Staff and Research Scholars

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program and the Alice Paul Center are enriched by the following Staff, Fellows, Research Scholars, and Lecturers:


Nancy Hirschmann


A professor in Political Science, Nancy Hirschmann works in the history of political thought, analytical philosophy and feminist theory. Her newest book, Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory considers the concept of freedom as it developed in the canon of political thought from the 17th to 19th centuries and examines how issues of gender and class affected the dominant conceptions of freedom.  Her previous book, The Subject of Liberty: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom, took a more contemporary approach and considered the concept of freedom in the context of political and social issues such as domestic violence, Islamic veiling, and U.S. welfare reform.  Read More

Demie Kurz

Demie Kurz


Demie Kurz is the Co-Director of the Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and the Co-Director of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program.  Her primary research and teaching interests are in contemporary issues of gender, with a specific focus on the family.  She has written on the topics of divorce and domestic violence and also has a strong interest in the area of "carework".  Read More

Luz Marin


Luz Marin

Program Coordinator 

Luz Marin is the Program Coordinator for the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program.

Mary Zaborskis

Graduate Associate

Mary Zaborskis is an English PhD candidate and Franklin/Fontaine Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She works at the intersections of queer, indigenous, and childhood studies in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature. Her work has appeared in WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly ("Child" Spring 2015) and Journal of Homosexuality (forthcoming). Mary has contributed reviews to Public Books and Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory.

Sabina Springer

Sabina Spigner

Office Assistant 

Sabina Spigner is the Office Assistant for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. She is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences studying Biological Bases of Behavior and GSWS. She aspires to become an OB/GYN specializing in LGBT Healthcare and wants to implement what she learns from the GSWS Program into her eventual field of medicine. In addition, Sabina is currently working as an intern in a genetics research lab at CHOP. She is also director of SPEC Film!

Alexandra Sastre

Alexandra Sastre

Graduate Assistant, Alice Paul Center

Alexandra Sastre is the Graduate Assistant for the Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. Her research involves examining the body as a critical communicative tool, looking at the performance of race, gender and sexuality in digital media spaces and in realty television. Her work has been published in the journals Feminist Media Studies, Communication Culture and Critique, Celebrity Studies, and Visual Communication Quarterly. Read More


Kirk Fiereck

Kirk Fiereck

Research Associate, Alice Paul Center

Kirk Fiereck received a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from Columbia University in 2014 and a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2005. His research examines how forms of queer personhood have emerged out of complex enactments of sexual and gender identities within black and medical cultures in South Africa over the past century. Read More

Liz Noll

Research Associate, Alice Paul Center 

Liz Noll is a social policy researcher concerned with the impact of institutional organization and practice on the health and welfare of women in the public sector.  She has a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. and B.A. in Sociology from Temple University.  Liz has been a welfare caseworker, a policy analyst, and an advocate for welfare-reliant single mothers in college.  Her current research critically interrogates the social and political construction of evidence by empirically examining ways in which welfare policy, managerial practices, and neoliberal discourse are deployed as institutional modes of discipline that shape the agency and economic options of low-income single mothers.  

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The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania

The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

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