The Dr. Emily Culpepper Convocation Award 2014

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Jennifer Nelson, Director of WGST, Rachel Lambrecht, Sabrina Johnkoff, and Rachel Thomas.

This year we have two students to honor: Rachel Lambrecht and Rachel Thomas.

The Culpepper Award was created to recognize student excellence as both scholars and as activists. These two students have demonstrated excellence in both areas in different ways.

Rachel Lambrecht wrote a senior capstone project on sexuality education, "How Social-Emotional Learning can Support Sexual Education," in which she recommended that sexuality education curriculums focus on emotional learning about issues of sexuality in addition to the "facts." She recognized that young people often have questions about sexuality that go well beyond preventing pregnancy.

In addition, Rachel has been an outstanding community and campus activist. Her activism includes directing the organization Sisters Standing Together (a peer education group that addresses issues of sexual assault) and bringing HIV testing for students to campus. She also volunteered at the Birth Center in Redlands and eventually became certified as a doula, or birth coach. She also serves as a sexual assault advocate for San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services.

Rachel Thomas produced an outstanding senior capstone thesis, "From Fifty Shades to Feminism: (Mis)Representations of BDSM" in which she explored notions of consent in BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) and how representations of (mis)representations of BDSM and violent sexuality, more specifically, risk undermining understandings of consent forged among BDSM practitioners. She received departmental honors in Women's and Gender Studies for this project. In addition she taught a May-Term Johnston Seminar related to her thesis in 2013.