Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Advocate Feminism's Woman of the Year: Kathy Patterson-Hawes

I can't think of a better choice for my first "Woman of the Year" than the woman who made me the feminist that I am today: Professor Kathy Patterson Hawes, a special lecturer at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

That's Kathy with me on the left.

She earned her master's degree in women's studies from Eastern Michigan University. She teaches "Introduction to Women and Gender Studies"classes at OU. During the fall 2010 semester she began teaching "Women in Transition" as well.

I first met Kathy in January 2009. Her class changed the way I saw, heard and thought about current events and the world. She later inspired me to minor in women and gender studies, and it turned out to be the perfect adjunct to my journalism major.

Kathy teaches her students the basics of feminist thinking -- and that it's not just for women. She lays a solid foundation by explaining the roots of patriarchy and gender conditioning. She also introduces significant -- yet not always well-known -- contributions of women throughout history.

Well respected by her students, Kathy earned a 5.0 rating in overall quality, helpfulness and clarity on, prompting one student to write:

"Katherine Patterson-Hawes is a wonderful professor. She has a way of connecting with students and gets her points across without offending people. She is eye opening and inspiring to women and men. Take her if you can you won't regret it!"

I could not agree more.

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