Current Graduate Students
MA in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Amelia began their higher education as a nontraditional community college student and subsequently completed their BA in social work at Rutgers University. She focused on policy and advocacy in her undergraduate career with a specific interest in antiracist reproductive justice. Since her graduation in 2018, she has spent her time working, volunteering in local organizations and solidifying her aspirations to make higher education more accessible and become a better accomplice. Amelia is thrilled to continue their education at Brandeis and learn to share the liberatory power of a gender and sexuality studies education.
Their interests include fat studies and fat liberation, Black and Indigenous feminisms, trans* inclusive reproductive justice, media and film studies, and postcolonial antiracism praxis.
Olive Gallmeyer received their undergraduate education as a Richmond Scholar at the University of Richmond, studying American studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies with a minor in theater. In their undergraduate career, they focused on the intersections of identity and performance in work on several theatrical productions on campus and within the community, including the two-year project Standing Together Six Feet Apart documenting stories of racial violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. Their academic interests include performance studies, queer and trans studies, feminist theory and art as a means for social change.
Lizz earned a BSBA in Economics with minors in Creative Writing and Business Law from the University of Miami and then joined the Brandeis community as a staff member in 2018. She is academically and personally interested in the intersections of race, gender, and religion.
Jessie Neal (they/she) received her degrees in History and Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Arizona. In their undergraduate experience, Jessie devoted much of her time to digging deeper into the institutionalized violence that the educational system perpetuates, specifically in the united states. She focuses on how this system has affected the lived realities of Indigenous, Black, Queer and other disenfranchised communities both historically and contemporarily. Continuing this work at Brandeis, Jessie is thrilled to explore equitable solutions to these issues and dive deeper into her research.
Julie earned an M.Lit in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, as well as, an MFA (acting emphasis) from Mary Baldwin University and The American Shakespeare Center in 2006. She has 20 years of experience as an actor (mostly, in theatre, with some work in film, television and voice-over) and 13 years as a part-time professor of theatre, communication, Shakespeare and English. Currently, she teaches through Boston University's Prison Education Program and performs with Firefly Theatre Company and The Glass Horse Project. Additionally, she is a freelance folk and fantasy painter. Julie intends to research how the Salem witchcraft hysteria was created by men in positions of power, as well as how the character of the witch has evolved in literature.
Lila Shakti started her undergraduate academic career in psychology and journalism–but after she took a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies class, she knew she had found her “home” and immediately switched majors. Lila received her B.A. in WGSS from the University of California, Long Beach.
Lila’s research interests are in prison abolition, Black feminist thought, queer studies, disability studies, gendered intimate violence, and reproductive justice. Lila is teaching a memoir writing workshop at the Suffolk County Women’s Jail this spring, under the mentorship of associate English Professor, Dr. David Sherman (co-founder of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative). Lila hopes to continue to work with the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated communities after she receives her graduate degree from Brandeis University.
Joint MA in Anthropology & Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Julie graduated from The College of New Jersey with her BA in international studies in 2018. As a Joint MA student in anthropology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Julie plans to research refugee identity and the influence of NGO's and humanitarian organizations on the lives of refugees and public perception of refugee resettlement.
Joint MA in English & Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Kati graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2020 with a BA in English with minors in women and gender studies and business administration. She is interested in gender and sexuality construction in modernist works, queer theory and social justice. She would like to dive further into researching the construction of female characters by male modernist authors and the role those female characters play both in the fictional narrative and in society more broadly.
Joint MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Joint MA in Sociology & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Emma graduated from Montana State University in 2020 with a BS in Sociology. During her undergraduate career, her academic interests included human trafficking in the rural West, queer theory, and reproductive healthcare for marginalized populations. As a Joint MA student in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emma is passionate about continuing her interests in sociological and queer theory, as well as pursuing research on the intersection of medicine, institutional inequality, and vulnerable populations.
Rachel graduated from Cornell University in 2015 with a BA in Spanish and minors in international relations and feminist, gender and sexuality studies. She currently works as a Brandeis staff member at the International Students and Scholars office. Her research interests include marginalized immigrant communities (especially LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers), cultural integration and the intersection of race, gender and culture.
Joint MA in passing in Music & Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Marie Comuzzo Brückner is a PhD student at Brandeis University in mMusicology, working at the same time on their master's in Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. She holds a master's in musicology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Graduate Performance Diploma in violin from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Their primary research interests are the intersection between the great witch hunts, the establishment of capitalism and the underrepresentation of women and BIPOC in the Western musical canon. They also engage in the critical study of anthropocentrism through the lens of nonhuman musicalities, queer and feminist theory, and anti-capitalism.
Anna Valcour is currently a Ph. D. student in Musicology at Brandeis University while simultaneously earning her M.A. in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She holds a M.M. in Voice from the University of North Texas, a B.M. in Vocal Performance, and a B.A. in History from Lawrence University. Her research interests include witchcraft and demonology in Lieder, cultic groups and music, vocal pedagogy, representation in opera and its staging, and voice-based analysis. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Anna is a professional opera singer. She has been a Resident Artist for the Dallas Opera, Toledo Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera MODO, Ann Arbor Opera, and Main Street Opera.
Graduate Student Experience
"The WGS program at Brandeis not only facilitated my intellectual growth, but brought me close to extraordinary friends and colleagues. My peers in the program imbue their academic work with social consciousness and strong consciences, making Brandeis WGS an environment in which compassionate and critical thought flourishes."