Texas Tech University

Spotlight on Scholars


Co-sponsored by the Women's & Gender Studies Advisory Council, Spotlight on Scholars publicly acknowledges the quality, dedication, and achievements of members on our campus with accomplishments in feminist pedagogy/research/initiatives.


Our featured faculty is critical to the mission of our University to advance knowledge through innovative and creative teaching, research and scholarship.

Women's and Gender Studies Faculty 

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Kristin Alder, PhD, is a WGS full-time lecturer, starting in Fall 2021. Dr. Alder earned her PhD in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies from Texas' Woman's University. She was appointed to United Nations Representative of the US Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Her research interests include: transnational feminisms; womanist and indigenous epistemologies; science fiction and fantasy literature; and postcolonial literature. 

Kristin Alder, PhD, es profesora de tiempo completo de WGS, a partir del otoño de 2021. La Dra. Alder obtuvo su doctorado en Estudios Multiculturales de Mujeres y Género de la Universidad de Mujeres de Texas. Fue nombrada Representante de las Naciones Unidas de la Sección de Estados Unidos de la Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad. Sus intereses de investigación incluyen: feminismos transnacionales; epistemologías feministas e indígenas; literatura de ciencia ficción y fantasía; y literatura poscolonial. 


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Leslie Sotomayor, PhD, is a WGS Visiting Assistant Professor, starting in Fall 2021. Dr. Sotomayor earned a dual doctoral degree in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University. She is an artist, educator, and curator. Her work focuses on Latina experiences in the US, hybrid identities, psychological and emotional traveling, and post-immigration generations. 

Leslie Sotomayor, PhD, es profesora asistente visitante de WGS, a partir del otoño de 2021. La Dra. Sotomayor obtuvo un doctorado doble en Estudios de la Mujer, Género y Sexualidad y Educación Artística de la Universidad Estatal de Pensilvania. Es artista, educadora y curadora. Su trabajo se centra en las experiencias latinas en los EE. UU., Las identidades híbridas, los viajes psicológicos y emocionales y las generaciones posteriores a la inmigración. 

WGS Associate Director Named!

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Dr. Brandy Piña-Watson is an Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology in 2014 from Texas A&M University. Dr. Piña-Watson has been a Women & Gender Studies Faculty Affiliate since her arrival at Texas Tech University in 2014 whereby she has been active on several committees including a faculty search committee and the curriculum committee. She also previously served as the Diversity and Equity Strategist under the Diversity Equity & Inclusion Office and Provost. Dr. Piña-Watson's research focuses on identifying individual, familial, cultural, and societal factors that promote resilience against the negative impact of stress on Latinx adolescent and emerging adult depression, suicidal ideation and behaviors, well-being, and academic outcomes. Her work primarily focuses on the Mexican descent population living within the United States. Dr. Piña-Watson's research agenda takes a holistic and resilience approach that acknowledges the complexity and intersection of various identities and contexts as they pertain to Latinx well-being and mental health disparities.


Undergraduate or graduate members who have demonstrated academic quality and leadership. Accomplishments may include: external grants, honors, or awards; appointment as an officer of a student organization; conference presentation, theatrical production or show of creative work; or other activity that demonstrates quality and leadership in research, scholarship, or creative activity.

Student Organizations

We spotlight student organizations affiliated with W&GS that foster environments to connect and build community.  

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