Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

March 30, 2021    |   Volume 2, Issue 24

TOTD: A Bookworm’s Top 5: Women*s History Month Recommendations

by Heather Shea, Director of W*SS

During the pandemic, I’ve taken up “reading” (in quotes because often I read through audio books--which, in my mind, still counts!). For me, constant reading has been both an escape and a window into other times and places. As we near the end of Women*s HIstory Month, I’ve compiled a select list of five books that have recently hit my queue that amplify women’s voices. I am always looking for fiction and non-fiction that informs, educates, expands understanding. As you think about your summer reading list, I’d highly recommend any of these books!

Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague by Maggie O’Farrell 

Powerful and poetic prose focused on a difficult topic -- death of a child during the Black Plague (and the possible inspiration for the Shakespearian tragedy, Hamlet), this book by Maggie O’Farrell is really the story of Agnes (Anne) Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare and her personality as a fiercely independent woman, mother, and eccentric medicine woman before the death of her son, Hamnet.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Told through multiple lenses, this Booker Prize winning novel by Bernardine Evaristo amplifies the voices of women of color and elaborates on their many intersecting identities in the U.K., Carribean, and U.S. as they navigate intergenerational tensions of race and gender. This is one of my very favorite books this year.

Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America by Maria Hinojosa

If you’re equally horrified by the news stories of child separation and the urgent immigration crisis at the southern border, this book is a must read.  It is also the memoir of a survivor, a feminist, a gifted journalist, and an activist who put her voice literally to work in speaking up for immigrant lives.  

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

I adored this book because it mixes the real life of the Serbian femininst performance artist Marina Abramović whose work explores the endurance of the body and feminism, with a cast of fictional characters engaged in silent conversation with Abramović during a performance art event entitled “The Artist is Present” that really happened at the NY Museum of Modern Art in 2010. I loved this book because, through these fictional characters, the complexities of intersecting lives, love, and art is revealed. And, similar to one of this year’s LUNAFEST films, about the life of Bettye Saar, I’ve learned of ANOTHER woman artist who has been overlooked in the art history canon. Sigh. 

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Okay, this is the least rigorous of the books on this list, but I promise it was a joy to read a fictional account of a time in U.S. history (between 1935 and 1943) when a group of women known as the “pack horse librarians” delivered books to remote parts of Appalachia on horseback. Beyond that, The Giver of Stars, is also a story of the strong bonds between women and the knowledge that is passed between them both in literature and in life.

Are you a bookworm, too? Have a recommendation for me? I’m always looking for new books! OR, interested in forming a summer book club? Send me an email at and let’s set it up!


Interested in sharing your own "Thought Of The Day" or TOTD? Come to WILD Wednesday or email us at

Have something to say in the WSS Weekly Zine? To submit an announcement, please email us.

In this edition of WSS Zine you'll find the following announcements...
  • Programs/Services:
    • Why Women*s Student Services will no longer be using the "x" in "womxn"
    • Unconditional Love 5k
    • Women's History Month Events 
    • WSS Crafternoon
    • WILD 2021 Planning Committee
    • WSS Online Office Hours 
    • APIDA Community Vigil
    • Free Period Products at MSU Petition
    • Participants needed for a study of residual symptoms in cancer survivors
    • MSU Sexual Assault Healthcare Program Now Open!
    • Supporting Survivors Workshop
    • Writing Centers and Access: A Speaker Series 
    • 25th Annual DEI Conference 
    • Women In Business Leadership Conference 
    • Transgender Day of Visibility Student Research Symposium 
    • TDOV Speaker
    • Student-Parent Center Spring Celebration
    • CGEG Corner 
    • COGS Monthly Yoga Series 
    • MSU Center for Survivors Spring Groups 2021 
    • MSU Adult Caregiver Affinity Group 
    • Beyond the binary: A gender identity spectrum support group
    • Empower U
    • Gender Identity and Attractionality 
    • Save the Date for UURAF!
    • CAPS Connect
  • Community Heath Concern Information
  • About Women*s Student Services
Post your announcement here by emailing


Post your event here by emailing

Over the past several weeks, the staff and students involved in Women*s Student Services have engaged in an ongoing dialogue about spelling of the word WOMEN. We have listened to students, talked with our campus partners, and conducted our own research using online resources. Based on what we’ve heard through this feedback, we’ve determined we are no longer using an “X” in the word women. The word women is inclusive of all who identify as women. No modification of the word (by adding an “X”) is needed and no “alternative spelling” is required to make the word inclusive of trans women. 

This article from the Daily Illini has a good overview of the rationale. In short (quoting from the article) “the origins of adding ‘x’ or ‘y’ in the word ‘women’ come from trans-exclusionary radical feminists who believe women are only women if they are born female.” Further, the conversation spans beyond the needs of white, cis women and the centering of white women in feminist spaces. We agree with M.S. in the article who stated “modification of the word women is not inclusive or effective as a feminist practice.”
MSU's Women*s Student Services and the LBGT Resource Center are proud to present the Unconditional Love 5K. From 4/22/21-4/25/21 walk, run, bike, or roll your way through our designated course that leads you around Michigan State University's campus. For our asynchronous friends, don’t worry, this 5k can be done anywhere in the world at any time. This event is put on to raise money for the Unconditional Love Fund. The Unconditional Love Fund was created to provide Michigan State University students with flexible assistance in a timely manner to address extraordinary and unexpected financial hardships associated with their sexual and/or gender identity. 
Sign Up Here!

What is Women’s History Month?

Women’s History Month is an annual occurrence every March. We at MSU have created a collaboration across many offices, departments, and groups to gather all events created to highlight Women’s History Month. In our use of “women” we recognize that gender is complex. We are all more than just our gender - we are comprised of intersecting identities that are grounded in history and our lived experience that goes beyond the gender binary. We celebrate this month because of the past and present existence of systemic gender oppression that impacts women  as well as others who exist differently regarding the gender construct. The involved in the creation of Women’s History Month are Women*s Student Services, the LBGT Resource Center, Prevention Outreach and Education, GenCen, TransAction, Womxn’s Council, Alliance, Transcend, Planned Parenthood Generation Action, ASMSU, James Madison College, Womxn of Color Community, Undergraduate Research, and the Work Life Office. All of these offices, departments and groups came together to create programming for all Spartans to celebrate the history of womxn, and we hope you will join us at some of the events listed above!

All of the events are held by different offices across campus. If you have questions about a specific event, please contact the office hosting that event.

Links to our events can be found here

Join Women*s Student Services for our next Crafternoon and Communitea date! The date will be available soon, so stay tuned!

Along with all the staff of Student Affairs & Services, the staff of WSS is currently working remotely. We are available to meet virtually one on one via Zoom. To sign up to meet with either Heather (Director) or Gabby (Graduate Assistant), please click the links below.

To meet with Dr. Heather Shea, click on this link to go to her You Can Book Me Page to sign up for a time slot.

To meet with Gabby Wahla, click on this link to go to her You Can Book Me Page to sign up for a time slot.


Please register and complete health screening using the QR codes or visit

A recording of last week's community is also available here: 

 OCAT’s Green Table: We Are APIDA

MSU GenCen and MSU Women*s Student Services were excited to announce the recipients of the 2021 Inspiration Awards in early February! From MSU and the Mid-Michigan community, this year’s awardees embody the values of feminist leadership and bring a unique and impactful passion to their work. They are dedicated to gender equity and social justice work, making a difference in their own communities and far beyond. The 2021 Inspiration Awardees are: Hui "Cathy" Liu, Beronda Montgomery, Farha Abbasi, Linda Vail, Taylor Belyea, and Chelsea Boodoo. Learn more about the Inspiration Awards and all of this years award winners on our website.
At Michigan State University, items such as condoms and toilet paper are free and widely accessible. But period products are not. This budgeting choice is discriminatory, and Pad the Mitten is collecting names and emails of MSU students to show support for their bill that will be proposed to ASMSU. If you support their cause, please fill out this form.

Participants needed for a study of residual symptoms in cancer survivors 

We are looking for participants who are 1-3 years post-chemotherapy/radiation for breast cancer
You will be asked to:

  • Use a home-based therapeutic light intervention 
  • Participate in a sleep study with 3 overnight stays in a sleep center

(All study-related activities can be completed in 3 weeks) 

You could receive up to $200 if you complete all study activities. 

For more information, please call 517-884-4646 or email  

The Center for Survivors and the MSU Sexual Assault Healthcare Program are so excited to announce that the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program is now open! 

The program provides trauma-informed, inclusive and accessible healthcare services to individuals who have experienced a sexual assault within the last 5 days. Services are free and confidential and available to any adult (students, faculty, staff, OR community members who are not affiliated with MSU).

Key points about the Sexual Assault Healthcare Program:  

  • The healthcare program is open 24/7 with nursing staff on site
  • The program is located on the 2nd floor of student services building. There is designated parking on Farm Lane marked “Sexual Assault Healthcare Program”
  • Advocates from the Center for Survivors are available to provide support, resources, and follow-up.
  • Patients seeking services can show up at any time or call ahead (517-353-2700)

For more information, watch this news story from WLNS:

Please join the Writing Center beginning February 4, 1-2 PM EST for the Writing Center and Access: A Speaker Series. The series will include topics that will be very helpful to students and faculty in their research. 



Receiving a disclosure can feel intimidating if you don’t know how best to respond. What do we say? What do we not say? Most importantly, how can we build trust and help empower survivors and create a survivor-centered campus and community?


This workshop will give participants a background on sexual violence dynamics and discuss different tools that can be used when responding to disclosures and supporting survivors. Topics will include: active listening, believing survivors, busting myths, and supportive communication. Questions can be directed to Kathryn at

This workshop will include 4, 1 hour live sessions that will each focus on different topics. We highly recommend attending each session. This workshop will be held over zoom facilitated by MSU Center for Survivors staff. This workshop is open to any student, staff, or facility member at MSU. Spots are limited.



5:30-6:30pm EST Wed, March 31st

5:30-6:30pm EST Wed, April 7th

5:30-6:30pm EST Wed, April 14th


Click the link to register, spots are limited.

Register for the LBGTRC's first annual Trans Day of Visibility Student Research Symposium. This event runs from 1-5pm on March 31st, featuring talks from MSU faculty members Jae Puckett and Patrick Arnold, selected student researchers, and keynote speaker Sy Simms. Register Here!
Sy Simms is a Black, transgenderqueer advocate with a passion for seeking new ways of imagining education. Their current research interests include interrogating higher education policies and practices of "diversity, equity, and inclusion" through queer of color critique and Black feminist theory. In addition, they examine ways that (trans)genders are regulated and practices in institutions of higher education. 

Women in Business Leadership Conference

The 14th Annual Women in Business Leadership Conference will take place on April 9th, 2021 from 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. virtually over Zoom It is a one-day conference open to all MSU students free of charge! Registration is now open at

 Registration will remain open until April 9.

This year's theme for the conference is Map to Success. The WBSA executive board selected this theme to encourage students to find their path to success and recognize that now is the time to act. Starting early is necessary in order to have a vast majority of opportunities, greater role responsibility, and a more significant influence on others.

Dow Chemical, EY, and Google will present workshops during the conference on Empowerment in the Workplace, Working Under Pressure, and Branding Yourself as a Leader. Additionally, there will be a panel of young MSU alumni to share their experiences and answer questions regarding their experience transitioning from college to the workplace.

This year, the Keynote Speaker will be Beth Nicholas, Vice President of Finance - Packaging & Specialty Plastics at Dow Chemical Company. 

“Map to Success” involves recognizing the significance of taking action early and providing a good foundation for future success. The journey towards achieving continued success requires thought and action early, all helping determine which paths you would like to travel in your career.

1)    Branding Yourself as a Leader – DOW

2)    Working Under Pressure – EY

3)    Empowerment in the Workplace – Google


I found this to be an incredibly great experience. As a part of the conference, we got to meet past E-board members, and hear how WBSA had helped them succeed in the professional world. From this event, I met a past E-board member who has helped me connect with the company she works for and even set up an office visit back in my hometown. She has given me great professional advice and has become someone I can look up to.

 – Maria Kosukha


3:00 – 3:05pm: introduction

3:05 – 3:25pm: keynote 

3:25 – 3:55pm: breakout 1

3:55 – 4:25pm: breakout 2

4:25 – 4:40pm: break

4:45 – 5:15pm: breakout 3

5:15 – 6:15pm: alumni panel 

6:15 – 6:30pm: closing remarks (if you stay till the end, dinner is on WBSA)

It’s that time of year again where the Student Parent Resource Center is getting ready to put on the virtual 26th Annual Student Parent Spring Celebration to honor all of the Fall 2020 and Spring/Summer 2021 student parent graduates. 

The date of the event will be Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. 

Whether you are graduating with your undergrad, graduate or PhD we want to celebrate and honor YOU!!!                                                                                                                 

Click here to complete the google form with the requested information no later than Friday, April 2, 2021 by 3:00pm. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  I’ll be happy to answer any questions.


25th Annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference
MAY 24 - 26, 2021 | VIRTUAL MEETING

This event served as a platform for exceptional practitioners to share their work and further discuss race, social justice, neurodiversity, women's health, disability, allyship, and others. The Conference Board, its partners, and the leaders who shared their stories can all justifiably be proud of contributing to creating more inclusive workplaces across North America.  

They invite you to join them on the essential journey to create workplaces committed to inclusion, equity, and belonging as they build on the momentum of this great event and design an all-new agenda for May. DEI professionals' work is never-ending, and they join with the community to create an event that addresses their most current challenges and celebrates their achievements.  

  Register now to join us live or to watch later on-demand.



Who We Are: “We are a women's health + wellness organization that hopes to empower women physically + mentally on campus! We host weekly workouts every week, small group workouts, ++ socials throughout the semester to give girls a welcoming + safe space on campus/virtually.”

Updates: “We are currently hosting election interviews.” 

Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE):

Who We Are: “The MSU chapter of Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE) promotes and encourages diversity and the inclusion of women in multidisciplinary fields of space exploration.”

Updates: “April 5th - Guest Speaker

April 19th - Exam study groups

We will also be holding e-board elections before the end of the semester.”

Women*s Council (WOCO): 

Who We Are: “We are a voice and advocate for women-identifying students on campus and will work to educate peers about issues that arise at and outside of MSU regarding gender, sexuality, and diversity. We hope to empower minority communities at MSU by providing resources, creating inclusive spaces, and fighting for a better campus for all.” 
Updates: “We have open E-board meetings every Monday from 6-7 pm. All are welcome and encouraged to come share and hear about what is going on with WOCO (use this link to register: ). 

We are also holding E-board elections! The open positions for the 2021-2022 school are as follows: Programming Chair, Treasurer, Cores and Cops Representative, Education Coordinator, and ASMSU Representative. Applications are due at midnight on April 4th!  (use this link to apply: ).” 

Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA): 

Who We Are: “Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA) is a student group affiliated with Planned Parenthood working on reproductive rights, sex education, and gender equity issues on and off campus with advocacy, educational, and social events.”

Updates:  “We host meetings every other Wednesday at 7:30 and upcoming, we have “How to Talk about the Covid Vaccine” & eBoard elections on 3/4 and then “It doesn’t have to be June to care about gay people” on 4/7 around LGBTQ health disparities. If you want to learn more about PPGA or join either of these upcoming events email .”

Join COGS and Recreational Sports and Fitness Services for an evening yoga class to relax after a stressful few weeks! Monthly Yoga sessions are offered free of charge for graduate & professional students. The next session is on February 11th! See RSVP link below to register and receive link.  Invite your friends! All you need to participate is an open space, water, and a towel/mat.

  COGS 2021 Yoga Series:

6:45 pm- 7:45 pm EST via Zoom

April 8

RSVP Link  

The Adult Caregivers Affinity Group (focusing on caregivers of adult/elders) has meetings the fourth Thursday of the each month from 12-1pm via Zoom. This is a place for Spartans to connect and share information on topics such as how to start conversations on living situation changes, higher levels of care needed, caring for yourself as a caregiver, and making a home safe for a senior. 

What is an Affinity Group?

“An affinity group is a group of people linked by a common interest”.

Zoom link: 

Password: caregivers


This semester, MSU Center for Survivors will be providing various virtual groups via zoom listed below.

Community Connect
Community Connect is a drop-in support group on Wednesdays from 12-1 focused on building community & fostering connections among fellow survivors. Questions? Email Christie at  or Kimmins at Interested? Fill out this quick form

Healing Through Yoga!
Healing Through Yoga is a drop-in trauma-sensitive yoga practice to promote healing and wellness. Classes begin January 28th  and will be held on zoom on Thursdays from 1-2 PM. To register, fill out this form  and email with any questions!

The Next Chapter
Center for Survivors presents “The Next Chapter” Book Club. We'll be reading Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. Grab some coffee or tea and join us from 3pm-4:30, beginning Tuesday, February 9th, to learn more about how to ‘turn the page’ on your own burnout! Books will be provided. Registration Link:

Support survivors, learn more, and receive updates about MSU Center for Survivors by following their Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter.
Beyond the Binary: A gender identity spectrum support group.

This is a safer space for support for undergraduate and graduate students who are exploring or identify as transgender, gender fluid, non-binary, and/or gender non-conforming.

Potential topics of discussion include challenges of coming out to self and others, identity development, limitations of labels, negotiating gendered environments, identity-affirming relationships, coping with minority stress and gender binary norms, accessing supportive health and social services, aspects of transitioning process, and adjustment to social identity, family dynamics, and impacts on wellness, needs and impact of being closeted, being TGNB at MSU.

All meetings will be held weekly via Zoom.
Registration required. Contact Ginny Blakely at for more information or to register.
Begins Jan. 28, ends April 22
Day/Time: Thursdays 3:30–5 p.m.
Facilitator: Ginny Blakely & Mike Evitts
Location: HIPAA Compliant Zoom
Empower U

Empower U is a virtual space for LGBTQIA+ graduate and undergraduate students of color to support and empower one another. Some themes of the group include relationships, self and community care, values exploration, intersectionality, self-compassion, family dynamics, navigating cultural expectations, and building resilience. All meetings will be held weekly over Zoom.

Group screening required. There will be a brief screening to see if the group is a good fit for you. For pre-screening, complete the CAPS Phone Request form and indicate your interest in Empower U.  Contact Olivia Scott at for more information.

Begins Jan. 22, Ends April 30
Day/Time: Friday 1–2 p.m.
Facilitator: Olivia Scott & Victor Leon
Location: HIPAA-compliant Zoom

*You can still join after the start date!
Gender Identity and Attractionality (GIAA) Undergrad

This support group for LGBTQ+ (including questioning) undergraduate students will address life and relational issues related to romantic and sexual attraction, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Topics are based on student interests and may include: exploring identity & identity development; trust and connections; dealing with heterosexism, cissexism, internalized homophobia and/or transphobia; dating and dating technology; attraction and romance; family dynamics; faith and identity; balancing academics with life; and intersectional identities. All meetings will be held weekly over Zoom.

Group screening required. For more information, screening, and registration, contact Victor Leon at The Zoom link will be given upon registration.

Begins Jan. 26, ends April 30
Day/Time: Tuesdays, 2–3 p.m.
Facilitators: Ginny Blakely and Victor Leon
Location: HIPAA-compliant Zoom
Gender Identity and Attractionality (GIAA) Grad

This support group for LGBTQ+ (including questioning) graduate students will address life and relational issues related to romantic and sexual attraction, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Topics are based on student interests and may include: exploring identity & identity development; trust and connections; dealing with heterosexism, cissexism, internalized homophobia and/or transphobia; dating and dating technology; attraction and romance; family dynamics; faith and identity; balancing academics with life; and intersectional identities. All meetings will be held weekly over Zoom.

Group screening required. For more information, screening, and registration, contact Victor Leon at The Zoom link will be given upon registration.

Begins Jan. 27, ends April 21
Day/Time: Wednesdays, 2–3:30 p.m.
Facilitators: Ginny Blakely and Victor Leon
Location: HIPAA-compliant Zoom
Save the date for the 2021 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF)!!! UURAF will take place between Thursday, April 15th and Monday, April 19th and will be hosted on a virtual platform. Abstract submissions will be accepted from January 12 to February 11, 2021. For more information about registration visit:

Counseling & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) Updates:

Beginning March 17, as a COVID-19 preventive measure, CAPS offices at Olin Health Center, MSU Student Union, and the Neighborhoods will be closed.

CAPS counseling and psychiatry staff will work remotely to help meet the needs of MSU students.

  • Established patients with scheduled appointments will be offered phone or Zoom sessions. Patients will be contacted and given instructions.
  • All group counseling services have been cancelled. Group co-leaders will reach out to students to discuss alternative options, such as phone consultations.

Patients needing a prescription refill prior to their next appointment can use the MyMSUHealth patient portal to make the request:

CAPS Phone (517-355-8270) will be set to a voice prompt with 3 options: (Press 1) To talk with a crisis counselor, (Press 2) to leave a message with the CAPS Nurse which will be responded to within one business day, or (Press 3) for general messages.

CAPS Connect sessions and Outreach Services are canceled through the spring semester.

Community Health Concern Information:

For students with health concerns and more information on COVID-19:

Students who are struggling to meet basic needs should reach out to the Greater Lansing Food Bank (

Students experiencing mental health crisis can  MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (517-355-8270).

About Women*s Student Services
Student Life: +1 517-355-8286
Voicemail: +1 517-432-7556

Contact us!
Director: Heather D. Shea, Ph.D. (she, her, hers)
Graduate Assistant: Gabby Wahla  (she, her, hers)

Visit us in the fall!
Interactive Campus Map
make a donation to WSS

Women*s Student Services (WSS) is committed to:

  • fostering inclusive conversations that explore topics of intersectional feminism

  • building collaborations and coalitions with other student services offices and other departments on campus,

  • supporting all students in working toward an empowering and equitable community for women-identified students at MSU, and aligning with the Division’s quality standards of being respectful, responsive, and resourceful.

view this email in your browser
Copyright © 2021 MSU Women*s Student Services, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp