International Studies & Programs

Faculty Directory

The Center for Gender in Global Context currently has more than 275 affiliated faculty members from throughout MSU's campus, across 17 colleges and more than 65 departments and offices.

The GenCen Faculty Directory can be sorted by Name, College, Department, and GenCen Affiliation. Affiliates can be Core, Consulting, GJEC, or GDG Faculty (some members may be both GJEC/GDG and Core or Consulting). Click here to jump to a short description of our Faculty Affiliations.

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Elizabeth Simmons

College: Lyman Briggs College/Natural Science
Department: Administration/Physics
Affiliation: Core
Email: esimmons(at)

Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons is Dean of Lyman Briggs College and University Distinguished Professor of Physics in the Michigan State University Department of Physics and Astronomy. Lyman Briggs is a four-year residential undergraduate college at Michigan State University that focuses on the study of science in its historical, philosophical, and sociological context. After completing her undergraduate degree at Harvard University in 1985, Simmons earned an M.Phil. in physics at Cambridge University as a Churchill Scholar. She returned to Harvard for her doctoral degree and postdoctoral fellowship, and then spent a decade as a professor at Boston University, winning the university's Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 2002. In summer 2003, she joined the MSU faculty as the leader of Lyman Briggs. She was chosen as a 2004-05 CIC Academic Leadership Fellow and she won the ACE Michigan Network's Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award in 2005. Two years later, Simmons was named Dean of Lyman Briggs. She was awarded MSU's Robert F. Banks Award for Institutional Leadership in February 2013. Simmons is a particle theorist, whose research focuses on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles - particularly the W and Z bosons that transmit the weak nuclear force and the heaviest known particle, the top quark. She investigates theories in which these masses arise from new strong dynamics at energy scales accessible to experiments like those now underway at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

What do our Faculty Affiliations Mean?

Core Faculty have a strong continuing professional focus on issues of women and gender in domestic, international, or global contexts, as demonstrated through research and teaching or other achievements. The Core Faculty supports the activities of GenCen and assists in developing and implementing its programs and activities, and are also eligible to serve on the GenCen Advisory Committee.

Consulting Faculty, while having a professional interest in issues of women and gender in domestic, international, or global contexts and activities of the GenCen, usually do not have these interests as the main focus of their research. 

GDG (Gender, Development and Globalization) Faculty will also be either Core or Consulting Faculty and have specific expertise and interest in gender and international development.

GJEC (Gender, Justice and Environmental Change) Faculty may also be either Core or Consulting Faculty, though that is not a requirement. GJEC Faculty are dedicated to teaching and scholarship related to intersections of gender, environmental change, and social and environmental justice; examining these issues from both local and global perspectives.

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