Jessany Maldonado is from Indianapolis, IN and graduated magna cum laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Psychological Sciences and a minor in LGBT Studies. She then went to complete her M.A. in Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of Northern Iowa, also graduating magna cum laude. Her master’s thesis, entitled “Afro Culture and Performance within the Bar Space,” examined the complexities of ethnic cultural performance within a space of leisure where three strong themes stood out: community (kinship) development, migration, and rituals of hospitality. From her cumulative experience, she aspires to now study the dynamics of same-sex love and eroticism between Afro women from physical, emotional, and spiritual standpoints. This developing work will also serve as a self-exploratory purpose and will encourage same-sex loving women, through research, to explore what it means to be Afro and women-loving/appreciating in an androcentric, misogynistic society. Last, but not least, she is also interested in pursuing computer programming and hopes to combine her social and technical science interests in the future.
Graduate Student, 2017 Cohort