Faculty & Staff

WGS Core Faculty

Jane Lehr (WGS core faculty and Department Chair)

Dr. Lehr  is Chair of Women's & Gender Studies and Associate Professor in Ethnic Studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is also Director of the Humanities and Science, Technology & Society Minors Programs and Faculty Director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation (LSAMP) in STEM Program. She previously served as elected co-chair of the Science & Technology Taskforce of the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), and as a Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Centre for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS) at King's College, University of London. Her graduate training is in Science & Technology Studies and Women's Studies at Virginia Tech and her teaching and research focus on the complex relationships between gender, race, culture, science, technology, and education. She teaches multiple courses in WGS, including WGS/ES 350: Gender, Race, Science & Technology, WGS/ES 351: Global Engineering: Gender, Race, Class, Nation, and WGS 450: Feminist Theory.

WGS Teaching Faculty

Elizabeth Adan

Dr. Elizabeth Adan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design, where she teaches classes in modern and contemporary art history. Prior to her arrival at Cal Poly, she taught in the Women's Studies Program (now the Department of Feminist Studies) at U.C. Santa Barbara. She holds an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Contemporary Art, Religion, and Cultural Analysis with a Doctoral Emphasis in Women's Studies from UCSB; an MA in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley; and an MFA in Studio Art from UCSB. Her research focuses on late modern, postmodern, and contemporary art as well as feminist and critical theory, and she has published on religion and contemporary art, radical aesthetics in global contexts, and gender, race, and representation in the visual arts. Currently, she is completing research on Chicana feminism, intersectionality, and feminist art history in the work of Yolanda M. López and on the relationships between feminism, postmodernism, and contemporary art history in the work of Francesca Woodman. Dr. Adan is the Chair of the WGS Curriculum Committee for the 2014-15 Academic Year.​ 

Kathleen Cairns

Dr. Kathleen Cairns is a lecturer (retired annuitant) in the History/Women's & Gender Studies Departments at Cal Poly. She holds a Ph.D in history from the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include popular culture and media; women and crime; women in law and California history.

She is the author of five books: "Front-Page Women Journalists, 1920-1950;" "The Enigma Woman: The Death Sentence of Nellie May Madison;" "Hard-Time at Tehachapi: California's First Women's Prison;" and "Proof of Guilt: Barbara Graham and the Politics of Executing Women in America." "The Case of Rose Bird: Gender, Politics and the California Courts" will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2016.

Before entering academics, she spent a decade as a reporter for Knight-Ridder newspapers. Dr. Cairns teaches HIST 435: American Women's History from 1870.

Coleen Carrigan

Dr. Coleen Carrigan is a feminist anthropologist and an Assistant Professor of Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology Studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She investigates the historical and cultural dimensions of labor in science, technology and engineering knowledge production and the reasons why white men continue to dominate these fields. Her ethnographic research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Luce Foundation and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She shares the findings from her research in journal publications, grant proposals, public presentations, short films, and facilitated workshops in order to foster welcoming environments for underrepresented groups in science, technology and engineering and transform the powers of technology to advance social justice. She teaches multiple courses from feminist perspectives, including WGS/ES 350: Gender, Race, Culture, Science and Technology.


Sandra Clement

Nicole Jacobs

Ruth Kalin

Lizzie Lamoree

Dr. Lizzie Lamoree lectures in the Women's and Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies Departments. She received her PhD in business and labor history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and teaching interests include social relations, labor studies, and U.S. history, with special emphasis on California agribusiness. Dr. Lamoree teaches  WGS/SOC 311: Sociology of Gender and WGS 201: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies. 

Christina Lefevre Latner

Elizabeth Meyer

Elizabeth J. Meyer is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education and Affiliated Faculty with the Women’s and Gender Studies program. She is the author of Gender, Bullying, and Harassment: Strategies to end sexism and homophobia in Schools (Teachers College Press, 2009) and Gender and Sexual Diversity in Schools (Springer, 2010). She is also co-editor of the Gender and Sexuality in Education series for Peter Lang Publishing that includes the co-edited volume Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth: Schools, Families, and Communities in Action. Dr. Meyer is a former high school teacher and Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program Grantee (France). Dr. Meyer completed her M.A. In Social Foundations of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Ph.D in Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her current research investigates teachers’ experiences, attitudes, and beliefs regarding gender and sexual diversity in K-12 schools. She is the editor-in-chief of Sprinkle: An undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies. She blogs about current issues related to gender and education for Psychology Today and is also on Twitter: @lizjmeyer. Her personal website is: Dr. Meyer teaches WGS 201: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies and WGS 340: Introduction to Sexuality Studies.

Robin Parent


Steven Ruszczycky

Steven Ruszczycky is a lecturer in the departments of English and Women’s and Gender Studies as well as in the Interdisciplinary Studies for Liberal Arts program.

He received his PhD from the department of English at SUNY-Buffalo in 2014. His research interests include 20th century American literature and culture, U.S. multi-ethnic literature in transnational context, queer theory, gender studies, and the history and theory of pornography. 

His work has appeared in Genre: Forms of Discourse and CultureThe Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature (2014), and the edited collection Porn Archives (Duke UP, 2014), which he co-edited with Tim Dean and David Squires.

His book manuscript Vulgar Genres: On Pornography, Sexuality, and the Privatization of Fantasy argues that contemporary writers invested in queer sexuality have valued pornography for the conceptual space it opens up for thinking about erotic practice within a national culture premised on the seclusion of sex from public life.  

Jean Williams

Dr. Jean Williams is Professor and Chair of the Political Science department and past Interim Chair of the Women's and Gender Studies department. Her research focuses on social welfare and social movement politics and policies, particularly those associated with class, gender, and sexuality. Dr. Williams is the author of "A Roof Over My Head": Homeless Women and The Shelter Industry (University of Colorado Press, 2003), and The Politics of Virginity: Abstinence in Sex Education (Praeger Publishers, 2008, coauthored with Alesha Doan). She also has published a number of articles on feminism, sexuality, homelessness and social movement politics. She received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Political Science with an emphasis in Women’s History in 1998. Jean teaches courses on homelessness, poverty, and social movements in the Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies Departments.






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