Aimee Zoeller, IUPUC sociology professor, spent years building a collection of books and films by marginalized female writers.
But her office, where the material would have been most accessible to her students, had no place to store these works.
In fact, the entire newly-created Women’s Studies program felt a little homeless, she said.
She had tried to make her spartan corner of the university as inviting as possible, she said. A throw-rug covered a concrete floor. Pictures hung on walls which were otherwise bare, gray cinder-block.
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Still, there were no tables or chairs. Broken computers and surplus supplies were stored in the corners.
“It really was like the land of discarded toys in here,” said George Towers, IUPUC head of liberal arts.
But, the start of the new semester brought with it a change of fortune for the women’s studies program, Zoeller said.
Once drab walls were painted. Zoeller’s books and films now have a home. Students now have chairs, tables and computers on which to work.
It’s the latest step for an emerging program which only started in 2012, Zoeller said.
Currently, 70 percent of students at IUPUC and 60 percent of the faculty are female, Towers said.
With those demographics, it was important to have a program and area devoted to the study of female scholars and sociological issues facing women, Towers said.
Ginger Scalf, a former sociology student who studied with Zoeller, said she is ecstatic to see the women’s studies program get the resources it deserves.
“There were always a lot of students in Aimee’s (women’s studies) classes, not just women,” Scalf said.
She said it often felt like the emerging program was overlooked when it came to funding and resources.
To learn more about the Women’s Studies program at IUPUC visit iupuc.edu/academics/divisions-programs/liberal-arts/degree-programs/womens-studies/