Sharron Watts-Brooks, Lena Thaler, Brendan McHugh

Women and Gender Studies Alumni Panel

Thursday, May 09, 2024
Event Time 09:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. PT
Location HUM 382*
Contact Email


What can you do with a degree in Women & Gender Studies? 


Featured Alumni 

Jack Hengesbach (they/them)

Jack is a long time transgender activist and zinester who graduated from SFSU’s Women and Gender studies Bachelor program with a minor in queer ethnic studies. They are most well known for their zine on how to make gender queer formal wear. They currently work for Silver Sprocket, a punk indie comics publisher, and are a part of their offshoot micro press Hot Sprocket. They are a former member of the San Francisco City and County fellows program where they worked in the Office of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at the SF Human Services Agency handling such projects such as a Land Back workshop with The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, a Health Fair for people experiencing homelessness, and led the first ever pride contingent for SFHSA. They are also a former fellow of the Longmore Institute on Disability and are very proud of being a disabled punk.


Brendan McHugh 

Brendan McHugh is a San Francisco based writer, public historian, and bookseller. His writing has appeared on Brokeass Stuart, KQED,, Catapult, Lady Science, JSTOR Daily, and Nursing Clio. He was a 2023-2024 Brown-Handler Writing Resident with Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. He occasionally writes on his Substack and is currently working on a book project documenting the work of Shanti Project volunteers in the City during the AIDS crisis.  

Find out more on his website: or follow his instagram: ms._b._rendan 


Lena Thaler 

Lena Thaler is a soon-to-be graduate of UC Berkeley's Masters of Social Welfare program, concentrating in clinical social work with specialization in perinatal care, trauma recovery and school counseling. While in graduate school, she has trained as a psychotherapist in a hospital psychiatry department and as a school social worker in a high school. Lena has also worked in K-12 education settings and healthcare spaces including schools, community gardens, juvenile justice centers, and holistic health clinics. In her free time, she enjoys learning about doula and birth work, cooking with seasonal food and swimming in any body of water. 


Sharron Watts – Brooks 

Sharron Watts-Brooks is a bridge builder actively creating accessible pathways for communities, city governments, and institutions transitioning to spaces of equity and boundless opportunity. She has 30 years of experience navigating systems change and her authenticity serves as a guiding beacon, grounding her in her true self and nurturing connections with others. Her passion lies in empowering communities to address critical issues and access in education, health, housing, and wealth.  She specializes in building collaborative partnerships, program design, and evaluation. Sharron Watts-Brooks is a current Partnership for the Bay’s Future Fellow, prototyping solutions for housing innovation. 


*Small reception to follow at the WGS lounge, HUM 316

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