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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 International Outreach and Engagement

Wenda.jpgWenda Bauchspies
Co-Director of GenCen for International Research and Engagement

I share the responsibility of guiding, leading, and running the GenCen with my Co-Director, while I focus on the research, engagement and international side of the center. I am a social scientist trained in science and technology studies with an affinity for Francophone West Africa. I have been traveling, researching and living around the world since I completed my bachelors at St. John's College.

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

I oversee the Women's and Gender Studies undergraduate curriculum and the WGS graduate specialization, collaborate with amazing staff and faculty doing gender- and sexuality-related programming on and off campus, and ask the interns how to work my phone.  I did my doctoral work at the University of Southern California, and starting working at MSU in 2006.  When I'm not at the GenCen, I am an associate professor in Sociology doing work on gender and migration.

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, Assistant Director


Rebecca Irvine
Assistant Director

In my role as Assistant Director, I provide support and advocacy for gender and women’s studies across campus and internationally, particularly in relation to research, outreach, and engagement. Although I generally consider myself to be an interdisciplinary researcher, I sometimes will identify as a political sociologist with a keen interest in social justice. My educational background includes a BA in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University, an MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict and a PhD in Sociology & Social Policy, both from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

What is your fave 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.

Patrick Arnold, Undergraduate and Graduate Student Advisor

Patrick.jpgPatrick Arnold
Undergraduate and Graduate Student Advisor
(he/him/his or they/them/their)

My role as advisor in the GenCen is to do everything I possibly can to enable the success of the students in our programs and in their futures, and make the jobs of the faculty as easy as possible! I grew up around metro Detroit and from an early age was fascinated and troubled by the vast social inequalities surrounding me. This led me to pursue graduate studies in philosophy and ethics from the University of Michigan and the University of Nebraska. I have accumulated 20 semesters of teaching experience and in classes ranging from LGBTQ studies to philosophy & psychology, and bring an activist mindset to everything I do.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
I do not currently have pets, but I have a huge heart for animals. My first research internship after graduate school involved investigating the most effective ways to improve the welfare of animals on a global scale.

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 ContraPoints YouTube channel, and the show Black Mirror.

"I'd never admit it, but I secretly love _____."
I can't help but love Taylor Swift, “You Need to Calm Down” in particular right now. And, I'd hate to admit how much time I spend looking at animal pictures and memes on reddit.

Greg Frens, Accountant

Greg.JPGGregory (Greg) Frens

Graduate of MSU in Accounting 1986. Best experience at MSU: Overseas study program in Business Law at Eramus University in Rotterdam in 1985. I have never stopped traveling since the ISP experience. Retired from MDOT at the State of Michigan. Recently accepted Cathy Fields' old position as the Fiscal Officer. Excited to be working here and committed to helping the GenCen find new revenue streams and grow!

Top 5 Beaches of the World (in no particular order):
1. Bali
2. Amalfi Coast
3. Oahu
4. Rio de Janeiro (been there!!)
5. Maui

"I'd never admit it, but I secretly love _____."
Old AT&T commercials that make you cry.

If you had any career other than the one you have, what would it be?
Travel reviewer (Love the travel part, just not the writing part.)

Emily Khan, Office Manager/Fiscal Officer

Emily headshot.jpgEmily Khan
Office Manager/Fiscal Officer

I graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Advertising (creative concentration) in May 2015. My role at GenCen is basically to ensure things run smoothly! I help plan events, coordinate schedules, manage the day-to-day office happenings, and am also in charge of the graphic design and promos for GenCen. Recently, I added the responsibilities of Fiscal Officer for GenCen accounts.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
My husband and I have 2 kitties, who are siblings. Snickerdoodle is our female gray tabby, and Han Rolo is our male all-black cat. They are the weirdest little creatures, but they're cute!

Favorite things to talk about:
1. My husband (Salim) and our kitties.
2. Video games—most recently, I've gotten back into League of Legends and have been playing Path of Exile too.
3. Whatever TV show I'm currently binge-watching on Netflix/Amazon/Hulu.

Top 5 Musicians/Bands:
1. Rise Against (by a large margin)
2. Three Days Grace (particularly with original lead singer Adam Gontier)
3. Linkin Park (best albums are 2012 and prior)
4. Fall Out Boy
5. Saint Asonia

Lucy Thompson, Senior Research Fellow

Lucy.jpgLucy Thompson
Senior Research Fellow

In my role as Senior Research Fellow, I work with the Assistant Director and Co-Directors to support and develop gender-related research activities. I come to the role as a feminist psychologist with expertise in qualitative research theory and methods, gendered power, identities, and institutions. My educational background includes a BS in Psychology from Leeds Metropolitan University (UK) and a PhD in Organizational Psychology from the 'Sex, Gender, Identity, and Power' research program at Leeds Beckett University (UK).

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.

Aaron Applebey, Social Media and Events Intern

AaronA.jpgAaron Applebey
Social Media and Events Intern
(they/them/their or he/him/his)

Hi! I'm currently pursuing a degree in Media and Information at Michigan State while simultaneously pursing three minors: Public Relations, Fiction Filmmaking, and perhaps most relevant, LGBTQ+ Studies. Outside of academics, I'm interested in comedy writing and performance. I'm one of the student leaders for an improv group on campus. I'm also an avid reader and consumer of popular culture.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
Yes! I have a gorgeous dog named Misty who I miss greatly. She's @ my parent's home in Portage, Michigan. OH! She's a Boston Terrier/Pit Bull mix. A combo you wouldn't think works, but... Misty is evidence it does!

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
I would love to teach and be a total academic!

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
I've written a play!

Katie Paulot, Research Assistant Intern

Katie.jpgKatie Paulot
Research Assistant Intern

I am the Research Intern for the 2019-2020 academic year. I will be helping the office members compile research, prepare for presentations, and any additional aide to research projects. I am a junior at MSU double majoring in Comparative Cultures and Politics and Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies.

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
I have one grey kitty, named Venus. She is a little over a year old and super cuddly. She loves to do laps around my apartment, directly on my chest, and play in any cup of water.

"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.

Samantha Turner, Editorial Intern

Samantha.jpgSamantha Turner
Editorial Intern

Here at the GenCen, I'm involved with quite a few of the publications that are sent out. I also update databases and help out with events and planning. I am currently a Psychology major with a minor in WGS. 

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
I love talking about racial/gender/size inequalities, TV shows/movies, and about memes.

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
Nature photographer, food critic, or a set/food prop designer for films/TV shows. 

Top 5 Music Artists:
1. FKA Twigs
2. Lorde
3. Blood Orange
4. Solange
5. SZA

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