Gender Studies program celebrates new location

Gender Studies Book Fair

Candice Jessmon, a junior majoring in nursing at UMSL, thumbs through one of the scores of free books given away this week by the Gender Studies program at UMSL. Gender Studies held the book fair in celebration of its recent move to a new space in 494 Lucas Hall, which includes a lounge, offices, a conference room and, in general, a more inviting feel than its previous location. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The Gender Studies program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis has moved up in the world, figuratively and literally. The program recently moved from a space in the partially submerged second floor of Clark Hall to the more spacious 494 Lucas Hall.

“We’ve come up out of the basement and into the light,” said Sally Barr Ebest, director of the program.

The new Gender Studies home doesn’t actually have windows — except for the glass front office. But what it lacks in a good view and natural light, it makes up for with a more vibrant appearance, new furniture, a larger space and a better all-around location. The program shares the fourth floor of Lucas Hall with the offices for the history and English departments.

“A lot of Gender Studies directors have been from English, so it’s been a natural fit to be right here with the department,” said Ebest, who is also a professor of English at UMSL.

The Gender Studies program celebrated the recent move Monday and Tuesday with a book fair in which scores of free books were made available to the UMSL community. Ronald Yasbin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UMSL, was also on hand Tuesday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening.

Ebest said the Gender Studies faculty and staff are grateful for the new space, which includes a lounge, offices, a conference room and, in general, a more inviting feel than its previous location. She pointed out the UMSL Libraries-loaned artwork adorning the olive green and khaki walls, for one. And plush chairs and free Wi-Fi are available to students, making for a casual and comfortable place to do homework.

“Like the Veterans Center, the Gender Studies Lounge provides a place where students can study, share ideas, communicate and meet with other students and faculty members with similar interests and experiences,” said Yasbin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The students asked for this type of environment. We hope it enhances their experience at UMSL.”

The old Gender Studies office in 212 Clark Hall is the new home of the UMSL Veterans Center.

New Gender Studies space, 494 Lucas Hall

The Gender Studies program at UMSL held a book fair this week in its new space, 494 Lucas Hall. The fair will continue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. (Photo by August Jennewein)


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