Gender Studies Commencement 2020 Program PDF

Congratulations, Gender Studies Class of 2020!

Congratulations to our graduates for your commitment, strength and perseverance evidenced by your accomplishments, and for finishing your college career in a global pandemic, and a movement for racial justice and against police brutality. We started the quarter in isolation and ended marching in the streets together.  There will never be another class that compares to the class of 2020! 

Thank you to Esha Momeni, PhD (UCLA, Gender Studies), Director for the Gender Studies Virtual Commencement Ceremony. We couldn’t have done this without you! 

Thank you to Professor Judy Han for supporting us with technology know-how, social media, and to rally faculty videos (which takes mass skills)! 

We also thank Mike and Joe in Social Sciences Computing for being available to hand over their Friday nights for us, so this video could be posted in time to share with all of you.   

Thank you to faculty, staff and students who took the time to send in a video, we are thankful for your participation.

Special thanks to Dr. Claudia Peña for serving as our Keynote Speaker.  

And last, thank you to our outgoing Chair, Elizabeth Marchant, for your many years of leadership, dedication and vision for the Department of Gender Studies.  You have made us stronger than ever, in a time when Gender Studies is needed more than ever.

Class of 2020, you did it!

Message from the Interim Chair

Welcome to the UCLA Department of Gender Studies.  Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the complex interaction of gender with other identity markers such as race, ethnicity, class and sexuality.


Our department has grown significantly since 1975, when Women’s Studies first gained formal status as an academic program at UCLA. In 1987, the Women’s Studies Program was granted interdepartmental degree program status and began offering a major and minor. A Ph.D. degree, among the first in the country, was added in 2000. In January 2008, after functioning successfully for two decades as a program, we became a department. Today, the Department of Gender Studies has 16 core and 19 joint faculty and is home to approximately 250 undergraduate majors, 50 minors, and 32 Ph.D. students. Each year we welcome many transfer students, as well as international and returning students to the Gender Studies major and minor. 


Our distinguished  interdisciplinary faculty offer classes that range from large lecture courses, like our introductory Gender Studies 10, to small, student research-based senior seminars, like GS187. Courses take an intersectional approach emphasizing women of color, racial justice, disability rights and gender non-conformity.  Popular undergrad courses focus on racial violence, mass incarceration, sex work, disability rights and indigenous feminisms. Our grad program also emphasizes intersectionality with particular strengths in the study of indigeneity, racial violence and African American feminism and experience.


For the Gender Studies faculty and students, 2020 has been a challenging but hopeful year. In March 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic forced us to move to remote work and learning. Two months later the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked a mass movement against police brutality and for racial justice, which inspired hope and optimism. As Angela Davis stated in a recent interview “This moment holds possibilities for change we have never before experienced.” 


If you would like to learn more about Gender Studies at UCLA, please explore this website, email us at, or call 310-206-8101 (once we are back on campus) for more information.  Note that our Division of Social Sciences is currently working remotely at the direction of UCLA campus leadership, and the UC Office of the President, until January 2021. 


Kathryn Norberg

Interim Chair 2020-21, Department of Gender Studies


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