Campus News

UGA experts available on women’s history

Athens, Ga. – Women’s contributions to society take the forefront in March during Women’s History Month. This year, the national focus is on how education empowers women. And at Georgia’s flagship institution for higher education, learning opportunities for both women and men abound as do University of Georgia experts on women’s history.

The number of women enrolled in U.S. colleges now outnumbers men, a statistic reflected at UGA. As of 2010, the UGA student body was 58 percent female and 42 percent male. The equal opportunity to learn is a recent phenomenon, said the National Women’s History Month Project, and “the fight to learn was a valiant struggle waged by many tenacious women-across years and across cultures.”

National Women’s History Month has been designated by joint resolutions of the U.S. House and Senate and proclamations by six American presidents as a time to celebrate and honor women’s achievements throughout history, according to the project. Women’s History Month at UGA, sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Studies, will be celebrated with various events. For more information, see

UGA experts available to speak on women’s history and their contact information are listed below. For more information, contact UGA News Service at 706/542-8083 or

Chana Kai Lee
Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Institute for Women’s Studies and Department of History
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Lee’s research and teaching focuses on women’s history, black feminism and African-American women’s history in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as gender and sexuality. She is author of For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (Illinois, 1999), which won the Willie Lee Rose Prize awarded by the Southern Association of Women Historians and the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize awarded by the Association of Black Women Historians. Since 1998 she has been an editorial consultant for the journal Feminist Studies. In 2002, she was invited to join the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lectureship Program, which includes a roster of outstanding speakers who have made major contributions to the study of American history. Her book Rosa Parks: A Movement, A Life appeared in Longman’s Library of American Biography series in 2008.

Juanita Johnson-Bailey
Director, Institute for Women’s Studies
Professor of Adult Education and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Johnson-Bailey specializes in researching gender and race in educational and workplace settings. Her research on the educational experiences of black women helped expand the field of adult education to be more inclusive of issues of race, gender and class. In addition to her research, she has also written and lectured nationally and internationally on power and position in the research and teaching process. Her most recent research focuses on the social experiences of black graduate students at UGA. Johnson-Bailey’s book, Sistahs in College: Making a Way Out of No Way (Krieger Press, 2001), received the Phillip E. Frandson Award for Literature in Continuing Higher Education. She is also the co-editor of The Handbook of Race in Adult Education (Jossey-Bass, 2010) and Flat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women’s Lives (Henry Holt, 1998), a collection of constructed narratives.

Cecilia Herles
Assistant Director, Institute for Women’s Studies
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Herles teaches a writing-intensive class on feminist theories and a service-learning course on environment, gender, race and class. Her research examines feminist philosophies, environmental ethics and philosophies of race. Her work has been published in the International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies and Women’s Studies International Forum. Her current research focuses on natural disasters, global climate change, local food systems and activism. She currently serves as the faculty adviser for the UGA Women’s Studies Student Organization, Campus Community Kitchen Project and Triota, the women’s studies honor society.

Nichole Ray
Lecturer, Institute for Women’s Studies
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Ray’s general research interests include race and gender in adult and higher education, black feminist theory and activism, feminist teaching and qualitative research methods. Since serving as a graduate teaching assistant at UGA in 2004, she has taught a variety of courses, including multicultural women in the U.S., introduction to women’s studies and black feminism. She is an active member in the National Women’s Studies Association and the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association.