Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Alumni News

SUNY New Paltz Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program - Helping our Program Grow

Would you like to support the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at SUNY New Paltz?  Contributions are used to strengthen our program, help defray the cost of the conference every other year and to provide scholarships for outstanding students in need of financial support.  Tax deductible contributions can be made through the SUNY New Paltz Foundation.  In the section of the form regarding where to direct your gift, be sure to select “Other” and then indicate that you would like your contribution to go to the Women’s Studies Program.


Kathleen O'Keefe, a Women's Studies major and Law and Politics minor who graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 1990, spent four months in Tunisia this year helping the Tunisian Bar Association prepare for the country's first free election in several decades. Kathleen is a civil litigator, specializing in election law, and has been election law counsel to the Speaker of the New York State Assembly for the last several years.  The American Bar Association invited her to serve as an election law specialist in their "Rule of Law Initiative's" work to prepare for the Tunisian elections. 

In that capacity, Kathleen was responsible for the programmatic, administrative and financial duties of the initiative and the supervision of Tunisian staffers. The project included leading workshops in three cities on best election practices and the role of the lawyer in the election process. Kathleen also supervised the drafting and printing of 2000 copies of a comprehensive Lawyer’s Election Law Handbook, and developed a web based/mobile text Election Law Helpline that operated for several weeks leading up to and including Election Day. On October 23, 2011 eighty-seven percent of eligible voters cast their votes for members of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly in a peaceful election.

Kathleen graduated from Rutgers Law School in 1994 and has clerked in New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, and in the New York trial court, the Supreme Court.  After 10 years at the Assembly, Kathleen has decided to work full time as a solo practitioner specializing in Election Law and Matrimonial Law.

She regularly returns to the SUNY New Paltz campus to lecture on women and the law and has written an essay entitled "Women and the Law: Successes, Setbacks and Unfinished Business” for the fifth edition of Women: Images and Realities, A Multicultural Anthology.

Tamara Flanders, a holistic health counselor and SUNY New Paltz Women’s Studies graduate (1998), has a new book out. Farm Fed: Healthy and Hearty Feasts from the Winter Farmers Market includes healthy whole food recipes, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipes. Also included are stories about some of the farmers who participate in farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture. Please see http://yourbodyawake.comid7.html or contact tamaraflanders@yourbodyawake.com for more information.