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Female Faculty Participate in Roundtable on Impact of Gender in the Workplace


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University has 268 female faculty members which represents 54% of the faculty on campus.A group of women, many of whom have worked for the university for decades, are sharing their thoughts and stories at an upcoming event. “Women Scholars and Scientists Roundtable: The Difference Gender Makes in Our Work and Lives,” will be held Wednesday, March 29, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Arkansas River Room of the Reng Student Union.“We thought this would be an excellent way to bring scholars and scientists together,” said Dr. Sarah Wilkerson-Freeman, professor of history and moderator of the event which came about after a conversation that took place in the history department.“The pandemic put a stop to many events and the women and gender studies group had not sponsored much in the last few years,” said Wilkerson-Freeman. She said at first, they were just going to do a women’s history roundtable but it became more than that.“Since we have so many excellent female faculty at A-State, the concept seemed to suggest itself. We were fortunate to be able to get some great scholars and scientists on board on fairly short notice.”

This event includes faculty members from different areas and at different stages in their careers.“One of the things I hope might come out of this roundtable is an interdisciplinary woman support group. A group that can empower each other in tackling contemporary challenges women in academia face that just aren’t discussed in department, college, chair or other committee meetings,” said Dr. Kellie Wilson-Buford, interim chair, Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Geography and associate professor of history. 

Wilkerson-Freeman said National Women’s History Month is a perfect time to highlight the array of female faculty members the university has and the knowledge they bring.“It certainly has made a difference when prospective hires look at our departments. I wanted the roundtable to encourage younger faculty as it is easy to assume that the challenges each woman faces are her own, exclusively, and her own to deal with by herself.”She said she hopes by sharing their stories, the collective message will resonate with and strengthen other women. Roundtable participants include:

-- Dr. Tina Gray Teague is a professor of entomology and plant science.  Teague has been teaching at A-State since 1998. In her long career at A-State, Dr. Teague has published over 200 research articles and book chapters and made 250 scientific presentations. She has generated over $12.9M in grant funding. She founded the Arkansas Soil and Water Education Conference at A-State.-- Dr. Karen L Yanowitz has been at A-State since 1996. She is the bachelor of science in psychology program coordinator and professor of psychology. Yanowitz has been the principal investigator/co-principal investigator of several grants, including those funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), totaling over $4 million.-- Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch, dean of the Graduate School and professor of history, started her A-State career in 2003. A rural, women’s and African American history scholar, Jones-Branch is the author of Crossing the Line: Women and Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II, Better Living By Their Own Bootstraps: Black Women’s Activism in Rural Arkansas, 1913-1965, and the co-editor of Arkansas Women: Their Lives and Times, in addition to many articles and essays.-- Dr. Kellie Wilson-Buford, interim chair, Department of Criminology, Sociology, and Geography and associate professor of history, began her time at A-State in 2014. After publishing her first book, Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military: The Court-Martial and the Construction of Gender and Sexual Deviance, 1950-2000, in 2018. Dr. Buford started working on her current book project under an advanced contract with the University of Nebraska Press. 

-- Dr. Lucy Barnhouse has been an assistant professor of history at A-State since fall 2020, having held visiting positions at the College of Wooster and Wartburg College. She works on topics including medieval public health and religious women. Her forthcoming work includes Hospitals in Communities of the Late Medieval Rhineland: Houses of God, Places for the Sick, and, co-edited with Winston Black, Beyond Cadfael: Medieval Medicine and Medical Medievalisms.-- Dr. Katherine Baker is an associate professor of art history and has been at A-State since 2016. With a particular interest in what the archival record can tell us about lost artistic production, her current project examines the estate inventory of Chicart Bailly, a Parisian tabletier from the early 16th century. Select discoveries from this document were recently highlighted in the exhibition and accompanying volume The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Morality in Renaissance Europe.-- Dr. Sarah Wilkerson-Freeman, professor of history, came to A-State in 1996 to teach U.S. women’s history with an emphasis on Southern women, gender and politics. Her work has appeared in a number of academic publications, notably the Journal of Women’s History and the Journal of Southern History. She contributed chapters to volumes on Arkansas and North Carolina women and contributed to and co-edited Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times, Vols. 1 and 2 with Dr. Beverly Bond.

Students walk in front of the Reng Student Union

Students walk in front of the Reng Student Union on the A-State Campus