Each academic year the WICCD award is given to a student, faculty, and staff member who each embody WICCD’s mission in their work—a commitment to women, gender, and sexuality while working to challenge injustices and inequalities of all kinds. Nominees can be any gender and can be submitted by any member of the UMA community. This year’s WICCD award winners are:
Amy Rahn, WICCD Faculty Award
Dr. Rahn is a phenomenal colleague and has passionately supported WICCD’s work since arriving at UMA a few years ago. In addition to her instrumental work on the WICCD book grant project, she has worked to invigorate the curriculum as well as co-curricular initiatives like the exhibition of Séan Alonzo Harris’s photography, which included several events and workshops as well as the related project “Light Confirms My Reality.” This community based photo (and other 2D art) project and exhibition was led by artist Séan Alonzo Harris, in collaboration with faculty and students at UMA and the Charles Danforth Gallery. As described, “This project is a proclamation of radical inclusivity, an invitation to see differently, and transform our perceptions, and therefore our images, of others.” She and Harris also guest taught a session of INT/HON 188: Race and Social Justice. WICCD applauds Dr. Rahn’s service to our campus and larger community!
Amanda Nowak, WICCD Staff Award
Director of the UMA Prison Education Partnership
For the last two years Amanda Nowak has directed the Prison Education Partnership at UMA. She has worked collaboratively with many faculty and staff across the UMA, USM, and Maine Department of Corrections systems to enrich the educational opportunities for Maine’s incarcerated and justice-impacted scholars. We wish to honor her passion, dedication, and courage in confronting obstacles and creating pathways to quality education for all.
Audrey McGee and Celena Zacchai, WICCD Student Award
During her time at UMA, Audrey has been an active participant in the DEI Action Club and a presenter and organizer for the Radical Self-Care Series and the Health Equity Dialogues. Audrey is passionate about bringing opportunities for healing trauma to marginalized individuals and communities. She will be completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies of Embodied Social Justice—Culture, Community, and Trauma and a Minor in Art. Audrey has dedicated her life work to the use of embodied practices for healing and social justice. As an RYT-200 Yoga Teacher, she recently completed a 300-hr training to become a Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Facilitator. She plans to continue this work post-graduation.
Celena is a self-actualized scholar and a dedicated civic leader who supports food insecurity initiatives and refugee literacy, among other pressing social justice issues in the greater University of Maine at Augusta community. A distance writing tutor since 2019, Celena has supported the peer learning community of the UMA Rockland Center and expanded that influence to include other UMA campuses and the University of Maine System at large. Celena has also been a Newman Civic Fellow and a Maine Policy Scholar, a legacy she continues by mentoring fellow tutors pursuing these same opportunities now. This is only the short version of Celena’s achievements and she will be further honored at UMA’s commencement ceremony!
WICCD Book Grant Program, 2022
With WICCD’s book grant program this year we were able to support two staff members, one faculty member, and nine students in their research projects related to a wide variety of topics related to gender, sexuality, and social justice. Here’s what a few students had to say about their book requests.
“I am interested in studying the effects of oppression, marginalization, and colonization on women and gender nonconforming people with a goal towards healing and embodiment.”
“My interest is in studying the publishing history of gay and lesbian pulp novels and their impact on post-war masculinity and feminism. I received a grant last year and the books you supplied me with have spurred this interest—Ultimately, I’ve decided to go on to graduate level studies in WGS so that I can do further research on queer publishing history.”
“These books will provide me with context and first-person narratives of Latinx and indigenous women and children who have attempted to migrate to the United States. The experiences of these humans are often harsh and traumatic, and exacerbated by structural barriers―particularly those rooted in immigration policies and gender inequities—in both their countries of origin and the United States.”
“Misogyny within the health care system & early stigmatization of women with mental illnesses. Books are first-hand accounts by women with mental illness and/or who have been hospitalized.”
WE ARE WICCD!: Women Invigorating Curriculum and Cultivating Diversity
WICCD honors the diversity that exists in Maine by educating our campus and larger community about local, national, and international issues, initiatives, and ideas related to diversity. Because women have been historically underrepresented in social, cultural, political, institutional, and economic spheres, WICCD centers women, gender, and sexuality while working to challenge injustices and inequalities of all kinds. Led by faculty and staff who work toward gender equality and social justice, WICCD provides opportunities for education and engagement to raise awareness around these important intersectional social challenges.