365体育投注

Introducing a New Department: Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies

REGS is in the College of Arts and Sciences and offers many opportunities
Portrait of Toya Like on top of Student Union

The University of Missouri-Kansas City will offer a new academic department starting in the fall semester: Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies (REGS) in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The REGS Department365体育投注’s interdisciplinary curriculum teaches critical thinking through an examination of historical and contemporary problems and expands student understanding of the intersection of gender, culture and society.

The department currently offers minors in three interest areas: Black Studies; Latinx and Latin American Studies; and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Students are able to pursue a specialized focus while enhancing their major in the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences. The minors provide flexibility to allow for the creation of a course of study suited to individual student interests. A proposal for a Race, Ethnic, and Gender Studies major is in development.

“The REGS Department truly reflects who we are as an urban, public university community. UMKC REGS alumni will be the future leaders who will insist on and play a significant role in creating a more socially just Kansas City community.” - Provost Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D.

“This is the course of study we need to offer right now, during this period of raised consciousness and expanding opportunity,” said Toya Like, Ph.D., interim chair of the REGS Department and associate professor of criminal justice and criminology. “Individuals and organizations across the country are recognizing that they have a lot of work to do if they want to expand social justice, and that work will need to be guided by well-educated professionals with a deep understanding of the roots of injustice.”

Employers in business, law, education, communications, the arts, government, medicine and public and social services actively recruit job candidates with knowledge and training in issues of race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender.

The goal is for REGS to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree and minors for the Fall 2021 semester, and students can start earning credits toward that with the currently available minors. The degree will focus on the intersectionality of race, ethnic, gender and sexuality studies.

365体育投注“Creation of a REGS Department is the culmination of years of research, effort and activism by students, faculty, alumni and community stakeholders,” said Kati Toivanen, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The result is a strong interdisciplinary program featuring some of our most accomplished faculty from multiple disciplines representing diverse perspectives.”

“This is the course of study we need to offer right now, during this period of raised consciousness and expanding opportunity. Individuals and organizations across the country are recognizing that they have a lot of work to do if they want to expand social justice, and that work will need to be guided by well-educated professionals with a deep understanding of the roots of injustice.” - Toya Like, Ph.D.

A few of the faculty in addition to Like include Brenda Bethman, Ph.D., associate teaching professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and director of the UMKC Women’s Center, who was integral in helping form the department and developing the new degree; Clara Irazábal-Zurita, Ph.D., Latinx and Latin Studies and planning professor; Linda Mitchell, Ph.D., Martha Jane Phillips Starr Missouri Distinguished Endowed Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and professor of history.

“Our classes fill up semester after semester because UMKC students are interested in the intersectionality in these areas of study,” Bethman said. “It is rewarding that we can offer this new robust course of study that will provide students with the opportunity to eventually major or double major in REGS.”

Internship programs will provide opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students to gain on-site experience. In some cases, students can receive 1 to 4 hours of academic credit while learning and working in off- or on-campus placements. Kansas City offers numerous opportunities.

When travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, REGS along with other departments will once again host a study-abroad program in Senegal, West Africa.

365体育投注UMKC is known for its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and is consistently striving to improve at every level. REGS is one of the ways the university is strengthening academics based on this core mission.

“The REGS Department truly reflects who we are as an urban, public university community,” said UMKC Provost Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D. “UMKC REGS alumni will be the future leaders who will insist on and play a significant role in creating a more socially just Kansas City community.”

Published: Aug 24, 2020

Top Stories