Profile of Isabell Moore
I grew up in Greensboro, then left in 1997 to pursue a BA in History-Sociology at Columbia University in New York. After a winding path involving some exciting travels, involvement in community activism and two years off from college, I graduated in 2003 and returned to my hometown.
It was only in my senior year of college that I had discovered how well many WGS classes connected with my interests in social justice, challenging institutional racism, looking at intersections of oppression, and trying to learn effective ways to build movements for progressive social change. When I started looking at MA programs after several years of teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and working as a community organizer, it made sense that I was drawn to UNCG’s quite new Master’s program in WGS. Mary Ellis Gibson and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater were instrumental in helping me see that the program was a place where I could further reflect on and develop my feminist, anti-racist, social change values.
In fall of 2007 I began classes with the second cohort of MA students. In our MA orientation, when Kathy Jamieson, the director at that time, acknowledged the complex history of UNCG as Women’s College – a place that championed education for women, and was also at that time segregated so only served white women – I knew I was in the right place for complex and thought-provoking conversations about gender, race and class.
My tenure in the MA program was a time of wonderful personal, intellectual and political growth as part of a community of like-minded students and professors. Through inspiring and rigorous classes with Danielle Bouchard, Lisa Levenstein, Kathy Jamieson, Leila Villaverde, Silvia Bettez, Mark Rifkin and many others, I developed a more nuanced understanding of feminism, identity categories, and what it takes to build coalitions across difference. During these years I also deepened my commitment to Southerners On New Ground (SONG) as a member and volunteer, and was able to connect what I was learning in classes with what I was learning through participating in their intersectional approach to queer liberation.
After graduation, I joined the Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) Faculty In Training (FIT) program, which led into three years of teaching history there. I loved the students and enjoyed finding ways to bring analyses of gender, race, class and nationality into my Western Civ and World Civ classes.
My WGS Master’s Degree helped me deepen and strengthen my social change beliefs, develop skills as a teacher, and connected me to a network of like-minded faculty and students. I appreciated being able to chart my own path within the MA Plan of Study, while staying connected to my fellow students who were pursuing different though related interests. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a place to reflect, learn, build community, and consider next steps in life!
Since the end of May 2012, I have changed jobs to now serve as UNCG WGS’ Program Administrator. I’m excited to be serving the program in this role. If you want to hear more about what the next year holds for WGS, click here!