Professor Receives 2021 ACE Award
Kristan Poirot receives recognition for her outstanding research, which explores how different communities fight for social change.
By Mia Mercer ‘23
Associate professor from the Department of Communication Kristan Poirot is the 2021 Women’s Progress Faculty ACE Award recipient. Interested in how different communities fight for social change, her research, and educational career focus particularly on women’s movements and black resistance since the 1850s and early 19th century.
The Accountability, Climate, and Equity (ACE) Awards are a series of annually awarded honors that recognize individuals at Texas A&M University who promote on-campus diversity. Of the nine ACE Awards, the Women’s Progress Award honors students, staff, faculty, and administrators who specifically encourage and promote sensitivity to and awareness of issues that relate to women.
“The work that I do comes from my core values and commitment to making Texas A&M a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution,” Poirot said. “It is nice to have my work acknowledged with the ACE Award.”
Poirot first became interested in her research after taking two undergraduate courses which introduced her to feminist theory. These courses inspired her to continue in that line of study. Today, her research addresses the problems of representation of women, sexual violence, and violence against women.
Poirot said she is especially interested in the way women’s movements have challenged notions of what it means to be a woman and how those challenges are important to transformative social change in both public policy and individual relationships.
“I am currently collaborating on a book-length project with Tasha Dubriwny (a 2018 ACE recipient) on liberalism and reproductive justice,” Poirot said. “The book aims to document the ways ‘rights’ and ‘choice’ frameworks both dominate and stymie public discussions on reproductive health. In so doing, political liberalism unduly limits an intersectional understanding of women’s reproductive lives.”
Not only do the ACE Awards acknowledge students, staff, faculty, and administrators who promote diversity on campus, but they also honor Texas A&M community members who have demonstrated commitment to Texas A&M’s core value of respect. This means recipients of the awards work to foster an environment aimed at furthering respectful treatment of others, affirming and encouraging individuals to take pride in their social and cultural identities, and including all in their definition of the “Aggie Family.” Poirot exemplifies this Aggie core value through her own research and the interactions she has with her students.
“My research influences so much on how I teach,” Poirot shared in an interview with the Department of Communication. “Part of it is enabling students to think critically about the world around them in any way they want to. And so I really see my research having the most direct effect through my teaching and my interaction with students at Texas A&M.”