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Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

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Partnership Council

Our Partnership Council is made up of members from the community who advise the Department of Women's and Gender Studies on community issues and opportunities related to the well-being of women and other underrepresented groups. The Council also works to strengthen the Women’s and Gender Studies Endowment and to raise money to support projects directed toward improving the well-being of women and other under-represented groups throughout South Carolina.

2022-2023 Council Members 

Gail Bienstock headshot

Gail Bienstock

Gail Bienstock earned her stripes in Women and Gender studies in the early days when Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Ms. Magazine and bra burning on the Michigan Avenue Bridge were the arbiters of loyalty and commitment.   She did her undergraduate work in Romance Languages and Education at the University of Michigan, received masters degrees in School Counseling and Psychology from Northeastern Illinois and Winthrop Uiversities, and a Doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina.  After a career in schools as counselor, social worker, psychologist and teacher, and a private practice in Marriage and Family Therapy she became a passionate volunteer in NGOs and politics.   Much of her focus has been on giving voice to our entire population through getting out the vote and counteracting gerrymandering.  She is currently actively working through the Jewish community with More Justice and cross cultural connections.

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Archie Crowley

Archie Crowley is a PhD Student in Linguistics and the Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Certificate Program at the University of South Carolina. Their work, which focuses on language practices, ideologies, and linguistic activism within trans communities is supported by USC’s Presidential Fellowship and SPARC Graduate Research Grant. Archie is involved in a number of both on- and off-campus projects to facilitate greater affirmation of trans, nonbinary, and queer communities, from USC’s LBGTQ+ Grad Student Affinity Group, the Harriet Hancock Center’s Nonbinary Peer Support Group, and the Committee for LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Linguistics for the Linguistic Society of America.

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Jaclyn Dorey

Jaclyn Dorey earned her bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Global Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit, December 2021. After graduation she moved to South Carolina and is currently the Volunteer Services Coordinator for Pathways to Healing. She helps train and support volunteers that advocate for survivors through Pathways to Healing’s 24-hour crisis hotline and hospital accompaniment, and she participates in that advocacy as well. She is dedicated to supporting survivors and building communities free from violence. 

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Tammy M. Finney

Tammy M. Finney is the Chief, Community Relations & Engagement Service Line and Public Affairs Officer at the Columbia VA Health Care System.  She is registered nurse of 32 years and worked in Oncology, Quality Management, Ambulatory Care, Medical Surgical, Emergency/Critical Care, Nurse Recruiter/Retention Officer, and Nurse Administrator. Finney was appointed to represent the Veterans Integrated Services Network 7 and serve as a member of  the Center for Development & Civic Engagement Board of Directors. In her chosen career path to serve our nation’s heroes, she is committed to bringing  awareness and respect for women Veterans’ contributions to our country. She is a mentor and local director of a nationally recognized VA Summer Student Program where she educates youth on the contributions and sacrifices of Veterans. As a result of the success of the Summer Student Program and her commitment to youth, in 2020 the Psi Zeta Phi Military Sorority, Inc. developed the Tammy M. Finney Youth Scholarship.   Mrs. Finney earned her Associate of Science Nursing degree at Burlington County College, Bachelor of Science Nursing at Siena Heights University, Master of Science Nursing at Walden University, and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice specializing in Leadership & Management at Walden University. She is an American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery Volunteer and a Certified Wellness Coach and Mentor. She serves as a faculty member for the Veterans’ Affairs Center for Development & Civic Engagement Academy. Tammy is the recipient of the 2009 SC Nurses Foundation Palmetto Gold Top 100 Nurses, 2009 University of South Carolina Amy V. Cockcroft Nursing Fellow, 2010 Columbia VA Health Care System Diversity and Inclusion Award, 2018 Woodsmen of the World Community Leader Award, the national 2020 Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Excellence Award, and 2021 Psi Zeta Phi, Military Sorority, Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award.

Headshot of Ayaan Hawkins Regis

Ayaan Hawkins Regis

Ayaan Hawkins Regis, a native of Atlanta, GA, grew up understanding the importance of diversity and social justice. As a small group leader of Intervarsity, a campus ministry, she enjoys connecting with young women and acting as a mentor during a time of transition. Ayaan is currently a student at the University of South Carolina, pursuing degrees in public health and women’s and gender studies. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and dog, hiking, and watching documentaries. 

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Sarah Ingraham

Sarah Ingraham serves as the Supportive Health Coordinator at The Cooperative Ministry. She helps to provide supportive services for people living with HIV/AIDS such as rent assistance, utility assistance, and transportation costs. She previously worked at Sexual Trauma Services as the Volunteer Services Coordinator and Planned Parenthood South Atlantic as a field organizer. Sarah received her BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Carolina in 2017.  

Meeghan Kane headshot

Meeghan Kane

Meeghan Kane teaches history at Benedict College, a historically black college in Columbia. She edits Unsweetened Magazine, an online publication devoted to feminist voices in the South, and she serves as President of Deckle Edge Literary Festival, a festival devoted to southern storytellers who challenge the status quo. She is currently secretary of the Women and Gender Studies Partnership Council. 

Headshot of Maria Martin

Maria Martin

Maria A. Martin is Executive Director for PASOs of SC, a community-based organization under the Center for Community Health Alignment and hosted at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Founded in 2005, PASOs helps Latin@ communities and service providers work together for strong and healthy families. Maria was born in El Paso, Tx. and raised in the U.S. by Mexican and Puerto Rican immigrant parents pursuing a better life in the States. She has lived in South Carolina and has considered it home since the tender age of 16. She is an individual who has always sought to utilize her education, passion, and skills for the betterment of underserved and vulnerable populations with a focus on supporting Latin@ populations that can benefit from her bilingual and bicultural competencies. Maria is a proud community health worker and has a Master of Social work degree from the University of South Carolina. She also has 22 years’ experience of leadership and non-profit/public programs administrative and community health work with statewide Latin@ communities in our state. Maria is a committed community health worker, social worker, and professional who has a heart for community work and understands how to meet communities where they are and how to build upon their strengths for optimal wellbeing and lifelong success. 

Stephanie Mitchem headshot

Stephanie Y. Mitchem

Stephanie Y. Mitchem is the Interim Chair of the USC Department of Women's and Gender Studies. She is also a professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Religious Studies. Dr. Mitchem is an educator, author, feminist/womanist with a focus on interdisciplinarity and intersectionality. In her research and writing, she utilizes anthropology, history, cultural studies, and women’s and gender studies.

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Robin Waites

Robin Waites is the Executive Director for Historic Columbia and has served in that capacity since 2004.  A life-long resident of Columbia, Robin is well equipped to work with the various constituents and issues that are key factors in the preservation of historic assets and education on local history in South Carolina’s capital city. A product of Columbia’s Richland School District One, Robin attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont where she received a bachelor of arts with a double major in Art History and Russian.  She received a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of SC in 1996 and subsequently began work at the South Carolina State Museum.  She served in a variety of capacities including the chief curator of art, which was her position when she left the State Museum to work with Historic Columbia. As Executive Director for Historic Columbia, Robin has overseen the transformation of the historic buildings and grounds; established an expansive community engagement program in Columbia and Richland County; and spearheaded a number of major historic preservation efforts including the Palmetto Compress Warehouse and the 1600 block of Main Street. Robin is active in the community, serving on the board of the Delta House, Inc., the SC Humanities Advisory Council, and the South Carolina Dharma Group.

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Bobbie Wofford-Kanwat

Barbara Wofford-Kanwat earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from the University of South Carolina.  She also earned her juris doctor and international masters of business administration from the University of South Carolina.  After graduation, she worked as a staff attorney for the South Carolina Court of Appeals.  In 2012, she was appointed a Richland County magistrate.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga, reading, and traveling.  

Laura Woliver headshot

Laura Woliver

Laura R. Woliver (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin –Madison, 1986) is Distinguished Professor Emerita in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. She taught at USC for 32 years. She became a joint appointment in Women’s and Gender Studies in 2001. She served both Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies in faculty, College, University and professional association committees, and as a mentor to many students and colleagues. She continues her work on intersectional social justice through her writings and activism. Professor Woliver specializes in American politics. Her interests include gender and politics, social justice, social movements and activism. Her current emphasis is on fair districting in American elections, voter protection, and making democracy work for all people. She does this in her writings and her work in the League of Women Voters of the Columbia Area.  


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