Published: Wednesday, 01 Feb 2017
Author: Galena Marie Rhew Ostipow
Department: Center for Gender in Global Context
Award winner: Audrey Matusz, for her efforts in creating intersectional feminist spaces, including with the launch of the "Sometimes Art House" and at the Impact Student Radio Station.
The award committee comprised of Michelle Kaminski, Dee Hurlbert, and Lydia Weiss, was very impressed and inspired by the breadth and scope of the work that all of the applicants presented in their packets. It is especially exciting during this current political climate to witness the continuation of feminist activism within our students. These students are making large impacts on their local, national and global communities and for that, we are grateful to each of them - for carrying the torch and continuing the Tracy Dobson legacy.
This year's winner of the Tracy Dobson Award for Undergraduate Student Feminist Activism is Audrey Matusz. We agreed as a committee that what made Audrey stand apart was her dedication to breathing feminism into all of the spaces she inhabits and creating intersectional feminist spaces for those who are marginalized.
Audrey works for Impact Radio here on campus, but she quickly realized that women were a minority on the staff - so as Audrey took on a leadership role within the radio station, she was determined to increase the number of women, people of color and others with marginalized identities on staff. And she didn't stop there. She also mentors other women in order to increase their confidence and capacity at the Impact. Audrey is also dedicated to bringing stories that cover the vast and varied experiences of people from communities around the world.
That was enough to be impressed with - but Audrey's accomplishments continue. She recently pursued one of her big dreams and launched "Sometimes Art House" - an art club for people of color - as a response to the under representation of people of color in the media arts world. Audrey has created a safe space for artists to explore and create together. And the sky is the limit for this group of artists - their first major project is to continue the documentary that Audrey started called "Yo! Yo!" This production will explore the lives of black youth with non-conforming identities and examine the ways that "blackness" has been defined by society.
Finally, I would like to add a personal note about Audrey's application: I felt like I got a glimpse into Audrey's generous character and commitment to advancing the lives of others because she closed her personal letter by stating that she planned to use the $200 scholarship - not for herself - but for the members of the Sometimes Art House.
Thank you, Audrey, for all of the contributions you are making to advancing an intersectional feminist space on campus and beyond. Congratulations.