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Women's studies travel seminar receives award, seeks registrants for June trip

RELEASED: Feb. 14, 2011

LGBTQA Poster
Note: The application deadline for "LGBTQA Studies: San Fracisco Travel Seminar" has been extended to April 1.

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students and faculty members will travel to San Francisco, Calif., June 15-27 to experience the 41st annual Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride celebration. The trip will be part of the women's studies course titled "LGBTQA Studies: San Francisco Travel Seminar."

Ellen Mahaffy, assistant professor of communication and journalism, and Dr. Pamela Forman, associate professor of sociology, will co-teach the course, which begins June 6.

The development of the San Francisco immersion course and a subsequent film festival inspired by that trip were recently recognized by NASPA (a national organization for student affairs administrators in higher education). The program received the Exemplary Program Award from NASPA's GLBT Knowledge Community. According to Mahaffy, the support of Dr. Beth Hellwig, UW-Eau Claire's vice chancellor for student affairs; and Brian Carlisle, dean of students, was instrumental in the nomination.

"We were all transformed into mini filmmakers and networked our way through organizations and executive directors ... to create documentaries for our campus's inaugural LGBT film festival," said Crystal Kazik, a former student participant and student director of the Eau Queer Film Festival. "We ... basically had the time of our lives."

Participants will stay together in a house in San Francisco to create a living-learning community, attend the LGBT Pride Festival and the Frameline International LGBT Film Festival, visit LGBT organizations and meet with filmmakers and LGBT activists.

"We hope that students will become aware of the discrimination faced by LGBT people and the challenges that LGBT individuals may encounter regarding acceptance from their families and treatment in their workplace," Forman said.

Students will record, videotape and photograph their experiences and edit them into documentaries that explore LGBT identities and histories. The students will present their videos as part of the Eau Queer Film Festival in October on the UW-Eau Claire campus. The festival also will feature other films selected by the students from the Frameline International LGBT Film Festival.

Financial support for the trip is provided through a UW-Eau Claire domestic intercultural immersion grant for 2010-11, the women's studies program and the departments of communication and journalism, and sociology.

Interested students must be available from June 6-July 29. Applications will be accepted weekdays from 7:30-11:30 a.m. through Feb. 18 in the women's studies office in Room 55 of Brewer Hall. The course fee is $130.

For more information, contact Dr. Pamela Forman at formanpj@uwec.edu or Ellen Mahaffy at mahaffe@uwec.edu.

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