What have past Gender Studies students said about the program?
Kaitlyn Huntington, Class of 2014
Currently, I am a Resource Development VISTA for Habitat for Humanity in St. Paul. As a VISTA I have a yearlong service term where I will be helping with donor relations. I help reach out to donors and think of ways to build relationship others have with habitat. I have learned a lot about housing issues and poverty and this relates back to many of my gender classes. Housing affects everyone, but often Habitat works with single parent families and mothers trying to provide a stable home for their children.
Habitat has also done a fabulous job of breaking stereotypes around the construction industry. Several times a year a group of women host "Women Build" build sites and complete a house built entirely by women. Many of the women say they feel empowered to create a house from the ground up and I am happy to be a part of this organization!
How did the Gender Studies minor contribute to my academic development?
I loved that the Gender Studies minor was interdisciplinary. I studied history, literature, and philosophy, while learning about the significant contributions women made to these different areas of study. The GS minor was also a nice complement to my philosophy major. I had the opportunity to study feminist ethics, which was really unique for a traditionally male dominated discipline like philosophy.
Carol Morris, Class of 1999
Office Coordinator, Office of Academic Advising, College of Saint Benedict
What did I learn from Gender Studies courses that helped foster my own personal development?
Taking Gender Studies courses challenged me to rethink my values and beliefs and reflect on personal choices. Learning about relationship dynamics helped me continue developing my interpersonal and coping skills with more confidence. Many of the GS courses were enlightening and helped me understand why I do what I do sometimes. Through the process of rediscovering myself, I also learned how I really feel about many things, not just believing a certain way because that is how I was socialized. I find myself making healthier choices for myself after taking many of these courses.
Lisa Schmid, Class of 1999
What did I learn from the Gender Studies minor that has been useful for me in my job or career?
I use my strong leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills daily in my job as a legislative assistant to a state senator. For example, I supervise our committee page, communicate with senators, constituents, other staff members, other government officials, and lobbyists, and make decisions that affect our office and the way we do things. I also believe that the GS minor has given me the tools I need to stand up and argue for public policy that benefits women and promotes equality and social justice. I would not hesitate to tell my boss what I think about a particular piece of legislation and the way it will impact women. Fortunately, I work for a senator that needs very little reminding of such things! Ultimately, I know that the things I learned and the skills I developed through my experience in the GWST minor definitely contributed to my being able to have the job I love so much now.
Rachel Wick, Class of 2000
Systems Assistant, Minnesota Women's Press