AAUW presents Research Award to SUNY Potsdam professor
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 11:10 am

The St. Lawrence County Branch, American Association of University Women, is presenting its sixth annual AAUW Research Award to Dr. Susanne Zwingel, an International Relations and Women and Gender Studies Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at SUNY Potsdam.

AAUW will present Dr. Zwingel with the 2011 Award at their Fall membership meeting of the AAUW on Tues., Oct. 25 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, East Main St., Canton. A potluck dinner begins at 5:30 pm, followed by the branch meeting and Dr. Zwingel’s discussion of her recent research. Members and the public are welcome to attend. Bring a dish to pass and your tableware, or just come for the program at 6:30 pm.

Dr. Zwingel joined the Politics Department at SUNY Potsdam in January 2006. Her academic interests focus on Human Rights, Global Governance, Transnationalism, and Conflict Dynamics take a feminist perspective, and her current book project focuses on International Women’s Rights in domestic contexts. Prof. Zwingel is also preparing a textbook on Gender Politics in International Governance, which grew out of a conference she organized in Geneva, Switzerland.

With the first World Women’s Conference in Mexico in 1975, the United Nations adopted gender equality as one of its goals, and in 1979, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). However, as Dr. Zwingel explains, “inequality and subordination based on gender are still pervasive.”

Equality of rights for women is a basic principle of the United Nations. The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations sets as one of the Organization's central goals the reaffirmation of "faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women".

Passed by the U.N. General Assembly in 1979, CEDAW provides a universal definition of discrimination against women that establishes a basis for every government’s domestic and foreign policy to combat gender-based discrimination. Although the United States has been a signatory to CEDAW for over 30 years, we have yet to ratify this important treaty and strengthen the foundation from which we work toward ensuring gender equity for all. AAUW has endorsed the ratification of CEDAW since 1981, and is still urging the Senate to take action to ratify this important treaty.

A native of Germany, Dr. Zwingel publishes and presents her work in both German and English. She recently was awarded a Drescher leave from SUNY Potsdam to pursue her research interests, and received several international grants, including the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.

Dr. Zwingel’s work is of particular important to the AAUW-NYS project, My Sister’s Keeper, a statewide initiative to foster a greater understanding of the plight of women worldwide and within our domestic borders. Among the areas of concern are gendercide, violence, lack of educational opportunities, the lack of maternal health care and efforts to support the rights of women, and gender equality. St. Lawrence County Branch AAUW is pleased to recognize Dr. Zwingel for work to better the understanding of women internationally.

Previous AAUW Research Awards have gone, in 2006 to Laura E. Ettinger, PhD, Associate Professor of History at Clarkson University, in 2007 to Caroline Breashears, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English at St Lawrence University, in 2008 to Maria Hepel, Ph.D., Professor/Chair of the SUNY Potsdam Department of Chemistry, in 2009 to SUNY Potsdam graduate student Rebecca Jewell, and in 2011 to Shiho Imai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History at SUNY Potsdam.

Membership in the St. Lawrence County Branch is open to anyone who supports the mission of AAUW. AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. AAUW’s commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.

For more information about AAUW locally, contact President Becky Gerber at 268-9957 or gerberrl@potsdam.edu or Public Policy Chair Kathleen Stein at 386-3812 or kstein1@twcny.rr.com. AAUW, with its nationwide network of more than 100,000 members, more than 1,000 branches conducting programs in communities across the country, and 500 college and university partners, has been a leading advocate for equity and education for women and girls since 1881.