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Women’s and Gender Studies Program

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Partnership Council

Our Partnership Council is made up of members from the community who advise the Women's and Gender Studies program 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.

2017-2018 Council Members 

Dr. Ed Madden (Director) is an associate professor of English and the director of the Women's & Gender Studies Program.  He is the author of Tiresian Poetics, a study of sexuality and modernist literature, as well as the author of 3 books of poetry and editor of Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, a collection of radio essays that was selected for the Preface first-year common reading at USC Upstate.

Cynthia Boiter is a writer, editor, publisher, donor, patron, organizer and arts advocate who has had a remarkable and continuing impact on the arts community in South Carolina. A widely published writer, Boiter is a six-time author for the South Carolina Fiction Project, a three-time winner of the Piccolo Fiction Open, and a recipient of fellowships in fiction and creative nonfiction from the South Carolina Academy of Authors, among other honors. Her work has appeared nationally and internationally in publications such as Woman's DayFamily CircleSouthern LivingSandlapper and elsewhere. As a donor and arts advocate, she has served on the boards of multiple Midlands-area arts organizations and serves on the Midlands-area advisory board for the Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.

It is as editor and publisher that Boiter has had a remarkable impact in the Midlands community and the broader cultural landscape of the state. She and her husband founded Muddy Ford Press as a publication platform for South Carolina writers and artists. To date MFP has published fiction, poetry, nonfiction and books of visual art by South Carolina artists. The press also underwrites the publication of Jasper: The Word on Columbia Arts, a bimonthly arts magazine that premiered in September 2011 and regularly celebrates and spotlights local artists and their valuable presence in the community. She has been insistent on connecting artists across disciplines. She has organized forums, workshops, salons and other forms of community that connect artists and the public. She promotes an interdisciplinary and collaborative aesthetic which she believes is essential to cultural growth, and she uses her position and the tools at her disposal to promote the Midlands and the state as centers of creativity and culture.

Eme Crawford is an Associate Director of Online Communications at Tell Them, a grassroots and online network that advocates for better reproductive health policies in South Carolina. At Tell Them she educates, engages and mobilizes South Carolina voters to speak to their lawmakers in support of responsible reproductive health policy like medically accurate sex education. Eme earned her BA in English from Mercer University and her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from University of South Carolina.  She regularly volunteers for organizations like Girls on Run Columbia, which promotes confidence and health in young girls, and is a host of the I Believe Anita Hill Party, a yearly event that reminds us of the need for more women in politics and other policy-making positions.

Tina Marie Devlin works in the Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) as a Program Coordinator. Tina is responsible for overseeing health system interventions and activities to reduce the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes in healthcare settings in multiple counties in SC. Prior to her employment at SCDHEC, Tina was the Associate Director of Faculty/Staff Wellness at the University of South Carolina. Tina received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology in 2004 from USC, a Master’s of Public Health degree in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior in 2007 from USC and she received her certification in health education (CHES) in 2008.  Tina serves on the executive board of the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center and has served in this capacity for four years. Tina is also a member of the South Carolina Association for the Advancement of Health Education (SCAAHE) and a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA). 

Dr. Valerie Ekue serves as the Director of Membership Support and Community Justice for the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She provides expert training and technical assistance for 23 member organizations, statewide community partners and allies. Dr. Ekue is a member of the Richland County Fatality Review Team, Trauma Development Team and the Workforce Training Collaborative. Dr. Ekue is also responsible for increasing the capacity for member organizations to provide effective advocacy and outreach to marginalized and unserved communities throughout South Carolina. Dr. Ekue also partakes in the Domestic Violence Coordinating Councils in Richland and Rock Hill Counties and was trained as a court and crisis domestic violence and sexual assault volunteer advocate by the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. Prior to this, she served as a Grants Coordinator for the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina for 8 years and taught a first-year seminar course for 3 years. Dr. Ekue graduated with a doctoral degree in Education and studied Organizational Leadership and Business Management. Dr. Ekue’s dissertation focused on typological barriers preventing African American women from self-reporting domestic violence to formal support agencies in South Carolina. Dr. Ekue believes domestic violence and sexual assault only thrive in silence; therefore collectively through a community collaborative response, we can end this public health phenomenon in our communities through continuous education, training and early intervention and prevention.

Meeghan Kane

Janie Kerzan joined the Women and Gender Studies Partnership Council in August 2016. She has worked at the University of South Carolina since 2007 and she is currently a member of the University of South Carolina Department of Student Life. As Community Outreach Director, Janie leads university programs and services to support the off-campus student population. She serves as a student advocate and a liaison between the university and the community by establishing collaborative relationships with local neighborhoods, student apartment complexes, city and county officials and local residents.

In addition to her role on the partnership council, Janie serves as the co-chair for the Non-Campus Community Safety university committee focused on increasing the safety and security of the USC off-campus community. She is a Past Chair of the Carolina Community Coalition, a campus and community partnership focused on reducing high-risk student behavior and the negative consequences associated with it such as sexual assault, injury and death. She also serves on the Provosts Advisory Council on Women’s Issues and is part of the Leadership Columbia class of 2018.

Janie earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Master of Higher Education and Business Administration from USC-Columbia. Before starting her career at USC, she participated in a year of national service with AmeriCorps in Knoxville, Tenn. She currently serves as a local Dining for Women chapter leader, raising funds to support and empower international women and children living in extreme poverty. In her free time, Janie enjoys camping state and national parks, boating on the Congaree River, organizing closets and spending time with family and friends.

Julie Lumpkin is 2016-2017 Chair of the Women and Gender Studies Partnership Council, serving on the council since 2013.  She is employed by Coastal Science & Engineering as a Consulting Science Editor-Writer.  From 1989-2013 she was a public health professional at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). She specialized in market research, public information, program management, grant-writing, and statewide coordination in the areas of preventive disease, chronic disease, women’s health, and public health preparedness.

As DHEC Women’s Health Manager (1996-2002), she was appointed SC Women’s Health representative for the US DHHS Office of Women’s Health (1998-2002). She served in various national and statewide leadership roles, spearheading such efforts as the First Lady Mary Wood Beasley’s SC Campaign for Women’s Health and Governor Hodges’ Women’s Health Forums, in partnership with the SC Commission on the Status of Women. 

She holds an MSPH (2005) from the USC School of Public Health. For her thesis, “Physical and Mental Health Status of Frontline Workers in Anti-Violence Agencies in South Carolina,” she studied chronic disease and mental health in frontline women workers in sexual assault and domestic violence service agencies.  Her thesis research received recognition from the SC Public Health Association, Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, the American Public Health Association, and the USC Carolina Women’s Health Research Forum. 

Ms. Lumpkin’s leadership experience includes such volunteer and non-profit organizations as The Anita Hill Party, Midlands Mediation Center, Girls Inc., the SC Women’s Cancer Coalition, SC Osteoporosis Coalition, and the SC AIDS Task Force of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina. She is Junior Warden, 2017-2018, of the Vestry of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church.

Porchia Moore

Hannah Quire is a third-year undergraduate student in the Honors College here at the University of South Carolina studying English and Women's and Gender Studies. Throughout her time at USC, Hannah has focused on the intersections of feminism and sexuality within the realm of literature, and has presented papers at the INK! Undergraduate Literary Conference surrounding those themes. Last year, Hannah placed 3rd in the INK! Conference, and she will be crafting her senior thesis around similar topics in the next year.

Travis Wagner, is a graduate student in Women's and Gender Studies as well as Library and Information Sciences at USC.  Travis earned his BA in English from Augusta State University. His primary research interests include feminist film studies, archival film studies and issues in access to information in cultural institutions.  He has published and presented research on depictions of disability in franchise film, gender and race in James Bond films and gendered cyborgs in South Korean cinema.  Travis has also presented at multiple conferences regarding the necessity of bringing a feminist lens to the practices of film archives.  Most recently, Travis presented his research at the 2014 Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium in Bucksport, Maine.