Kristen McHenry Profile Picture

Kristen McHenry

Full Time Lecturer

Women's & Gender Studies

Curriculum Vitae


Liberal Arts 312


2013UMass AmherstPhD


  • Introduction to Women's Studies
  • Global Women's Health
  • Women's Health and Environment
  • Feminist Research Methods



Semester-long internship in community-based organization that addresses an aspect of human health and well-being. Work is supervised by on-site sponsor as well as instructor. Students gain and reflect on work experience and prepare themselves for next steps in defining and achieving their career goals.

How governments at the federal, state and local levels cope with threats to the public's health, such as AIDS, lead poisoning, toxic waste, tuberculosis. We will evaluate the effectiveness of government interventions, identify ethical and political pitfalls of present strategies and assess the prospects for eradicating our most pressing health problems.

Investigation of the complex relationship between our environment and women's health and bodies. Theoretical concepts such as environmental justice, environmental racism, cancer prevention, the precautionary principle, and ecological feminism will be examined. Key women's health issues including reproductive health, cancer, asthma and lung disease will be explored in detail. A feminist intersectional analysis of the ways race, class, and gender inform one's experience of environmental harm and degradation will inform our study of women's health issues. In addition we will be exploring various activist and political responses to environmental and women's health issues in the United States.

An overview of women's health through an international perspective. Various women's health issues such as cancer, fertility, maternal mortality, STI/STD, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women are researched and analyzed. The investigation of health issues through a feminist political lens is crucial. The relevance and importance of understanding women's health through a human rights framework will be explored. The aim is to understand how gender inequity impacts women's health. Socioeconomic status, nation, gender and race all play a crucial role in women's health. Most importantly, an investigation into the various political, institutional and activist responses to women's health issues around the world will be undertaken. The level of political commitment to women's health will be analyzed by focusing on key strategies implemented by international institutions like the United Nations, and look at particular government strategies in countries such as Haiti, India, China, and Ghana.

Students earn academic credit by working in area public, private, or non-profit organizations that provide services to women and/or members of the LGBTQ community. Students work under the supervision of a Women's and Gender Studies faculty member and a sponsor at the selected organization. Students are responsible for securing their own placements, and all placements must be approved in advance by the faculty member. Students are required to keep an internship journal and write a final paper based on their experiences, in addition to completing their work hours.


Online and Continuing Education Courses

Basic concepts and perspectives in Women's Studies, placing women's experience at the center of interpretation. With focus on women's history and contemporary issues, the course examines women's lives with emphasis on how gender interacts with race, class, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women's lives: how the interlocking systems of oppression, colonialism, racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism shape women's lives; and how women have worked to resist these oppressions. This course satisfies a social science distribution requirement and the general education diversity requirement.

Topics will be determined by the faculty member and will therefore vary.
Register for this course.


Research Interests

  • Environmental Health
  • Feminist Science Studies
  • Women's Health
  • Cancer
Latest from Kristen

Request edits to your profile