Jessany Maldonado

Dr. Maldonado

Assistant Professor of Instruction
Department of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Office: CMC 202K

Curriculum Vitae


As a professor in the multi-interdisciplinary field of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Dr. Jessany Maldonado lays the groundwork for students to recognize their power both within and outside of the classroom. Placed at the forefront of her teaching is the acknowledgement and exploration of diversity. This focus helps students examine ways to correct the imbalances of power that privilege some identities at the expense of others. Specifically, Dr. Maldonado’s student-centered approach facilitates collaborative examination and intentional application of foundational interdisciplinary principles to everyday phenomena. Combined with the course’s purposeful design to innovate and transform curious minds, this teaching strategy intends to fulfill the following goals: encourage collaborative and interactive learning relationships within diverse groups and prepare students to execute theory-informed practice (social change) in their social world(s). Aligned with the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion, her pedagogical practices and mentorship styles prepare students to commit to the recognition, affirmation, and inclusion of various identities, perspectives, and lived experiences. This purposeful commitment to praxis will lead to the creation of more equal and equitable societies around the globe.

Having graduated magna cum laude from both Purdue University and the University of Northern Iowa, she earned a B.S. in Psychological Sciences with a minor in LGBT Studies and a M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, respectively. In 2023, she graduated summa cum laude (highest distinction) from Indiana University with her Ph.D. in Gender Studies. Valuing culturally affirmative and sex positive epistemologies, Dr. Jessany Maldonado’s empirical interests are situated within the study of human sexuality.

Dr. Jessany Maldonado’s bachelor’s research explored unconventional sexualities, where she examined how human attraction to non-human entities could be considered another type of queered sexualities in their own right. In contrast, her master’s thesis, entitled Afro Culture and Performance within the Bar Space, illustrated the complexities of Black sociocultural performances within spaces of leisure. She found that African Americans exercised community development, migration, and rituals of hospitality to foster and strengthen their kinship bonds in predominately Black spaces located within predominately non-Black cities. Her doctoral research, entitled Black Women-Loving Women’s Socio-Sexual Narratives, centered Black women and their socio-sexual experiences. Specifically, she found that Black women wield transformative power over their intimate lives in how they identify, occupy and transform space, and spiritualize physical intimacy.

Currently, Dr. Jessany Maldonado teaches various classes within the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of South Florida – Tampa. Along with her teaching responsibilities, she provides mentorship to motivated students who are prepared to advance in their professional careers. Finally, she continues to empirically investigate how Black women perform and intertwine spirituality and sexual intimacy.

Research Interests

Black women; African Diasporic sexualities; sexual eroticism; biopsychosocial and physical dynamics of sex; masculinity studies; unconventional sexualities; sex work; sex education


Ph.D. | Gender Studies | Indiana University | 2023

M.A. | Women’s & Gender Studies | University of Northern Iowa | 2017

B.S. | Psychological Sciences | Purdue University | 2011

Selected Awards

Indiana University
Graduate Assistantship (2017-2023)
Graduate Scholars Fellowship (2017-2022)
Gene Branigin Fellowship (2021)

University of Northern Iowa
Graduate Assistantship (2015-2017)
Graduate College Tuition Scholarship (2015-2017)

Purdue University
21st Century Scholars Scholarship (2011-2015)
Purdue Promise Scholarship (2011-2015)
Roger Blalock Tuition Scholarship (2012)