Skip to Main Content

Director Darici’s Message

Yesim Darici

Click to learn about Dr. Darici's Administrative ExperienceCWGS Activities & Awards, and Physics Research

We are pleased to share with you the accomplishments of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS). Our center continues to excel in research, teaching and engagement within FIU and the South Florida community. Women’s and Gender Studies continues to show strong leadership in the advancement of women, diversity, equity and LGBTQ+ visibility.

One of this past year’s highlights was the successful launch of three initiatives that will expand our center’s academic reach and community involvement. The center initiatives are: Women in STEM, Gender Based Violence Prevention, and FIU’s 100 Women. The Women in STEM initiative at FIU seeks to increase the number of women in science, math and engineering through outreach, recruitment and retention efforts. Our Center aims to achieve this goal by making FIU a family-friendly institution. We also aim to explore the intersections of gender within these fields. The Gender Based Violence Prevention initiative will educate students through course work and connect FIU with the South Florida community to contribute to violence prevention efforts. FIU’s 100 Women initiative honors female students, staff and faculty for their achievements, successes and contributions for a better society.

I am also proud to announce that the CWGS has secured two prestigious grants: the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant (NSF IT) and a Ware Foundation Grant. The NSF IT grant aims to make FIU a friendlier and more family-oriented environment for women and minorities. These goals will be achieved at FIU through a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, Bystander Intervention Training and STRIDE (Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence). The Ware Foundation Grant will bring South Florida and FIU communities together through education and activism which will bring awareness to prevention tactics.

In the past academic year, 8,638 students were enrolled in CWGS courses. We continue to see an increase in engagement with our internship program, up from just 16 students in 2015 to 23 students in 2017. That’s almost a 50% increase in just one academic year, and we are expecting to see even more gains next year. The CWGS is now serving over 200 students and has been ranked one of the top ten academic departments for advancing Global Learning at FIU. Many of our students have served as interns in programs that range from Planned Parenthood to the Women’s Fund of MiamiDade. Non-curricular activities featured more than 35 events including research conferences, faculty seminars and cultural activities. This year, CWGS introduced new courses to answer the needs of FIU’s students and to expand our course offerings for the Queer Studies Certificate. We introduced two new, interdisciplinary LGBTQIA-focused courses entitled “Queer Rhetorics” and “Introduction to Transgender Studies.” Both courses seek to address problems of heteronormativity and to center the experiences of LGBTQIA individuals.

We also continued to help our South Florida community by organizing several signature events, including the South Florida arm of the National Women’s March, the Women in Politics event and the 7th Annual Women Faculty Leadership Conference. Each of these events is meant to engage women and minorities at FIU and show there’s always a path forward. Through these events, we hosted the Mothers of the Movement and local lawmakers. We hope to continue forging connections and opportunities for our FIU community.

Warm regards,

Yesim Darici
Director, Center for Women's and Gender Studies, Assistant Provost of STEM
Professor of Physics | 305-348-3502