The William Smith Dean’s Office and the HWS community will welcome Jacquelyn Litt ’80 to campus as the keynote speaker of William Smith’s annual celebration of Founder’s Day.
The Dean and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Douglas Residential College, the women’s college of Rutgers University, Litt has had a distinguished career of scholarship, teaching, and administrative service centered on women’s issues and gender equity. At HWS, she will share her Founder’s Day remarks at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, in the Common Room of the Scandling Campus Center.
Founder’s Day is one of William Smith College’s oldest traditions. Students, alumnae, administrators, and faculty members gather to celebrate the establishment of the College and the achievements of its women. William Smith was found in 1908.
Over the course of her career, Litt has held many leadership positions to support women faculty members and has engaged in extensive research on motherhood, carework, and inequality. As a dean and professor at Rutgers, her teaching areas include women’s and gender studies and sociology.
Before joining Rutgers in 2010, she was founding chair of women’s and gender studies at the University of Missouri. In that role, she made significant headway for both female students and faculty by establishing programs to promote gender equity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Prior to her work at Missouri, Litt directed the women’s studies programs at Iowa State University and Allegheny College.
Extending her work beyond the realm of the teaching, Litt is also the author of several articles and is currently writing her third book on women’s issues: “Women of Katrina: Crossing Borders, Weaving Networks, and Taking Care.” She is also the co-author of “Dimensions of Gender and Carework,” and the author of “Medicalized Motherhood: Perspectives from the Lives of African American and Jewish Women,” which earned her the Outstanding Achievement Scholarship award on race, class, and gender from the American Sociological Association.
Litt has earned a number of accolades for her teaching and various leadership positions. While at Iowa State, she received the university’s Early Excellence in Teaching and Master Teacher in Multicultural awards, and earned the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Iowa chapter of the American Association of University Women for her exemplary contributions toward gender equity in education. She also has garnered several other teaching awards, including “Master Teacher in Multi-cultural Education.”
Litt studied sociology at William Smith and went on to earn her master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She is considered an expert on faculty mentoring and consults on mentoring program development around the country, in addition to her responsibilities as dean and professor.