Pictured left to right:  Janelle Cronk, Ellen Holt - Armacost Library Undergraduate Research prize winner, Dr. Jennifer Nelson, Director of WGS, and Michelle Sosa-Acosta.

The Dr. Emily Culpepper Convocation Award 2016

This year the award was presented to Janelle Cronk and Michelle Sosa-Acosta for demonstrating a strong commitment to excellence in activism and scholarly achievement as Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors.

Janelle Cronk's senior capstone essay, “From Radclyffe Hall to Ruby Rose: The Genderations of Lesbian Spaces,” grapples with the history of lesbian identity from a literary and a spatial perspective. Her focus on “lesbian space” reflects her commitment to understanding the complexity of historical communities and to building her own community as a political endeavor.

Janelle’s commitment to community is also made apparent by her involvement on the non-academic side of the University of Redlands. She has been an exemplary leader in the LGBT community at the university and in the wider community. Her commitment to the needs of fellow students who identify as LGBT has profoundly enriched our campus.
She is headed to London next year to study human rights at the London School of Economics.

Michelle Sosa-Acosta’s senior honors project (in WGS and Public Policy), “Drug Policy Along the US-Mexico Border: How Gendered Experiences Rule Current Policy Ineffective,” focuses on women’s experiences in the “war on drugs” and how that “war” has negatively impacted women. She argues that public policy addressing drug trafficking and addiction would be more productively designed around public health initiatives that did not characterize drug addiction as a war to be won. Her academic investigations and her volunteer work with the ACLU with incarcerated women, and with Mil Mujeres Legal Services with domestic violence survivors, have all shaped her strong commitment to helping people access legal counsel who most need it.

She will most certainly excel at law school (she will be going to UC Berkley in the fall) to become an excellent lawyer focused on social justice and human rights.

We also congratulations Ellen Holt, honored at the convocation ceremony as winner of the Armacost Library Undergraduate Research prize.