Friends and Allies

Today is a lucky day for me (and oddly enough, I just now realized yesterday was my one year mark as an ASU employee).  Priority registration opened up on Monday and I am now confirmed for 3 classes in the spring!  It will be hectic but thankfully, they are broken up (one in A session, one in B session, and one in C session and the A/B sessions are online).  I have some great friends and allies who have made this scheduling possible.

Although all three classes are equally important for my Master’s, I am privileged especially to have the opportunity to take a brand-new class in the spring; the course is titled Women of Courage/Women Warriors.  This course is actually a 400 level class and I have permission to include it in my program of study with some adjustments to make it appropriate to my graduate program.  Below is the information initially passed along to me:

New Course for Spring 2015:
WST 498: Women Warriors/Women of Courage (10010)

This class will explore a wide range of real and fictional women warriors. We will study not only women who fight in militaries or rebellions, but also suicide bombers, civil rights activists, and peace activists, using examples ranging from The Bible to The Hunger Games. Both male and female veterans are especially welcome in this class.

The purpose of the class is to understand how and why women become warriors; how women warriors are glorified, belittled, or forgotten; and how their strengths, vulnerabilities, and motivations compare to those of men warriors. In addition, we will work on building the skills needed for the final student papers, which will focus on the portrayal of women warriors in the media. Student papers can be based on anything from episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to newspaper accounts of U.S. military women in Iraq.

About the instructor: For the last three years, Professor Weitz’s research has focused on the experiences of women military members and veterans. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of ASU’s Veteran and Military Academic Engagement office.


In my courses we’ve talked a lot about the building of social capital and there is so much of that power working in combination to present this opportunity at just the right moment I’m building my interests regarding female veterans.  Want to know some of the amazing people who have helped me recently with this class and exploring my interests (in no particular order):

Nancy Dallett, Assistant to the Director of the Office of Veteran and Military Academic Engagement

Steve Borden, Director of the the Pat Tillman Veterans Center

Dr. Daniel Schugurensky, faculty head of Justice and Social Inquiry and the coordinator of the MA in Social and Cultural Pedagogy

Dr. Rose Weitz, my future professor for Women of Courage/Women Warriors

Audra Horney, my Academic Advisor

Dr. Kathy Nakagawa, one of my current professors, who recently had Liz Warren, a storyteller as a guest speaker in our classroom

(You can read about Liz Warren at

Dr. Kimberly Scott, one of my current professors, who has encouraged this project and the start up of this blog.


I must admit,too, that I don’t know how likely during the week others will notice my dog tags, although the other day when my 4 year old daughter was in tow on campus practically every student I walked by looked in my direction.

I am also preparing my first t-shirt idea.  The idea came to me today when I was thinking about a recent article I referenced for my second Master’s paper.  The fact that the idea is simple and bold should get noticed and perhaps encourage others to learn about our female service members and veterans.


Streets of Camp Blue Diamond (outside of Ramadi, Iraq)
Streets of Camp Blue Diamond (outside of Ramadi, Iraq)

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