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Meet the Staff

Click on the drop-downs below to learn more about the awesome GenCen staff!

Wenda Bauchspies, Co-Director of Global Research and Engagement

Wenda.jpgWenda Bauchspies
Co-Director for Global Research and Engagement

Wenda Bauchspies is the Co-Director for Global Research and Engagement at the GenCen. In this role, she is responsible for providing intellectual and programmatic leadership in the area of research and engagement related to international gender studies, while working collaboratively with faculty and other key university stakeholders. She also oversees the graduate specializations in Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change (GJEC) and International Development (GSID), as well as serving as the Editor for the Gendered Perspectives in International Development (GPID) Papers Series.

Bauchspies is an interdisciplinary and international social scientist whose expertise lies in the integration of gender, social justice, and culture with agricultural research and technological adaptation. Focusing on West Africa, her interdisciplinary work has supported the advancement agricultural policies that assist smallholder farmers in the region and addresses the global issue of food security. Bauchspies came to GenCen after leaving her role as the program director for Science, Technology & Society and Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she co-administered the infrastructure supporting research and education programs in science, technology, and society. She worked with scholars in the field of ethical STEM and facilitates NSF's mission to advance innovative activities in research and education that contribute to the nation's technological strength, security, and welfare. She holds a PhD in science and technology studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

What is your favorite thing to talk about:
Social Theory

If you had any career other than the one you currently have, what would it be?
Arborist or Ophthalmologist

Top 5 things I'd like to see in the future:
1. A safe and respectful university
2. Good global healthcare
3. Unpolluted Earth
4. Respectful communities
5. Instantaneous Travel

Stephanie Nawyn, Co-Director for Academic Programs, Outreach, and Engagement


Stephanie Nawyn
Co-Director for Academic Programs, Outreach, and Engagement

Stephanie Nawyn is the Co-Director for Academic Programs, Outreach, and Engagement at GenCen. In this role, she is responsible for developing and managing related academic programs, including the major, minor, and grad specialization in Women's & Gender Studies, and the LGBTQ & Sexuality Studies minor. In addition, Nawyn leads the Center's outreach and engagement across campus and with community and women's organizations.

"Dr. Nawyn has established herself as an engaged scholar, a community leader, and an extraordinary role model for students," said Anne Ferguson, senior associate dean for International Studies and Programs and former co-director for the Center for Gender in Global Context. "GenCen not only benefits from her depth of experience and innovative thinking, but also her passion for the work."

Nawyn joined Michigan State University in 2006 and is associate professor of sociology. She is a core faculty member for GenCen and is also affiliate faculty for the Center for Forced Migration Studies at Northwestern University. Nawyn's research and teaching areas of expertise are in gender and migration, with a focus on forced migration and the ways that structural inequalities inhibit incorporation. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Southern California.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
I have a cat, Suleiman the Magnificent, named after the great Ottoman Sultan, and a beagle mix dog, Kirby, named after the Nintendo video game.

What is your favorite things to talk about:
My research, feminist epistemology, my kids, and whatever I'm watching on Netflix.

If you had any career other than the one you have, what would it be?
Something involving food preparation, even though the hours are terrible.


Rebecca Irvine, Interim Associate Director


Rebecca Irvine
Interim Associate Director

Rebecca Irvine serves as GenCen's Interim Associate Director. In this role, she manages the GenCen Research team, leads a variety of projects and initiatives, and provides developmental training. Rebecca builds the capacity of our network of 750+ globally-focused interdisciplinary scholars, community partners, and NGOs by assisting in the application for and conduct of gender transformative and inclusive research.

Prior to joining GenCen, Rebecca was the Coordinator of the Conflict, Terrorism and Development Collaboratory at MSU. She holds a BA in International Relations from James Madison College at MSU, an MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict and a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Queen's University Belfast, where she was a founding member of the Disability Research Network and maintains Visiting Research Fellow status. Rebecca has also served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Northern Irish government departments and agencies, Inclusion International and its subsidiary organizations, and various other international NGOs.

What is your favorite thing to talk about?
I love strategizing with others about how to solve the world’s wicked problems.

My Top Five Books:
1. The Little Prince
2. To Kill a Mockingbird
3. The Talented Mr. Ripley
4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
5. Ambiguity of Evil

Do you have any secret talents?
I sometimes knit in the dark.

Caitlyn Vader, Office Coordinator

MicrosoftTeams-image.pngCaitlyn Vader
Office Coordinator

Caitlyn is the Office Coordinator at GenCen and manages the operations and communications for the center. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University. Apart from work, Caitlyn is also an avid reader, golfer, and loves to kayak. She also helps run her family’s tree farm in
Gaylord, MI.

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
Traveling! My goal is to visit all 50 states and love to hear about other people's experiences while traveling.

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
I would want to be a baker. I love baking different breads and would be so happy to get to do it daily.

What's your favorite joke?
How does NASA organize a party? They Planet

Patrick Arnold, Undergrad/Grad Advisor

Patrick Arnold
Academic Specialist - Undergrad/Grad Advisor
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Patrick Arnold is an academic specialist in GenCen entering his third year with the Center and the Women's and Gender Studies program.  He serves as the academic advisor for all undergraduate and graduate students in GenCen programs, and also coordinates student internships, assists in curriculum development, and teaches WGS courses. His passions are to facilitate student success at every level of the college experience, and to advocate for gender and racial equity in MSU policies, curriculum, and culture.  

Patrick comes to GenCen from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where he taught in the Women’s and Gender Studies program. Patrick holds a B.S. in Philosophy and English from Northern Michigan University and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. He worked on a PhD in ethics at the University of Nebraska but is now pursuing a Public Health degree at MSU.

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
I am fascinated by literally everything. I want to take every class at MSU and geek out about them with others. I also enjoy talking about new shows and podcasts. Currently, I am digging the podcast Bad Gays, about the lives of complicated queers in history.

What are you currently working on?
My main current research project involves investigating the impact diversity courses and programming have on participants. For instance, do they reduce gender or racial bias? Do they promote a sense of belonging particularly for underrepresented student groups? From this research, I hope to learn ways of teaching these courses more effectively.

Mae Crowell, Fiscal Officer/Financial Analyst

Mae.jpgMae Crowell
Fiscal Officer

Mae Crowell is the Fiscal Officer at GenCen (and several other units within International Studies & Programs). In her role, she is responsible for managing all financial accounts and coordinating human resources. Having held a variety of staff and administration roles across campus, Mae has been a proud employee of MSU for 20 years. She enjoys the variety of programs and people she gets to work with at GenCen.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
We have two dogs, Beau is a 14 year old Golden Retriever and Luke is a 5 year old Chocolate Lab.

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
My grandkids!

If you were to have a career other than your current one, what would it be?
I'd be a caterer or event planner.

Lucy Thompson, Senior Research Fellow

Lucy.jpgLucy Thompson
Senior Research Fellow

Lucy Thompson serves as the Senior Research Fellow for GenCen. Lucy is a feminist psychologist who works in the fields of critical, social, community, and organizational psychology. Her main topics of interest include feminist perspectives on work and organizations, and institutional perspectives on identities, power, and trauma. 

Lucy has been with GenCen since she began leading the Education Abroad program, “Gender, Sex, and Feminism in the UK,” in the summer of 2017, but now joins GenCen in an official capacity as Senior Research Fellow. In this position, Lucy works closely with GenCen’s Assistant Director, Rebecca Irvine, on grant applications and various gender and sexuality research projects. 

Lucy also works as an Assistant Professor for the Department of Psychology, where she has been employed since 2017. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2006, and her PhD in Organizational Psychology from Leeds Beckett University in 2014.

Top 5 Things I like about Michigan (as a British person) in no particular order:
1. Better Made Rainbow Chips
2. Miller's Bar in Dearborn
3. My local neighborhood: REO Town
4. The Mission Peninsula wineries
5. The Detroit Institute of Art

What's your favorite joke?
Q: Where do mansplainers get their water? 
A: From a well, actually.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
My cat, Rocky, travelled from the UK with me when I relocated to Michigan. She's now known in our household as the Michigan Princess.

Danielle Dalimonte-Merckling, Research Fellow

Danielle Dalimonte MercklingDanielle Dalimonte-Merckling
Research Fellow

I am a Research Fellow with the GenCen. My research interests revolve around understanding why children in seemingly similar circumstances vary in their developmental outcomes. With a specific interest in the interplay between biology and environment, my work often focuses on individual differences in environmental sensitivity especially as it relates to variations in child temperament but includes an interest in individual differences more broadly and a variety of questions regarding moderation of effects. I also work as a Research Associate in the Human Development & Family Studies department, where I received my PhD in 2019.

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a stagehand for a touring rock band. You know, back when microphones had cords, and you'd see some guy throwing himself across the stage to make sure they were out of the way, and where your job was to be so in tune with your performer that you could anticipate their next move to ensure the path was clear or that they had enough length to climb that rigging. They're the face, and you make sure they don't fall on it. This still perfectly (albeit metaphorically) summarizes my current ambitions.

Top 5 Mark Lewis Jones roles (limited by what I've been able to see in the U.S.):
1. Steve Baldini; "Keeping Faith"
2. Stanley; "The Passing"
3. John Bell; "Hinterland"
4. General Pikalov; "Chernobyl"
5. DI Doug James; "The Commander"

"I'd never admit it, but I secretly love _____."

Rebecca Kammes, Research Fellow

Rebecca KammesRebecca Kammes
Research Fellow

I am a GenCen Research Fellow at the postdoctoral level, part of the pilot group for the Research Fellows Program. I will be working on multiple research teams and projects. My background is in disability studies, as well as couple and family therapy. I earned my PhD from MSU in couple and family therapy in 2019. My research focuses on the risks and challenges of developing a positive sexual identity for individuals with Autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities. This includes understanding healthy intimate relationship experiences providing sexuality education for adults with disabilities and their families, as well as advocating for sexuality rights including access to proper education and health care. I also hold graduate certifications in community-engaged research and program evaluation.

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
True crime and/or supernatural ghost stories. Also, tea.

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
Famous author of Stephen King style, horror/mystery novels. Or I would own an apothecary.

Top 5 Favorite Teas:
1. Earl Grey
2. Butterfly Pea Flower
3. Pu'er Tea
4. Echinacea
5. Jasmine Green Tea


Alyssa Morley, Research Fellow

Alyssa MorleyAlyssa Morley
Research Fellow

I am a Research Fellow with GenCen. My research focuses on education policy related to teachers and girls in Sub-Saharan Africa. I mainly focus on Malawi, where I worked as a Peace Corps teacher for three years and conducted a year-long ethnography of teachers' work. My scholarship has documented how female teachers are enlisted in girls’ education reform and how teachers take up and transform policies that target their work. I am also developing new projects to understand how COVID-19 is impacting teachers and girls across national contexts. I work as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the College of Education at MSU, where I contribute to a study of teaching in Tanzania and teach coursework in the Department of Teacher Education.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
I have two Abyssinian guinea pigs named Clay and Loam. They are a father-son pair. Their favorite food is green pepper, and they love running in circles around their cage.

Top 5 Games:
1. Dominion
2. Bao
3. Euchre
4. Blokus
5. Settlers of Catan

"I'd never admit it, but I secretly love _____."
Microsoft Excel

Katie Paulot, Senior Research Intern

Katie Paulot.jpgKatie Paulot
Senior ResearchIntern

Hi! I am currently a senior at MSU triple majoring in Comparative Cultures & Politics, Anthropology, and Women's & Gender Studies. As the Senior Research Intern, I help support the GenCen community's research efforts, work on in-house research projects, and assist in tracking grant funding. Additionally, I will be serving as the Junior Editor for GPID this year.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
I have one grey kitty, named Venus. She is a mama's girl and demands lots of pets. One of her favorite things to do is knock over any cup with liquid in it.

"I'd never admit it, but I secretly love _____."
I'll admit it, I have a pension for pop, I especially love coke -- I typically prefer soda for caffeine to anything else.

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
If I were at all scientifically or mathematically inclined, I probably would have went into being some type of direct care worker (doctor/nurse/PA) in reproductive health/OBGYN services.

Ginny Lindberg, Communications Intern

Ginny Lindberg.jpegGinny Lindberg
Communications Intern

I'm a senior in Environmental Biology/Zoology with a STEPP minor in environmental public policy hoping to work to fit wildlife conservation into environmental justice organizing after graduation. Outside of classes, I dance with Orchesis modern dance company on campus and am our Director of Finances. I also fight for reproductive rights as vice president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at MSU and in the broader Lansing community. Lastly, I'm originally from Minneapolis, MN and am a very proud Minnesotan!

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
I would be a costume designer/dresser. In high school, I was very involved in theatre and costumed thirteen shows in four years, putting in almost three hundred hours a show too. And, as a senior, won an award for my production of Rent! From researching historic dress to designing the overall look of a show to making the physical costumes and doing fast-changes backstage, I loved every part of it. So, if I wasn't doing environmentalism work, I would definitely embrace my theatre kid side and dive all the way into costume design.

Top 5 Fruits:
1) Bananas
2) Mangoes
3) Blackberries
4) Pears
5) Honeycrisp Apples

What's your favorite joke?
What do we want?
Low-flying airplane noises.
When do we want them?

Alison Shereda, Research Intern

Alison SheredaAlison Shereda
Research Intern

I am currently a senior in James Madison College studying Comparative Cultures and Politics, with minors in International Development, Anthropology, and Applied Development in International Agriculture and Natural Resources. On campus, I am heavily involved in Model UN - I serve on the eboard of MSU's competitive Model UN team and am a senior staffer with MSUMUN, which runs a high school and middle school conference on MSU's campus. When I'm not working, I enjoy watching TV (I just finished Money Heist and am always looking for recommendations) or camping out at Blue Owl!

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
Food! Since I can't go to restaurants at the moment I've been teaching myself how to cook and it's going better than expected.

If you were to have a career other than your planned one, what would it be?
Before starting college, my plan was to be an urban planner!

Top 5 Sitcoms:
1. Parks and Recreation
2. New Girl
3.Schitt's Creek
5. Community

Andala Yakubu, Research Intern

Andala Yakubu.JPGAndala Yakubu
Research Intern

As GenCen's Research Intern, my primary role is assisting in the day-to-day implementation and submission of funded projects, preparing project briefs and presentations, and serving as a Production Assistant for GPID. I came to MSU with a primary major in Women's and Gender Studies, but I will be graduating with an additional major in Psychology and two minors in Sociology and Religious Studies. Before coming to MSU, I did a two-year Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and African Studies program at African Leadership Academy in South Africa. I am also currently part of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at MSU. 

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
I like to talk about movies and how culture and religion impact women's empowerment.

"I'd never admit it, but I secretly love _____."

What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
I can mend clothes with a needle and it will look like I used a sewing machine.

Caryn Shannon, Research Intern

Caryn ShannonCaryn Shannon
Research Intern

I am a Research Intern for MSU Gen Cen. I will be working hand-in-hand with Assistant Director, Rebecca Irvine. Together with the GenCen Research Team, we are working on projects that involve international human rights. I am currently pursuing a Criminal Justice degree and plan to graduate in May 2021. Upon graduation, it is my dream to go to law school.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
Yes, I have two miniature schnauzers. The older one is named Alli and the youngest one is Aryn. I've had them both for about 9 years.

"I'd never admit it, but I secretly love _____."
Avocados. I will never admit that I like them that much but I tend to have one every other day.

What's your favorite joke?
Why did the golfer bring two pairs of pants?
In case he got a hole in one!

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