The Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center  



Programs 2014-2015

All programs presented by the JHI Women's Studies Center are on campus, free, and open to the public unless specified otherwise. For more information on any of these programs please call the JHI Women's Studies Center at (616) 632-2979 or
>>View Past Programs
Spring 2015

"Suffering in Silence" - A Conversation on Eating Disorders with AQ Senior Rachael Steil
Thursday, Feb. 26

7 p.m.

Location: Moose Cafe, Cook Carriage House

"Suffering in Silence" is a conversation with Aquinas senior Rachael Steil about her struggle as an athlete with an eating disorder, and her insights about the stigma and misconceptions behind eating disorders. Rachael shares excerpts from her memoir Running in Silence, including information about eating disorders beyond simple definitions of anorexia and bulimia. The reading will be followed by a chance to ask questions and talk with professionals. People with and WITHOUT eating disorders are welcome.


Writing Women's History:  "A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps"

Thursday, March 19
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Wege Ballroom, Wege Center
Speaker: Barbara Rylko-Bauer, Ph.D.

Co-sponsored by Aquinas Departments of History and Sociology
In honor of Women’s History Month, author and anthropologist Dr. Rylko-Bauer weaves the history of World War II, the hardships of female concentration camp prisoners, and personal family narrative together in discussing the research and conversations that contributed to her most recent book, A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps: My Mother’s Memories of Imprisonment, Immigration, and a Life Remade (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014).  Other recent publications include a chapter on “Structural Violence, Poverty, and Social Suffering,” authored with Paul Farmer in The Oxford Handbook of Poverty and Society (Oxford University Press, in press) and Global Health in Times of Violence (SAR Press, 2009), edited with Linda Whiteford and Paul Farmer. Rylko-Bauer's book was recently named a 2015 Michigan Notable Book and won the Biography/Autobiography Prize in the New York Book Festival. >More on Rylko-Bauer’s work




Women's History Month Dramatic Reading of Having Our Say by Ebony Road Players

Thursday, March 19

7:30 to 9 p.m.

Location: Wege Ballroom

Performed by Ebony Road Players -- a theatre group created by Edye Evans Hyde in 2013 to fill a need for Black theatre arts and education in Grand Rapids -- the play Having Our Say adapts the 1993 New York Times bestselling book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years to share the story of two sisters who were daughters of a former slave and civil rights pioneers. Through telling the Delany Sisters' story, this drama traverses over a century of history as well as lines of race, class, and gender while doing so. >More Information


Words Beyond the Syllabus: A Reading of Original Works by Aquinas Women Faculty
Thursday, March 26
7 to 8 p.m.
Location: Moose Cafe, Cook Carriage House

To culminate Women's History Month, Aquinas women faculty members read poety embracing stages of women's lives - childhood, adolescence, sexuality, love and marriage, motherhood, parenting, friendship, work, and aging - to celebrate the collective histories of women and to lift up women's voices.


Spoken Word Poet Sarah Kay

Tuesday, April 14
7:30 p.m.
Location: Wege Ballroom
The Women’s Studies Center and the Contemporary Writers Series bring spoken word poet Sarah Kay to campus.  Kay was a featured poet on HBO's "Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry Jam" in 2006 and the same year became the youngest poet to compete in the National Poetry Slam. Since then, Kay has travelled the globe with her poetry, performing on six of the seven continents; she is perhaps best known for her 2011 TED talk, which has been viewed over three million times online.  Co-director of Project VOICE (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression), Kay holds a Master’s Degree in The Art of Teaching from Brown University and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Grinnell College.  Her first book, B, was ranked #1 Poetry Book on Amazon. Additional publications include No Matter the Wreckage (2014), and poetry in Pear Noir!, The Literary Bohemian, DecomP, Damselfly Press, Union Station Magazine, Foundling Review, The Huffington Post, and, among others. >More on Sarah Kay


13th Annual Outstanding AQ Woman Awards

Wednesday, April 29
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Wege Center Ballroom
This yearly awards ceremony celebrates the outstanding women of Aquinas with a community luncheon. Nomination forms for faculty, staff, students, and alumna are available online: Nomination Form (ELM login required)


38th Annual Access Hunger Walk

Sunday, May 3
2 to 4 p.m.
Location: Downtown Grand Rapids
According to the United Nations, women worldwide often suffer from hunger but also play a key role in overcoming hunger.  Join Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center in supporting the 38th Annual 5K Hunger Walk, sponsored by Access of West Michigan, to raise awareness of and to work towards eliminating hunger, together with a large cohort of West Michigan nonprofit organizations.  Funds are distributed among food pantry assistance, emergency meals, urban gardening and farmer's market initiatives for low-income people, assistance for seniors, and international development programs. >More Information