ROBYN K. MALLETT, Ph.D. - Spring 2013
Robyn Mallett, Assistant Professor of Psychology, is conducting research on the factors that affect women’s responses to sexual harassment. Many people expect that a “reasonable person” would make an assertive response to sexual harassment. In fact, United States’ law relies on a reasonable personstandard when evaluating sexual harassment cases. If sexual harassment occurred, then a woman is expected to make an immediate and assertive attempt to stop the harassment. Yet existing research finds that assertive confrontation is the exception rather than the rule. This research project investigates how the situation in which sexual harassment occurs may reduce assertive responses, including direct confrontation of one’s harasser. Women face the “double bind” of being both respected and liked in the workplace. If a woman’s only goal was to be respected, then responses to sexual harassment would commonly include confrontation of the offensive behavior. However, women must also gain and maintain the liking of their colleagues and supervisors in the service of getting or keeping a job. This competing goal to be liked may make women more hesitant to confront because they believe that doing so may put their job in jeopardy. Understanding the situational factors that reduce assertive responses may remove some of the burden from the targets of sexual harassment and change expectations for what constitutes a reasonable response. Results of this research will be disseminated through teaching, publication, and presentations on campus and at national conferences.
JOHN DUGAN, Ph.D. - Spring 2010
John Dugan, Assistant Professor of Higher Education, currently serves as principal investigator for the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL), an international research program examining the influences of higher education on the development of college students' capacities for socially responsible leadership. Data from the study was collected at over 100 colleges and universities in the US, Canada, and Mexico and represent more than 115,000 respondents. The study is theoretically grounded in leadership principles congruent with both social justice and feminist leadership philosophies. Data will be used to examine two major questions. First, what is the pathway through which college women's overarching leadership potential (i.e., leadership efficacy, leadership capacity, and leadership behaviors) is developed? Second, what leadership learning experiences contribute most significantly to increasing the leadership efficacy, capacity, and behaviors of college women? Significant impediments to women's attainment of positional leadership roles persist despite a half century of political and educational initiatives targeted at increasing gender equity (Carli & Eagly, 2007; Rhode & Kellerman, 2007). The fact remains that women do not advance to the highest leadership positions in the same numbers, at the same rate, or through the same paths as male colleagues; women often are expected to work harder, contend with hostile or dismissive environments, accept unequal pay, receive less developmental support and training, and are frequently excluded from critical social networks (Caldwell-Colbert & Albino, 2007; Eagly & Carli, 2207). Differential treatment hardly begins in the workforce, though, as it is also present in the educational pipelines purportedly designed to prepare women to assume successful leadership roles in their disciplines. Findings from this research will address educational pipeline issues directly. Result should inform women's studies scholarship, existing coursework on leadership and gender in the Higher Education graduate program, and educational practice related to developing women's leadership potential.
PRUDENCE A. MOYLAN, Ph.D. - Spring 2009
Prudence A. Moylan, Professor of History, is integrating her decade long work on women and men as peace activists in Britain into a book on gender and peacemaking in the twentieth century. She explores the collaboration and contention among peace activists, peace organizations and feminist campaigns for equality to explain the century long process of establishing gender equality in law and practice as an essential foundation for building a peaceful society. Feminist peace activism in the twentieth century always included an understanding that peace could only be built on a foundation of equal rights while men's peace activism focused primarily on issues of conscientious objection to military service and armaments limitation. Feminist women supported men in the peace campaigns they initiated and advocated for the inclusion of women's rights as a peace issue. They also recognized that they had to organize on their own behalf to gain equality within the peace movement as well as in national and international law. The book demonstrates the contribution of women's rights campaigns to creating a more inclusive and robust theory and practice of peacemaking for the twenty first century.
ANN M. SHANAHAN, M.F.A. - Spring 2009
Ann Shanahan, Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, is conducting research on the subject of women and creative leadership in relation to domestic space, specifically houses. Celebrating the Gannon Center's "housing" in the beautifully renovated Piper Hall, and a career long fascination with women and houses in dramatic literature, this three-part project relates research and teaching to the potential of staging plays about women in Piper Hall. The work of this program will ultimately solidify a relationship between the Theatre and WSGS, benefiting both in material ways, enrich teaching and public visibility of both the Arts and Women's Studies in campus and Chicago communities, significantly advance the Gannon Center Mission in support of women and leadership, and benefit current students and alumni in education and career building for women in creative leadership. The three parts of the project include formal presentation of research from a book length project on women theatre directors in Chicago through organization of an event/lecture series on women, creative leadership, and concepts of home. In order to link the project to teaching, Ms. Shanahan will re-offer Women's Theatre Workshop and adapt A Room of One's Own, the metaphoric frame for the course, in conjunction. As a part of this course students may access the Women & Leadership Archives for material on women and theatre in Mundelein College as research for final original dramatic pieces. Finally, this project will explore the feasibility of staging plays about women and houses in Piper Hall with potential for creating a formalized program in coming years, housed in the Center, devoted to performing plays about women and supporting women in creative leadership. The final outcome of the fellowship program would be a staging of a pilot production in Fall 2010.