Category Archives: EGL Major

Alumni Profile: Mercedi Benien

Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies graduate Mercedi Benien has decided to stay in the world of academia, accepting a position as the Budget and Administrative Specialist for Pacific Lutheran University’s Music Department. “My major supported by personal growth, and has prepared me to work in diverse communities, and has made me more passionate about working in an education setting,” says Benien. For now, Benien is focusing on her new position, but one day she hopes to return to UW Tacoma and enroll in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Community and Social Change program.

Deciding to major in EGL was a no-brainer for Benien as it encompassed everything she aspires to be and helped prepare her for her new job. “Inclusivity, intersectionality, feminism, history, compassion, etch. are all frameworks of how I already viewed the world before my undergrad, and getting to expand on that understanding was invaluable,” she says, adding that education is an opportunity for career advancement, as well as personal growth.

Benien reports that her favorite classes at UW were taught by Associate Professor Dr. Luther Adams, specifically African American History and African American Religious History. “He has a unique teaching style that is based on in class dialogue and really helps us understand history from the perspectives of the people the history was about. He brought to life so many stories, and I loved learning in those courses,” she elaborated.

More than anything else, Benien will miss her friends and the experiences they had together at UW Tacoma. Although she wasn’t expecting to form such close bonds, she says she will “most remember the strong women that became my school community, helped me be successful, supported me through difficult times, and made me laugh every day.”

We wish her the best of luck in her new position and hope to see her in the MAIS program soon!

Shaquita Humphrey-Pressley and the source of her fire

Shaquita Humphrey-Pressley

Shaquita Humphrey-Pressley was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. She graduated this past spring from the University of Washington Tacoma with a double-major in Psychology and Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies with a focus in Ethnic Studies. She also is a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Woman Award. Humphrey-Pressley will soon begin the University of Southern California’s Master’s program of Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask her questions about her academic career before she travelled across two state borders into California with her three year-old daughter. Continue reading

Graduate Honors and Dean’s List Recipients

The Social and Historical Studies (SHS) Division would like to recognize those students who received honors in the Spring 2015 Commencement program and those students who received Dean’s List recognition any quarter during the 2014-15 academic year. We are so proud of our graduates and Dean’s List recipients!

Only students who have authorized the release of Student Directory Information and whose grades were posted by April 30, 2015, are included on the Dean’s List.  


History Honors
Kaylyn Renee Brown
Jordan Woolston

Magna Cum Laude
Terra R. Curley, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Ross Fairbrother, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Wes McIntosh, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Ashley A. Westerland, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Andrew M. Wilson, History
Alana B. Zautner, Global Studies

Cum Laude
Kaylyn Renee Brown, History
Reese Cole Hentges, History
Michael John Maratas, Global Studies
Jordan Lee Woolston, History

Faculty Honors
Sean William Beireis, History

Suzette Marengo, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Hunter Blakney, History
Ashley Douthett, Global Studies
Ross Fairbrother, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Christeanna Friend, Global Studies
Benjamin Gibbons, History
Anita Gorbun, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Michael Hartman, History
Michael Maratas, Global Studies
Schynequa Mathis, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Tyler Miller, History
Jennifer Nguyen, History
Alison Marie Perkins, Global Studies
Justi Pfutzenreuter, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Jennielyn Serdenia, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Ashley Westerland, Ethnic, Gender, and Labor Studies
Andrew Wilson, History
Kaylyn Renee Brown, History
Reese Hentges, History
Jordan Lee Woolston, History

New courses for Spring 2015

EGL 202 Introduction to Contemporary American Indian Issues
This course is designed as an introduction to the significant issues affecting American Indians in modern society. Students should leave the course with a thorough understanding of the issues and appreciation for the challenges facing contemporary American Indian bands, tribes, tribal towns, and nations. It is also designed for both American Indian and non-American Indian students so they can better understand human similarities and differences, thereby leading to the development of increased communications and good interpersonal relationships.
TEGL 201 Introduction to Indigenous Philosophy
This course is designed as an introduction to engage students in dialogue about Indigenous philosophical ideologies that frame Indigenous thought, perspectives, and worldviews. Students should leave this course with various understandings of Indigenous philosophy, including how epistemology (how/what we know), metaphysics (what is) and ethics (practice) empower self-determination (identity/community), and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples.
TEGL 301 Introduction to Indigenous Women & Feminism
This course is designed as an introduction to an understanding of Indigenous women’s perspectives and experiences. By bringing these issues to the forefront, this course offers new insights on Indigenous questions of the past, present and futures. Through the exploration and analysis of roles, relationships and representations of Indigenous women in history, politics, culture and ways knowing, students will examine how Indigenous feminists’ aim to understand the changing situations, the commonalities, and the specificities of Indigenous women across time and place. Students will focus on two main questions: how are feminist movements culturally and historically situated; and how do representations of Indigenous women shape knowledge, as well as agency?