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Meet the Staff

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

Stephanie Nawyn, Director

NAWYN_Stephanie.jpgStephanie Nawyn

Director for Research, Academic Programs, Outreach, and Engagement
(she/her/hers)

Bio:
Stephanie Nawyn is the Director of GenCen. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing all activities at the GenCen, developing and managing the academic
programs, leading research initiatives, and facilitating outreach and engagement across campus and with the off-campus community. Stephanie also does advancement and development for GenCen, working with fundraising offices in ISP, the College of Arts and Letters, and the central administration.

"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 are 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.

 

Rajalakshmi Nadadur, Assistant Director

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Rajalakshmi Nadadur
Assistant Director
(she/her/hers)

Bio:
Rajalakshmi Nadadur serves as GenCen’s Assistant Director. In this role, she manages the research team, maintains and builds the existing network comprising of interdisciplinary scholars, various MSU departments and units, external partners, and provides program management support for gender transformative research.

She holds a PhD in Religion and Gender from the University of Stirling, U.K. and her research is in intersectional feminism and social justice with a specific interest in migration. Before joining GenCen, she was a Project Assistant Professor at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo where she taught research and writing, and an introductory course in Anthropology of Religion in the Japan in East Asia program. Since 2007, she has taught in various capacities at universities in the U.S., U.K., and Thailand. She is currently the co-editor of the Critical Religion Association based at the University of Stirling. Between 2015 – 2019, she was also an affiliated researcher at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Outside academia, she has worked in media and public policy research in India, U.K., and Thailand, where she has also held voluntary positions for organizations, including the UN-ACT, working with the urban refugee communities.

What is your favorite thing to talk about?
Gender theories and the news.

If you were to have a career other than your current/planned one, what would it be?
A librarian or a museum curator. They are some of the coolest people on the planet.

Do you have pets?
Yes! Our grey tabby Tora who talks all the time, and our orange tabby Yuki who loves to lay in the sun.

Pat Arnold, Undergrad/Grad Advisor

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Academic Specialist - Undergrad/Grad Advisor
(they/them/their)

Bio:
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
(he/him)

Bio:
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.


Mae Crowell, Fiscal Officer/Financial Analyst

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Fiscal Officer
(she/her/hers)

Bio:
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
(she/her/hers)

Bio:
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.


Steven Brooks, Research Intern

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Research Intern
(he/him/his)

Bio:

I’m a senior majoring in history, women’s and gender studies, and psychology. In my spare time, I love listening to music and reading about music history. As GenCen’s research intern, I will be working on grant and project briefs, literature searches, and research projects.

What's your favorite thing to talk about?
Mariah Carey’s whistle register.

If you were to have a career other than your planned one, what would it be?
After taking Dr. Marcie Ray’s class on music, gender, and sexuality, I briefly considered dropping everything to become a musicologist.

What's your secret talent that no one knows about?:
When I sing “Sorry Not Sorry” in my car, I sound exactly like Demi Lovato. I’m not kidding. I don’t like bragging, so I won’t, but I would if I did.

Mackenzie Lovell, Communications Intern

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Research Intern
(she/her/hers)

Bio:

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)

Kara MacKenzie, Communications Intern

Kara MacKenzieMACKENZIE_Kara_4.jpg
Communications Intern
(she/her/hers)

Bio:

I’m a senior studying Professional & Public Writing and Women’s & Gender Studies. Professionally, I am interested in the intersections between rhetoric and social justice, and I hope to one day use my communications skills to benefit a nonprofit organization. In my personal life, I am an intramural volleyball player, plant mom, artist, and avid reader.

What are your top 5 music artists?

ATEEZ, Stray Kids, LUCY, BTS, Twenty One Pilots

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

It would definitely be either an introduction to all of my plants or an explanation of why everyone should own a plant!

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