Updates from the Director

January 2021 Update

Hello CHSS Community Members!

I hope the Winter Break brought you some time for rest and enjoyment.  The Spring 21 semester has begun!  Next week, our HSED 618 and 619 courses will take place, and January 19 marks the “first day of classes” for the rest of the Widener Spring course schedule. As we begin the Spring 21 semester, I have some items for your consideration:

  • Students prep for Spring:  Please review your course plan for Spring 21.  If you have any concerns or questions about your schedule, please contact your academic advisor as soon as possible.  Please keep in mind that all CHSS courses are being taught remotely in Spring 21 due to the pandemic, and that instructors are making decisions about which portions of a course are taught asynchronously and synchronously based on the learning goals of each course.  Thus, it is important to carefully review course syllabi once they are available to you to understand expectations for each course.

  • CHSS action plan updates:  I have attached an updated version of the CHSS action plan to promote equity, inclusion, diversity, and social justice (EIDSJ) to this message.  The update reflects progress on the plan made during Fall 2020 and corrects a typo. I’m also pleased to announce that two experts in BIPOC sexualities and inclusive educational practice will serve as consultants for the CHSS EIDSJ committee as we continue our work guided by the action plan this semester.  You can learn more about Dr. Bianca Laureano at https://biancalaureano.com/. You can learn more about Dr. Archana Pathak at https://gsws.vcu.edu/people/pathak.html.

  • January 21, 5 to 6:30 (Eastern):  A CHSS town hall to discuss the CHSS action plan to promote equity, inclusion, diversity and social justice (EIDSJ) facilitated by the student representatives of the CHSS EIDSJ committee (Kelly Burns, Kelley Quinn, Sara Rodberg).  All CHSS students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. Location: https://widener.zoom.us/j/9122200319

  • Summer 21 courses:  Due to the continued danger and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the CHSS faculty have decided to teach all Summer 21 courses remotely.  Although we are hopeful that the vaccines will soon bring an end to this terrible pandemic, we must make decisions about the summer schedule in the next few weeks while there is not yet a clear path out of the pandemic. I wanted to let you know courses will be remote now so that you may plan accordingly (especially for those of you who would otherwise travel to Chester to courses).

  • Director walk-in hours: For the Spring semester,  I will hold virtual walk-in hours on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5 (Eastern) starting on Jan 21. Please drop in to say hi, with questions, or with concerns.  Location: https://widener.zoom.us/j/9122200319.

Thank you,


The Committee for Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice has worked to update the Action Plan for the Center for Human Sexuality Studies. You can review the new Action Plan HERE.


September 2020 Update

Hello CHSS Community,

Welcome to the Fall 2020 Semester!  Our courses began on August 24, and I know that many of you have already met in classes.  For those of you who don’t know me yet, I am the new Director of the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University.  I’m excited to be here and to work with all of you.  This message is the first of what I intend to be monthly updates to you, the CHSS Community, about what’s going on in CHSS and sometimes the Widener community more broadly.


  1. CHSS anti-racist work:  The CHSS full-time faculty had our first meeting of the Fall 2020 semester in the form of a two day retreat last week.  A large portion of our meeting was spent discussing the open letters we received this summer calling for improvements to CHSS in regard to racial and social justice, and beginning to formulate an action plan to make and maintain these improvements.  The faculty is committed to this work and grateful for the call to action we received in the form of the open letters.  While we are still in the beginning of forming an action plan, I can share the following information with you now:
    1. As they prepare for Fall 2020 courses, the faculty are reviewing their syllabi and course plans to update readings, activities, or other course material to be more inclusive and focus on racial and social justice.  Through our CHSS committee structure and working groups, we will continue to review the curriculum and make improvements.
    2. We have decided to expand the membership of the CHSS Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice to include several student representatives.  You should have received a message from Javay about the election of these representatives.  We hope that in expanding this important committee to include students, student voices and concerns may be at the center of our work in this area.
    3. As center director, I am reviewing our budget and spending to maximize opportunities to focus our resources on our anti-racist work.
    4. We will seek the help of facilitators and accountability partners as we engage in this important work.  Some  may join us for short term events and projects, while we hope others will become a lasting part of our CHSS structure in the form of an advisory board or similar entity.
    5. Our CHSS leadership team has committed to make ourselves easily accessible to members of the CHSS community.  In Fall 2020, here’s how you can reach us:

Dr. Pam Lannutti, Professor and CHSS Director

Open office hours Thursdays, 3:30pm to 5pm (Eastern)



Dr. Justin Sitron, Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Services

Open office hours Thursdays, 10am to noon (Eastern)



Dr. Brooke Wells, Associate Professor & PhD Program Director

Drop-in office hours will be held at the times listed below, but you can always schedule an individual meeting using: https://brooke-wells.youcanbook.me/. Drop-in office hours (all in Eastern time): September 17th from 7:30-8:30, October 19th from 7:30-8:30, November 18th from 12p-1p, Each open office hour session will be held at: https://widener.zoom.us/j/7184554827

Dr. Christopher White, Interim Director of Graduate Studies. Schedule a meeting with Dr White at:  christopherwhitephd.youcanbook.me.Please note that Dr White is in the Pacific Time Zone and normally schedules meetings between 9am and 5pm PT/noon and 8pm ET

  1. Careers in Sexuality Conference: I am pleased that the Careers in Sexuality Conference will take place on October 2, 2020 (online).  Get your tickets now! To find out more about the conference, please go to: https://careersinsexualityconference.wordpress.com/


  1. Spring 2021 courses:  Believe it or not, we are already at work on the course schedule for Spring 2021.  While details about the schedule will be coming in the near future, I wanted to make you aware of one important aspect of the Spring 2021 schedule now.  Due to the current state of the pandemic and predications about the future path it may take, the CHSS faculty have decided that all Spring 2021 CHSS courses will be offered remotely.  While we value the richness of the in-person course experience, we feel we can not count on travel and meeting on campus starting in January 2021 to be the safest option.  Thus, we have made the proactive decision to offer all Spring 2021 courses remotely so that students and faculty may plan for Spring now and know what to expect for the entire semester.


As the year progresses, I will provide you with more updates.  If you have any questions, please reach out. And, as always, thank you for being a part of CHSS!