Alumni Profiles

Underwater Diver

Alumni Profiles

Since UAH first introduced the Women's and Gender Studies Minor, many students have graduated our program. Below are profiles of several of our alumni, including their explanations of how Women's and Gender Studies has benefited them after graduation. For more information on careers for graduates with a background in Women's and Gender Studies, please visit our careers page. If you are a Women's and Gender Studies alumna and would like to be profiled on this website, please contact us in the Women's and Gender Studies Program office.

 

Alum Veronica Ferreira

Veronica Ferreira 

Class of 2010: Veronica is now a student in the Sociology Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa. Veronica is also serving as a Teaching Assistant, and in fall 2010, she was a TA for an introductory "Sociology of Sexuality" course. Veronica's ultimate goal is to teach sociology at the university level, focusing on family, gender, and stratification.

When asked how her Women's and Gender Studies minor influenced her intellectual development at UAH, Veronica responded that the interdisciplinary nature of the Women's and Gender Studies program made the biggest impact. Veronica says, "Women's Studies exposed me to disciplines outside of my major in a way that general education classes do not. Rather than only taking 'intro' classes, through Women's Studies I took upper-level classes in philosophy and English, for example, that gave me an insight into how other disciplines approached the same social phenomena." In fact, a required Women's and Gender Studies class in sociology ultimately resulted in Veronica completing a Sociology major alongside her original History major.

Ultimately, Veronica believes that the "willingness to venture outside of the comfort of [my] discipline" that she developed through curriculum of the UAH Women's and Gender Studies minor "will serve me well as a graduate student and beyond."

 
Alum Rebecca "Beck" Krefting

Rebecca "Beck" Krefting

Class of 2001: Majors in English and Psychology, Minor: Women's and Gender Studies

Rebecca Krefting, who goes by Beck, graduated from UAH in 2001 with majors in English and Psychology and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She is currently a visiting assistant professor of American Studies at Skidmore College, where she teaches courses in women's literature and history, popular culture, contemporary American cultures, and U.S. humor and women's comic performance.

Because Beck already had double majors in English and psychology while at UAH, she did not need a minor in order to graduate.  Nonetheless, she remembers that she enjoyed her Women's and Gender Studies classes so much that she decided to complete the Women's and Gender Studies minor anyway, a decision that ultimately influenced her to obtain an M.A. in Women's and Gender Studies at Ohio State University. She then earned a PhD in American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2010.

Reflecting on the benefits of her UAH Women's and Gender Studies minor, Beck emphasizes that the Women's and Gender Studies program helped her develop research and analytical skills that are critical to her work as a scholar and a teacher. At present, she is revising her dissertation for a book titled More than Just a Joke: American Humor and Its Discontents. She has also published work in disability education, theater and feminist pedagogy. Her most recent work is a co-authored chapter on feminist architectural education entitled 'Placing Space: Architecture, Action, Dimension—Pedagogy and Practice,' soon to be published in Feminist Practices: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Women in Architecture.

Beck concludes that, "I use what I learned in the Women's Studies program and from its affiliate faculty every day; it's a little impossible not to when what you now know changes the way you make sense of the world. Women's Studies and feminist theories inform my world views, my teaching and my scholarship."

 
Alum George Preussel 

George Preussel

Class of 2010: Major: History, Minor: Women's and Gender Studies

George is currently in Afghanistan as a contractor with Project CRAM (Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortars). When asked how his minor in Women's and Gender Studies has benefited him after graduation, he responded: "Women's Studies has more benefits than one could ever imagine, even to us military guys. Not only was my minor in WS a talking point during my interview at my current job, it allows me to have a more holistic perspective of domestic and international viewpoints. Both are key in making decisions not only professionally but militarily."

 

 

Alum Michael Kusmierz 

Michael Kusmierz

Class of 2000: Major: Sociology, Minor: Women's and Gender Studies

Mike, the first man at UAH to complete the Women's and Gender Studies minor, now works as an orthodontic technician and has been with Oral Arts Dental Laboratory for ten years.

According to Mike, "I entered UAH a white male ex-junkie with 90 days' sobriety. Dr. [Nancy] Finley helped me understand patriarchy and how I benefited from a patriarchal system. While learning how to live sober, I also was able to unlearn some of my racism and power over women. Being the first man in the Women's Studies program was truly enlightening."

Mike also credits Women's and Gender Studies for helping foster his relationship with Susanna Leberman, profiled below. Mike and Susanna met at UAHuntsville and have been together for thirteen years and are now married. Says Mike, "I am absolutely certain that the Women's Studies program is solely responsible for our happiness."

 

 

Alum Susanna Leberman 

Susanna Leberman

Class of 2010: Susanna has worked at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library since 2007, and since 2010 she has worked there full time, charged with public history and preservation. She has also taught history at Calhoun Community College.

Susanna has published several articles and a book called Wooing You by Mail: Letters to Mabel, A Joe Bradley Schoolmarm. In May 2010 she represented the library at the University of Iowa and delivered a presentation on the importance of the digitization of oral history and making it available to the public. She also enjoys giving public presentations that feature the library's historic photographs in their Living Life Series.

Susanna says, "My time in the Woman's Studies program — which helped me see the world with a sociological perspective and gain a deep personal understanding of the oppression of women—has filtered into every aspect of my life as I mature as an adult and seek to make a difference in the world around me."