
Women's Studies Program

Graduate Assistants:                               

Jen Wilson

Vanessa Parker

The Women's Studies Steering Committee (2018-2019)

Rosalyn Amenta: Student Affairs
Laura Bower-Phipps: Curriculum & Learning
Siobhan Carter-David: History (on sabbatical)
Lorrie Gardella: Social Work
Brandon Hutchinson: English

Sobeira Latorre: World Languages & Literatures
Yi-Chun Tricia Lin: Women's Studies
Heidi Lockwood: Philosophy
Virginia Metaxas: History
Kari Swanson: Library Services


AMENTA, ROSALYN, Adjunct Professor, Women's Studies; B.A., Southern Connecticut State University; M.A.R., Yale Divinity School; Ph.D., Fordham University; (203) 392-5864

Rosalyn Amenta received her Ph.D. in the history of religions at Fordham University, and her Master of Arts in Religion at Yale Divinity School. Her area of specialization is comparative religious philosophy with an emphasis on the image, status and role of women in world religions. Dr. Amenta has taught numerous courses in Women's Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Religious Studies and Philosophy at Southern including the team-taught interdisciplinary institutes, Woman, Heal Thyself and Women and Professional Ethics.  She served as Co-Coordinator of the Women's Studies Program 1989-2002 and Graduate Coordinator of Women's Studies 1999-2002.

ANTHIS, KRISTINE, Associate Professor, Psychology; B.A., St. Xavier University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Nebraska

Kristine Anthis earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska in 2000. She has been an assistant professor of psychology at SCSU since 2001. Her publications concern the role that stressful life events play in adolescent and adult identity development. She teaches the Women's Studies graduate course Psychology of Women. She was the Graduate Coordinator for Women's Studies during the Spring 2003 semester.

APPLEBY, GEORGE A., Professor, Health and Human Services; B.A., University of Connecticut; M.S.W., University of North Carolina; D.S.W., Columbia University; (203) 392-6567

ARBOLEDA, CARLOS A., Professor, Foreign Languages; B.A., Universidad de Santiago De Cali, Colombia; M.A., Ph.D., Syracuse University; (203) 392-6754

BEALS, POLLY, Associate Professor, History; B.A., College of Wooster, Ohio; M.A., University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., Rutgers University; (203) 392-5610
Polly Beals received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University where she concentrated in comparative women's history, British history, and modern European history.  She is engaged in a study of a British socialist feminist organization, the Fabian Women's Group, from its origins in the late 19th century up through its contributions to the second wave of feminism in the 1960s.  She has been a member of the SCSU Women's Studies program since 1992.  She has taught in the graduate Women's Studies program (History of Feminist Thought and Research Methods) and supervised graduate Women's Studies teaching internships in her undergraduate Women in Modern Europe course.  She is currently a member of the Women's Studies Steering Committee.

BENNETT, THERESE,  Professor, Mathematics; B.A., Temple University, M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; (203) 392-6997

Terri Bennett is an associate professor of mathematics at Southern.  She earned her Ph. D. in applied mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh , where she wrote her dissertation on a mathematical model of the optical finishing process for telescope lenses.  Since then, she spent a year's sabbatical reviewing the literature on women's issues in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), has written a review essay on bibliographic materials in this area, and has given a talk on gender differences in spatial visualization skills.  She is currently working on an annotated bibliography and on the development of a course on gender issues in mathematics and science.

BIER, LISA, Social Sciences Reference Librarian

Lisa Bier is an associate librarian at SCSU's Buley Library. She is the librarian liaison for the departments of Anthropology, Sociology, Social Work, Political Science, and Marriage and Family Therapy. Her book, American Indian and African American People, Communities, and Interactions: An Annotated Bibliography, was published in 2004 by Greenwood/Praeger Press.

BLACKMER, CORINNE, Associate Professor, English; B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles; (203) 392-6715

Corinne E. Blackmer received her B.A. in English, her M.A. in Ancient and Modern Rhetoric and, in 1991, her Ph.D. in American literature and language from UCLA.  She worked with Lillian Faderman and Paula Gunn Allen and, appointed a Visiting Assistant Professor at UCLA for two years, piloted a seminar in pre-Stonewall Lesbian Literature and Culture as well as another course in Culture, Ethics, and Sexuality.  She was also actively engaged in ACT-UP and is currently a speaker for Love Makes a Family, the non-profit Connecticut organization dedicated to the legalization of same-sex marriage. At Southern, she teaches American literature, "Gay and Lesbian Literature and Film," "Queer Theory," and two university-wide literature requirements: "Sexuality and Ethics in Contemporary Culture" and "Jewish American Literature."   In addition, she teaches "The Literature of the Hebrew Bible."  Her course offerings and her research emerge from her identities as a Jewish lesbian feminist.  She has published numerous articles on queer representations and authorship in American and, on occasion, British literature, and her book "Sapphists, Suffragists, and Streetwalkers" is under submission to U Mass Press.  She has recently completed the second draft of an ambitious project, tentatively titled, "The Exiled Word: Meditations on Post-Holocaust Feminist Biblical Interpretation."

BLOCH, JON, Professor, Sociology; Ph.D., Indiana University;(203) 392-5685

BRENY, JEAN M., Professor, Public Health; MPH, San Jose State University; PhD, University of North Carolina School of Public Health

Jean M. Breny received her BA in Communications from Western Connecticut State University in 1986, her MPH in Community Health Education from San Jose State University in 1994, and her PhD in Health Behavior/Health Education from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 2000.  She joined the Department of Public Health as an Assistant Professor in 2000 and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate-level community health education courses.  Dr. Breny's dissertation research was an exploration into social and cultural factors that affect low-income African American women's ability to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Her work with HIV/AIDS includes program planning and evaluation, HIV behavior modification, and HIV medication adherence research.  Dr. Breny's current efforts focus on eliminating health disparities through research and practice efforts that are participatory, community-based, and culturally sensitive.

BUZZELL, JUDITH, Professor Emerita, Education; M.A., University of Wisconsin; 6th Year, Columbia University.; (203) 392-6431

CARTER-DAVID, SIOBHAN, Assistant Professor, History; B.A., Morgan State University; M.A., City College/CUNY; Ph.D., Indiana University—Bloomington 392-5858

Siobhan Carter-David teaches in the areas of fashion/beauty studies, and African American, urban, and recent U.S. history. Her research explores the “new” politics of racial uplift as represented in the fashion instruction of African American print media, as well as more broadly, American fashion, beauty culture, and the politics of presentation. She has written and given numerous talks on hip-hop, youth culture, culture and clothing, and urban style. As a public historian, she has worked with museum curators on projects involving various facets of African American cultural history and also curated her own exhibit, “Strong Shoulder: Revisiting the Women’s Power Suit,” which explored the meaning of “power dressing,” its position within third-wave feminism and corporate culture, and the evolution of women’s professional fashions in the 1980s. She is currently working on her book manuscript, Issuing the Black Wardrobe: Fashion and Anti-Fashion in Post-Soul Publications.

CONFORTI, ROSEMARIE, Associate Professor, Media Studies; B.S., Southern Connecticut State University; M.A., Ph.D., New York University; (203) 392-5379

CRAWFORD, ILENE, Professor, English; B.S.S., Cornell College; M.A., State University of New York at Binghamton; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; (203) 392-7051

Ilene Crawford is an Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies. She holds a PhD in English with a specialization in rhetoric and composition studies from the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, an MA in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and a Bachelor of Special Studies in Classical Studies from Cornell College. Dr. Crawford teaches courses that examine histories of race, class, gender, nation, and sexuality and their effects on the material lives of individuals and groups. As a teacher and a writer she is particularly interested in questioning traditional definitions of research and scholarly writing. Her publications include articles and chapters on feminist rhetoric and feminist rhetorical methodology. Her most recent work examines the effects of globalization on Vietnamese women's literacy practices.

DISANO, CYNTHIA L.,  Director Emeritus of Student Activities and Special Events; Professor Emeritus Sociology and Women's Studies; Ph.D., University of Connecticut; (203) 392-6168

Cynthia L. DiSano has been employed at Southern Connecticut State University since September 1970.  She teaches Gender and the Law in Women's Studies, Juvenile Delinquency and Introduction to Sociology in the Sociology Department.  She is currently a full time administrator at Southern Connecticut State University as the director of the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts. She also does risk management for the university.

She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with a Concentration in School and University Law from the University of Connecticut, her M.A. in Student Personnel Services in Higher Education from New York University, and her B.A. in Social Sciences/Secondary Education from Rhode Island College.  She was appointed by Governor Rowland to the State Insurance and Risk Management Board for the State of Connecticut and served eight years.  Additionally, for the past four years she has been a member of the Board of Directors of CWEALF (Connecticut Women's Education And Legal Fund), which advocates development of women and girls in the state of Connecticut.

GARVEY, SHEILA, Professor, Theatre; M.A., Northwestern University; Ph.D., New York University.; (203) 392-6102

Sheila Hickey Garvey is a Professor of Theater at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) and the Resident Director of the Greater Middletown Chorale. Dr. Garvey has directed 25 productions for SCSU's Department of Theatre and was awarded a John F. Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Directing Fellowship in 1995.Her articles on theatrical performance have appeared in The Eugene O'Neill Review, Theatre Survey, The New England Theatre Journal, The Recorder and Coup de Theatre, a journal of the Sorbonne.  She is a Past President of the Eugene O'Neill Society (2001-2003), a co-editor and a contributor to the book "Jason Robards Remembered" (MacFarland Inc., 2001) and a contributor to "A Critical Companion to Eugene O'Neill: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work" (New York:  Facts on File, Inc., 2009).   In 2011 she collaborated on the creation of a guidebook titled "Eugene O'Neill's New York" with Arthur and Barbara Gelb.  

GORNIAK-KOCIKOWSKA, KRYSTYNA, Professor, Philosophy; M.A., Ph.D., Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland; M.A., ABD, Temple University.; (203) 392-6784

Krystyna Gorniak-Kocikowska is a Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University, and a Senior Research Associate in the Research Center on Computing & Society. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion (Co-Chair of the Group on Religion in Eastern Europe and the Former USSR, 1995-1999), American Philosophical Association, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and other scholarly organizations. 

In addition to her work in the area of religious Studies, and on selected issues in German philosophy (Karl Jaspers), Dr. Górniak-Kocikowska is actively involved in Computer (Information) Ethics research. Her main interest is in ICT’s impact on social justice issues related to globalization, and in the way robotization and emerging/converging technologies change economy (especially the knowledge economy) and social life.

At SCSU, she teaches a variety of Philosophy and Religious Studies courses. One of them, Women and Religion, is cross-listed with Women Studies.​

GUARINO, JENNIFER, Adjunct Professor, English

HUTCHINSON, BRANDON, Associate Professor, English; B.A., Hobart and William Smith College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst ; (203) 392-7114

Brandon Hutchinson teaches African American Literature including classes on The Harlem Renaissance, Contemporary African American Novel, and Black Women Authors. She is particularly interested in illuminating the theme of survival as discussed by various African American women writers. Her current research is devoted to the study of both historical and contemporary African American women playwrights.

KERR, AUDREY E., Professor, English; B.A., Rutgers University; M.A.R., Yale University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; (203) 392-5114

Audrey Kerr received a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers, M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from University of Maryland and a MAR in Religion and the Arts from Yale Divinity School (Gabriel Scholar, 1999-2001).  She has been  an associate professor of English at SCSU since 2001, with a specialization in African American Literature.  She is also Chaplain and Spiritual Director at Leeway, Inc.,a skilled nursing facility for people living with HIV and AIDS.   Audrey joined Women's  Studies as Graduate Director in Fall 2004.

Dr. Kerr has published work in African American spirituality, African American Women's Literature and Literature and AIDS.   Her first book is titled "The Paper Bag Principle: Myth-Making and Rumor in the Growth and Development of Black Washington, D.C." 

LIN, YI-CHUN TRICIA (林怡君), Professor and Director, Women's Studies; B.A., National Taiwan Normal University; M.A., Tamkang University, Taiwan; Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook; (203) 392-6864

A 17th-generation daughter of Taiwan, Yi-Chun Tricia Lin (林怡君) is Director and Professor of Women's Studies Program at Southern Connecticut State University.  She traveled from her native island to pursue a doctoral degree in continental philosophy and theory.  In the process, she found herself home in ethnic studies and women's studies.  Her dissertation, a study of Asian American women's cultural and literary productions, was her first step away from her "European" education.  Since her doctoral days, her research and teaching have gone intensely ethnic, feminist, and post-colonial.  Among her recent projects is a comparative cultural studies of Indigenous and diasporic women's writing from the Caribbean and Pacific islands.  Before joining the Women's Studies faculty at Southern in 2004,  Lin taught writing and literature and Asian American literature at City University of New York/Borough of Manhattan Community College from 1994-2004, where she discovered her passion for teaching for liberation of all minds and found her calling in struggle for peace and justice.

LAROCCO, STEVEN M., Professor, English; B.A., University of Massachusetts; M.A., Ph.D., Rice University ; (203) 392-5494

LATORRE, SOBEIRA, Assistant Professor, World Languages and Literatures; B.A., Amherst College; M.A., Ph.D., Stony Brook University; (203) 392-6774

LOCKWOOD, HEIDI, Professor, Philosophy; B.A., Wellesley College; M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale University; (203) 392-5161

Heidi Howkins Lockwood (PhD Yale '09) is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern, and a survivor of faculty sexual assault who chose to leave academia rather than report in the 1990s. After returning to grad school in 2003 and learning that nothing had changed, she became a mentor to some of the Yale students who filed the 2011 Title IX complaint (and eventually launched the site), and a vocal activist and blogger on the problem of faculty-student sexual assault.

MADLOCK GATISON, ANNETTE., Associate Professor, Communication; B.A., M.A., Bethel University; Ph.D., Howard University ; (203) 392-5522

Dr. Annette Madlock (Associate Professor, Director of the Basic Courses) holds an A.A. in Administration from Milwaukee Area Technical College, a B.A. in Organizational Management and an M.A. in Communication, both from Bethel University, and a Ph.D. in Human Communication from Howard University. While attending Howard she also served as an Assistant Coach for both the Policy Debate and Speech teams.  Her primary areas of specialization are Intercultural Communication and Rhetoric. Before teaching at the college level and coming to Southern Dr. Madlock spent 20 years working in the corporate sector. As director of the all university required courses in public speaking and professional presentations Dr. Madlock will not only teach these courses, but also provide direction to the part-time faculty who teach the basic courses to maintain consistency and excellence in curriculum and student outcomes.

MCGINN, JANE, Professor, Communication; B.S., Howard University; MLS, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Tel. (203) 392-5086

Jane McGinn is a Professor of Communication and Women’s Studies and also a member of the Honors College faculty. She holds a Ph. D in Library and Information Science with concentrations in School Librarianship, Young Adult literature and Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh--Pennsylvania, a Masters of Library Science from University of North Carolina--Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising from Howard University, Washington, D.C.

 Dr. McGinn teaches courses in the areas of women’s studies and interpersonal communication. Her undergraduate and graduate courses include Gender and Communication, Race, Gender and Class in Young Adult Literature for girls, Research in Women’s Studies and Thesis and Special Project Seminars.

As a teacher and researcher, she is particularly interested in girl studies, preteen girls' interpersonal communications in online forums, global economic development and access to information and communication technologies for women in developing countries and social networks in the classroom for student engagement. Her current research projects include “What Are Girls Talking About In The Virtual World? An Online Ethnographic Study and Textual Analysis of the Interpersonal Communications Between Tweens/Teenage Girls In Three Select Virtual Communities on the Internet” and “Increasing Student Engagement in the College Classroom: Use of an Online Social Network (NING) to Create a Participatory Culture for Learning”.    

METAXAS, VIRGINIA A., Professor, American Studies/Women's Studies, B.A., SUNY Old Westbury; History, Ph.D., SUNY Stony Brook; (203) 392-5607

Virginia Metaxas received her B.A. in American Studies/Women's Studies at SUNY Old Westbury in 1977, and her Ph.D. in History at SUNY Stony Brook in 1984.  She teaches a variety of courses including U.S. Women's History, Hawaiian History, and Feminist Research Methods.  She's been active in the Women's Studies program at SCSU since 1988, serving on various committees and teaching in the undergraduate and graduate programs.  She has published books and articles on the history of childbirth in America and the history of occupational therapy in America.  In Spring 2003, she participated in a Rockefeller Fellowship Program at the University of Hawai'i titled "Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific."   At present, she is working on two writing projects: a biography of Ruth A. Parmelee, an early twentieth century physician who served in Asia Minor and Greece, and a social history of healers and epidemics in nineteenth century Hawai'i.

NEVEROW, VARA, Professor, English; B.A., Nyack College; M.A., Ph. D., New York University; (203) 392-6717

Vara Neverow received her Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University. Her academic research includes work on Virginia Woolf, feminist theory, modern British literature, composition theory, and pedagogy. She is a full-time professor at Southern Connecticut State University and teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. She is also the managing editor of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany and past president of the International Virginia Woolf Society. She served as chair of the English Department at from 2001 to 2005. 

PALMA, GIUSEPPINA, Professor, Foreign Languages; Ph.D., Yale University .; (203) 392-6753

Pina Palma is professor of Italian and holds a Ph.D. from Yale University. Her area of specialization is Italian Medieval and Renaissance Literature. In this area she has published numerous articles as well as the book Savoring Power, Consuming the Times: The Metaphor of Food in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Notre Dame UP). She has also published articles on the intersection of Italian and Spanish literature. Her recent research centers on the role of women during the Italian Resistance and the Holocaust from the Italian perspective. Her publications in this area bring to light long ignored female figures whose activities in the Resistance War ensured the liberation of Italy from the Nazi-Fascist grip.

ROFUTH, TODD, Professor, Social Work; B.A., M.S.W., University of Minnesota; D.S.W., University of Pennsylvania; (203) 392-6557

Todd Rofuth has been a professor at Southern since 1990 and was the director of the Urban Studies Program for 10 years. He has been the chairperson of the Social Work Department since 2001. Prior to his current academic job at Southern, Dr. Rofuth served as the Director of Welfare Employment for the State of Maryland from 1987-1990, and as the Director of Client Rights for Pennsylvania's Mental Health and Mental Retardation hospitals. From 2000-2002 he was the Co-Coordinator with Vara Neverow for Southern's 10-year reaccreditation self study for the New England Commission of Higher Education. He has had 24 years of post MSW social work practice experience primarily in social welfare policy analysis, research and supervisory positions in federal and state government and private consulting. For the last 14 years he has provided consulting services to state and local governments and non-profit agencies in the areas of program evaluation, strategic planning, and the development of goals, objectives and outcome measures.

SELVAGGIO, MARIE, Professor, Anthropology; B.A. Douglass College; M.A., Ph.D., Rutgers University; (203) 392-5681

Marie Selvaggio received both her Ph.D. & M.A. in Anthropology from Rutgers University and B.A. in Anthropology & Archaeology from Douglass College.  Her interest in Women's Studies dates back to her undergraduate days at Douglass, one of the oldest women's colleges in the nation. At Douglass, she focused on Native Americans and Women's Studies. As part of her undergraduate education, she excavated Native American archaeological sites in the U.S. and in Latin America. Later, her interest expanded to include African archaeology.  Her Ph.D. research was conducted in East Africa.

She is presently the co-director of SCSU's Tanzania Field School in Anthropology. Her research has been published in Current Anthropology, The Journal of Human Evolution,  Archaeological Science and other academic journals. Dr. Selvaggio is currently writing a book about women's role in prehistory. She has been a member of the Women's Studies faculty at SCSU since 1994.  

SCHOFIELD, CINDY, Women's Studies Reference Librarian

SKOCZEN, KATHLEEN, Professor, Anthropology; B.A., San Diego State University; M.A., Ph.D., Syracuse University; (203) 392-5679

Kathleen Skoczen received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology with a certificate in Women's Studies from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University.  Her research focus is women, health, tourism, development, identity and religion in the Dominican Republic.  She has spent more than five years living in the Dominican Republic since 1985.  She has published in several places including The Women's Health Journal and the American Anthropology News, and presents at regional, national, and international conferences regularly.  She has received a Fulbright Fellowship, National Science Foundation Award, Rockefeller Foundation Grant and other grants for her continued research on Dominican women, health, tourism, development, identity and religion.  She teaches Global Women's Issues and the Anthropology of Women and Health, as well as several courses through the Anthropology Program.

SONNENSCHEIN, DANA L., Professor, English; B.A., University of Iowa; M.A., Johns Hopkins University; M.A., Ph.D., Boston University; (203) 392-6735

SUCKLE-NELSON, JESSICA, Associate Professor, Psychology; B.A., Syracuse University; M.A., West Chester University; Ph.D., University of Rhode Island; (203) 392-5860

VANCOUR, MICHELE L., Associate Professor, Public Health; B.A., Central Connecticut State University; M.P.H., Southern Connecticut State University; Ph.D., New York University; (203) 392-5530

Michele L. Vancour is a Professor of Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). She is co-editor of Breastfeeding Best Practices in Higher Education with Michele Griswold (Hale Publishers, 2014). She is a consultant and speaker on issues of work and family/life, workplace flexibility, academic parents and career advancement, and breastfeeding (perceptions of and lactation support programs). Her research findings have resulted in several workplace flexible initiatives in higher education. She currently serves as SCSU’s point person for the American Council on Education’s National Challenge for Higher Education on Workplace Flexibility.

VILLANI, CHRISTINE J., Professor, Education; B.S., Mercy College; M.A., Hofstra University; M.A., New School of Research ; Sixth Year Diploma, Southern Connecticut State University; Ed.D., Fordham University

Christine Villani is the Graduate Coordinator of Elementary Education Department. Her ares of specialization are Education Law and 

WORDEN, BARBARA, Professor, Social Work; B.A., Pennsylvania State University; M.A., New School of Social Reasearch; M.S. W., University of Connecticut; Ph.D., Columbia University; (203) 392-6563