Three from UW-L to be honored at YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women

Nov. 2, 2012

Three women from UW-L will be honored at this year’s YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women: Faye Ellis for science, Mahruq F. Khan for education, and Carol Oyster for activism.

The YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women recognizes women in the greater La Crosse area for their contributions to the community. Recipients will be honored Thursday, Nov. 15, at the La Crosse Center. The event includes a 5:30 p.m. social, and dinner and awards from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $55. To purchase tickets contact the YWCA at 781.2783.

Other 2012 recipients are:

  • Marlene Fisher – Social Justice
  • Mary Ann Gschwind — Non-profit
  • Jennifer Keller — Professional
  • Kaytlyn Larson — Young Women of Tomorrow, High School
  • Jocelyn Lutes — Young Women of Tomorrow, College
Photo of Faye Ellis.

Faye Ellis

Faye Ellis — Science

Faye Ellis completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology at UW-L. Ellis is now a member of the Biology Department where she took courses while pursuing her studies. Ellis teaches a variety of biological science courses. Ellis also serves as the general biology laboratory coordinator in the department training and overseeing graduate students who teach the general biology laboratories.

Ellis enjoys spending time with her husband, Troy, their two children, Jarret and Noah, and their yellow lab, Max. Ellis is an avid outdoor enthusiast and likes road biking, mountain biking, running and hiking in the bluffs surrounding the La Crosse area.

Mahruq F. Khan — Education

Photo of Mahruq Khan.

Mahruq Khan

Since 2009, Mahruq Khan has been an assistant professor of UW-L’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In 2007, with the support of the Arthur J. Schmitt Dissertation fellowship, she received a doctorate in sociology from Loyola University Chicago. Khan currently teaches: “Women’s Diversity: Race, Class and Culture;” “Gender and Human Rights;” “Globalization, Women and Work;” “Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies;” and “Gender, Power, and Faith.” Her research interests include the social construction of gender, religion and sexuality; human rights; and feminism among Muslims.

Khan has received three grants for international travel:

  • to Toronto to study the way gay and lesbian Muslims are constructing inclusive, religious communities;
  • to Nepal to conduct research on reducing stigma that marginalized women face in South Asia;
  • to China to examine the intersection of ethnicity and sexuality.

Her research has been published in the Journal of International Women’s Studies, the edited volumes “Islamic Homosexuality” and “Sociology of Religion: A Substantive and Disciplinary Approach” among others. Along with Gloria Steinem, she was recently invited to write about her personal journey with feminism for a book, which will be shared with college students at more than 2,000 universities.

Kahn, a native of Chicago, lives in La Crosse with her partner, Nizam, and their skittish but well-meaning cat, Machu.

Carol Oyster — Activist

Carol Oyster photo.

Carol Oyster

Carol K. Oyster moved to La Crosse with her daughter and joined the faculty of UW-L’s Psychology Department in 1989. She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles, and master’s and doctoral degrees in social psychology from the University of Delaware. Since 2009, Oyster has been UW-L’s director of the Institute for Ethnic and Racial Studies, chair of the Ethnic and Racial Studies Department and adviser to the Student Veterans Association.

Oyster’s area of expertise is stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. She has published two textbooks, one on research design and the other on group dynamics; co-authored a trade book on women, firearms and feminism; and co-edited an award-winning encyclopedia on women in today’s world. She has also published book chapters in a variety of topics, including women and retirement, suicide and police reactions to suicide-by-cop (based on a conference presentation at the FBI Academy).

In her spare time, Oyster enjoys spending time with her dog and cat, both rescue animals. She also engages in a number of crafts, including knitting, quilting and fabric sculpture.