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Falls Resident Named Director of Alverno College's Research Center for Women and Girls

Menomonee Falls Now
Submitted By Brian Dorrington
Posted: Nov. 16, 2009
Kate Masley, a resident of Menomonee Falls, has been named the director of Alverno College’s new Research Center for Women and Girls. Masley, a native of Pittsburgh, received both her Masters’ and Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Building off of its long-standing tradition of educating young women and girls, Alverno launched a Research Center for Women and Girls earlier this month. The center will include research specific to both women and girls and was formed to promote positive social change. It marks the next large step for Alverno College after it released alarming research in the 2007 Status of Girls in Wisconsin Report. The report took a landmark look at the lives of the 360,000 10- to 19-year old girls in the state and included findings in the areas of reproductive health, substance and alcohol abuse, and social support, among others.

“We are excited for the Research Center for Women and Girls at Alverno to become the bridge from the academic world to the community” Masley said. “This is not sit-on-the shelf research. This is the first step to empower both girls and young women.”

s director, Masley will spearhead research about women and girls by teaming with local and national agencies as well as Alverno College faculty. She has researched extensively in Third World countries, including studying how women care for themselves and their unborn children during pregnancy in western Honduras and Latin America.

Additionally, Masley has conducted research rooted in what public health researchers call the “Latina Paradox.” According to this paradox, statistics show that Mexican immigrant women in the United States are generally having healthy babies despite representing a low-income group, lacking sufficient health insurance, and maintaining both low education rates and prenatal care. Masley sought to understand what the women representing this demographic are doing to prevent poor infant health outcomes.

In her new role at Alverno, Masley will also work closely with both local and national advisory boards to steer the research, along with developing follow-up educational strategies.
“I envision empowering women and girls by placing them at the very forefront of research and advocacy,” Masley said.

Roots of Alverno’s New Research Center

Alverno’s Research Center for Women and Girls, which is open to the public, will host a comprehensive database for students, educators, elected officials and business professionals. It will also host workshops, lectures and documentaries exploring a wide range of issues.

For decades, Alverno College has researched women, but primarily internally with the goal of encouraging young women to be leaders in the community. The new center will build off this history, while now reaching out to young girls to impact their lives at an earlier age. The center, which included the remodeling of a small chapel and the hiring of the new director, was made possible by a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor.

About Alverno College

Alverno College, a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college for women, exists to promote the personal and professional development of its students. The college has earned accolades and respect internationally for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, and has consulted with three U.S. presidential administrations on accountability and outcomes in higher education. Educators from throughout the world visit Alverno to learn about its proven, student-centered teaching methods.

Alverno offers more than 35 major program areas of study, including graduate programs in education, nursing and business that are open to women and men. For more information about Alverno, visit our Web site at or call 414-382-6100.

Research Center for Women and Girls
Bernell Hooker

Bernell Hooker is the Founder and CEO of Images of Us (IOU) Sports; a non-profit organization that empowers girls and women through education and sports. "Think of yourself as an athlete. I guarantee you it will change the way you walk, the way you work, and the decisions you make about leadership, teamwork, and success." - Mariah Burton Nelson