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Meet the Staff

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

Soma Chaudhuri, Co-Director of Global Research, Outreach, & Engagement

Soma Chaudhuri

MicrosoftTeams-image (16).pngCo-Director of Global Research, Outreach, & Engagement



In her role, Soma Chaudhuri is responsible for promoting gender-related research and outreach across the university and facilitating interdisciplinary global research and engagement among faculty teams. She also develops and supports strategic domestic and international partnership initiatives in the areas of gender and women’s studies and foster partnerships with similarly situated p

rograms around the globe.

"Dr. Chaudhuri’s diverse experience clearly demonstrates her commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship that uphold the feminist ideals of equity and collaboration centered in GenCen’s mission,” said Steven Hanson, vice provost and dean for MSU International Studies and Programs.

Soma Chaudhuri is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology. Her work spans areas on gender, development, violence, witch hunts, and social movements, with specific connections to violence against women. Her research has been funded by several grants including those from the National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council. Soma Chaudhuri earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University.


Aminda Smith, Co-Director of Academic Programs, Outreach, & Engagement

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Co-Director of Academic Programs, Outreach, & Engagement (she/her/hers)


Bio: Mindy is a historian of modern China with a particular interest in radicalism and revolution. She has been involved with the GenCen, teaching courses and working on other projects, since the Center was created in 2007. Her connection to the GenCen has always been one of the most rewarding aspects of her career at MSU, and she was very excited to join the staff during this leadership transition.

Do you have any pets?

I have a black cat named Arthur.

If you were to have a career other than your current one, what would it be?

I would be the greater Lansing area’s worst dance teacher, and I would love it.

If you had to give a lecture on one subject without preparation, what would it be? 

The history of consciousness raising as a revolutionary intersectional practice.

Pat Arnold, Undergrad/Grad Advisor

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Academic Specialist - Undergrad/Grad Advisor


Pat Arnold is an academic specialist in GenCen entering their fourth year with the Center and the Women's and Gender Studies program.  They serve as the academic advisor for all undergraduate and graduate students in GenCen programs, and also coordinate student internships, assist in curriculum development, and teach WGS courses. They are passionate about facilitating student success at every level of the college experience, and advocating for gender and racial equity in MSU policies, curriculum, and culture.  

Pat comes to GenCen from their prior job at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where they coordinated the first-year curriculum, and taught in the WGS program. Pat holds a B.S. in Philosophy and English from Northern Michigan University and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. They worked on a PhD in philosophy/ethics at the University of Nebraska but are 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? In public health, I research interventions to reduce healthcare inequity for trans and nonbinary groups, particularly as they navigate reproductive health and decision-making, and have recently joined MSU's Consortium for Sexual and Gender Minority Health.

Edwin Serrano, Office Manager and Communications Coordinator

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Office Manager and Communications Coordinator


Edwin is responsible for the day-to-day office operations as well as digital and print communications for the center. A new Michigan resident with a varied history of working in media, education and public service, Edwin now brings his experiences to MSU. Aside from his work experience, Edwin enjoys photography, woodworking, and being outdoors. Having recently moved from California, Edwin is excited to see everything Michigan has to offer!

What brings you to Michigan?
I moved to Michigan to support my partner as they complete medical residency. I was initially worried about a culture shock, but Lansing/East Lansing already feels like a great fit. We haven't felt like we are missing out on anything so far and everyone we have met has been so friendly!

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love to be doing things. I enjoy working around the house, biking in the neighborhood, making new woodworking projects, working on my photography, and performing music. I enjoy working with all kinds of fun gadgets and tools to end up with something practical.

Mackenzie Lovell, Communications Intern

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Communications Intern


I am a junior majoring in Social Relations & Policy and Comparative Cultures & Politics with minors in Women's & Gender Studies and Peace & Justice studies. Outside of class, I'm involved with Planned Parenthood Generation Action, Pad the Mitten, and the Progressive Policy Alliance (formally known as Roosevelt @MSU). I also volunteer for the Center for Survivors, and I work as a Peer Educator. I am extremely excited to be working with the GenCen this year -- I love this program and all of the valuable work they do around campus!

What are your top 5 music artists?

5 Seconds of Summer, Taylor Swift, Conan Gray, Lizzy McAlpine, Harry Styles

What Netflix show did you binge-watch embarrassingly fast?

It's a three-way tie between Julie and the Phantoms, Heartstopper, and Never Have I Ever.

If you had to give a lecture on one subject without preparation, what would it be?

The Cultural Impact of the Hunger Games (books and movies)

Madison Reinhold, Communications Intern

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Communications Intern


I am a senior majoring in Journalism

 with minors in Women's & Gender Studies and History. I love playing with my dog, finding niche history books, knitting and baking. Theoretically, I’m working on writing my first book.

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

Always always always a writer. I've wanted to do that for as long as I can remember. 


Lauren Krill, Research Intern

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Research Intern



I’m a fourth year at MSU, I study Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy through James Madison College and am also pursuing a teaching certification in secondary education with a focus in social studies. I am a African American and African Studies minor.

What is the best book you've ever read?

“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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