University News

Radosh Named Women's Studies Department Chair

May 19, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - Polly Radosh, professor of WomenÂ’s Studies, had been named chair of the WomenÂ’s Studies department at Western Illinois University, effective May 16, according to College of Arts and Sciences Dean Inessa Levi.

Radosh has been serving as director of the program since 1995, when six students had declared womenÂ’s studies minors. Janice Welsh was the programÂ’s director when it started as a minor in 1989. Western began offering a bachelorÂ’s degree program in WomenÂ’s Studies in Spring 2002, and WomenÂ’s Studies received departmental status on campus in January 2005. As of Spring 2005, WomenÂ’s Studies had 22 declared majors and 47 minors, and eight students were scheduled to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, in addition to the 11 degrees already conferred since 2002.

“The Women’s Studies Department offers an interdisciplinary program supporting diversity initiatives of Western Illinois University and the College of Arts and Sciences. To be able to offer such a program, the chair of the department has to be able to collaborate effectively with faculty in the college and the University, as well as within the department,” Levi said. “Having served as the director of the Women’s Studies program, Dr. Radosh has demonstrated that she is definitely up to the task. She is a focused and proactive leader who is able to set goals and priorities for excellent performance.”

The goal of the WomenÂ’s Studies department is to organize and deliver programs that educate in areas of gender and cultural diversity. Radosh coordinates interdisciplinary course offerings among the WomenÂ’s Studies faculty and across 10 departments and three academic colleges. The WomenÂ’s Studies department includes four fulltime faculty. In addition, 22 faculty members from other disciplines teach WomenÂ’s Studies courses.

This spring, Radosh was recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences for excellence in multicultural teaching. She was named the College Outstanding Teacher (1990) and has earned several Faculty Excellence Awards. Radosh came to Western Illinois in 1984 as an assistant professor of sociology. She earned the rank of professor in 1992, the same year she was named the Outstanding Working Woman of Illinois.

Radosh earned her bachelorÂ’s degree in sociology (1976) at the State University of New York at Geneseo. She earned her masterÂ’s degree (1978) and Ph.D. (1983) in sociology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her areas of expertise include gender, race, ethnicity, and women and crime.

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