Readers’ pick: Irene Foster
Bonnie Morris, an adjunct professor of women’s studies and this year’s editors’ pick for best professor, has been inspiring minds at GW for more than 20 years.
Morris said she received an early introduction to women’s history courses in the seventh grade, and in the 1970s, she was a young feminist at the height of the second wave. During her undergraduate education, Morris said she was the first person to earn a minor in women’s studies at American University.
She joined GW’s women’s studies department in the fall of 1994 and has since crafted her own curricula and classes for women’s studies. One of the courses she created focuses on athletics and gender.
“Women have been praised for what they do in the home, but when they act in the public sphere, they’re either required to be like men, or are compared to men, or they’re ashamed – that’s been going on all throughout time.” Morris said. “And so what I try and give students is a sense of how these same problems were handled by women in every generation.”
When she’s not teaching, you might find Morris journaling atop her roof, speed skating or riding her bike along the Capital Crescent trail. Throughout her time at GW, Morris has cheered on athletics teams at the Smith Center.
While this is Morris’ last semester teaching at GW because of budget cuts that affected the women’s study program, she said she will continue to work on women’s issues. She currently has an exhibit in the Library of Congress on the history of women in the feminist music movement and next winter, Morris will release her 15th book.
“I’ve been at GW for over 22 years, and it’s really been my life’s focus.” Morris said. “It’s a great honor to be selected as somebody that students like, and I want them to know how much I have loved them all these years.”