IAS student Kyra Laughlin wins Chancellor’s Medalist Award!

Julie Shayne, Jordan Long, Cecilee Fernandez, Kyra Laughlin, and Lauren Lichty

Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) major Kyra Laughlin received the UW Bothell 2017 Chancellor’s Medalist Award. The award is an honor that recognizes graduating seniors who have achieved academic excellence and served as a consistent source of inspiration for faculty and students alike. In winter 2017 Kyra founded the campus group Sexual Assault and Violence Education (S.A.V.E.), which works from a grassroots empowerment model of social support and awareness raising. With Kyra at the helm, the group applied for and won the T-Mobile Equity and Inclusion Grant, and collaborated with IAS faculty member Lauren Lichty and Campus Safety director Cham Kao to revise the UW Bothell website's Sexual Assault Support pages. Kyra continues to build new awareness initiatives and programming for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April), and delivers class presentations and trainings in our residence halls. 

Lauren Lichty is the co-advisor for S.A.V.E., along with IAS affiliate faculty member Karen Rosenberg. Lichty is also presently Kyra’s independent research mentor. Kyra's research works to develop an appreciative inquiry project, working with students to examine sexual violence pedagogy at UW Bothell. Lichty says “I have watched Kyra present at conferences and in classrooms. I have worked with her to create change in collaboration with other units on campus. From the moment Kyra and I began collaborating, I have felt nothing but possibility. When she presented at the Equity and Inclusion Conference, she brought people to tears. I watched person after person, including students who were competing against her project for the T-Mobile Award, thank her for honoring them with her story and for taking on this challenging and painful social issue. We are all honored by Kyra’s presence on our campus.” (You can watch a clip from S.A.V.E's grant proposal video which was shown at the conference and includes several accounts from sexual assault survivors.) 

Kyra also serves as the GWSS student representative and in that capacity, works very closely with GWSS faculty coordinator Julie Shayne. Kyra introduced herself to Shayne at the GWSS launch event in the fall offering her assistance in making sure the day went smoothly. Since that event the two have collaborated on planning an information session, Facebook photo albums, and an end of the year recognition ceremony. Shayne explained, “I can’t imagine a better way to have launched our first year of the major, or a better partner with whom to collaborate.”

Fortunately for the UW Bothell community, Kyra was accepted to IAS’s MA in Cultural Studies program so the campus will continue to benefit from her presence for a couple more years! Kyra Laughlin, GWSS could simply not be more proud.

Julie Shayne, Jordan Long, Cecilee Fernandez, Kyra Laughlin, and Lauren Lichty
From left to right, Julie Shayne, Jordan Long, Cecilee Fernandez, Kyra Laughlin, and Lauren Lichty.