I have learned that the most interesting careers are often occupied by those who don't know what they want to be when they grow up. It isn't that they are indecisive or aimless; rather, they are nimble in their skill sets with interests abounding.
My liberal arts career, particularly my Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor and Anthropology major, propelled me toward a similarly dynamic path. I began with Teach for America Baltimore in a high school Spanish classroom. Upon my return home, I had the opportunity to join ABC News in their communications department. It was a pivot from the path on which I thought I was set, but I was eager to explore and gain new skills.
Had I received a more narrow-focused education, I may not have been prepared for such a transition. As it were, the WGSS department gave me the nuanced perspective and command of the English language that was critical for my position in a demanding, fast-paced environment. As I was promoted to another role at Disney|ABC Television Group in corporate communications and corporate citizenship, I relied even more on my ability to think critically and persuade, both in person and in writing. Luckily, WGSS professors provided ample opportunity for lively debate, which gave me the voice and confidence I needed in a powerhouse like Disney. These skills are a direct result of the rigorous course of study in which I participated at F&M.
Most recently I joined the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University where I manage our communications strategy, assist in executing events, and contribute to development activities. Our cornerstone fellowship program offers resources and financial support
for the development of original artistic and scholarly work on ballet and its related arts. Fellows range from world-renowned filmmakers to philosophers to emerging choreographers, so I must engage thoughtfully with a variety of topics. In fact, some of our fellows' projects are rooted in the subjects I once discussed in Stager. For instance, how can we better support women choreographers, a discipline occupied primarily by men?
I feel unyielding gratitude for the opportunity to engage with these sorts of questions each day. I am even more grateful for the WGSS department that helped make it possible.
Sabrina graduated from F&M magna cum laude and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Since graduating with a major in Sociology and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies (WGS), Lauren Dever '13 has worked as a teacher's assistant for Cooperative Educational Services, a public outplacement school for students who need more intense support emotionally and/or behaviorally. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Special Education and is on the path to becoming a certified special education teacher.
Lauren is a passionate advocate for the disempowered in our society. When asked about the impact of her education on her career, she offered these thoughts: "F&M encouraged me to analyze privilege and discrimination. I learned to think critically about how societal views are constructed about race, socioeconomics, and ability. These issues are prevalent in the field of special education--no student fits a stereotype or label. With my students, I am conscious of how I frame issues related to gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability. And when I teach students about the world, I do my best to impart the critical thinking and questioning skills I developed at F&M."
Meghan Godorov '06
Meghan Godorov ’06 majored in Psychology and Women’s Studies, and was a volleyball stand-out at Franklin and Marshal College. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director for Career Development at Mount Holyoke College (MHC), mentoring students on career choices, developing their personal brand, networking, and aiding the job search process through individualized appointments and a robust menu of workshop offerings. She is also the pre-law advisor at Mount Holyoke, helping students learn about careers in the legal profession, guiding them through the law school application process and assisting them in preparing for the LSAT. Meghan launched her own career consulting business in January 2013, serves as Executive Co-Chair for a local young professionals group and enjoys traveling around New England every chance she gets!
Prior to arriving at MHC, Meghan earned a Master's Degree in Education in Student Affairs with a concentration in College Counseling Licensure from Kutztown University (Pa.) in May 2011, where she spent three years working at the University's Community Relations and Development Services office. She completed her internship year (2010-11) working as the graduate intern in the Muhlenberg College Career Center. In addition, Meghan served as the assistant women's volleyball coach there for three years.
Meghan connects her F&M experience with her professional success: “It is both my liberal arts background and education through the WGS department when I was a student at F&M that allow me each and every day to understand the challenges and benefits of an all-women's college. I am better able to serve this population of students because I understand their needs and empathize with their barriers to success.”
Caitlin Harbold '10
Caitlin Harbold '10 is an event planner in Palm Springs. Prior to moving to Palm Springs, Caitlin served as the Development Events Manager for The Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. Prior to arriving at George Mason, Caitiln was an event planning intern at Feats, Inc., a marketing and event production firm.
At George Mason, she implemented a new event: a Women in Engineering luncheon for students, alumni, and high school students to meet and hear stories from women in the engineering industry. She worked closely with a student group called SWE (Society for Women in Engineering).
Rebecca Scott '06
Rebecca Scott '06 was a joint major in Women's Studies and Spanish. After graduation, she took her global, gendered perspective to Guyana, where she worked as a Spanish and Reading teacher, and then moved up into administrative positions with WorldTeach and the Ministry of Education.
In the midst of applying to graduate schools, she had to coordinate the evacuation of her organization from Guyana. She graduated from Edinburgh University, with distinction, in the Anthropology of Health and Illness in 2009, after writing a thesis on a "mystery illness" affecting the female students at Santa Rosa Secondary School, where Rebecca used to teach. In the course of her research, Rebecca observed competing explanations of the illness: Western psychologists offered a diagnosis that was rejected by the local community, while the community accused local women of making the girls sick. Her passionate commitment to this work has led her to pursue a PhD in medical anthropology.
While awaiting news of graduate school acceptances, Rebecca found work in her home community as the Site Manager for Community Action Program‚ Family Planning, Teen, and STI Clinics. This Title X Community Health Center serves as the primary reproductive health care provider for Central and Northern New Hampshire‚ uninsured and underinsured populations. As part of her job, Rebecca also coordinates outreach programs in schools, refugee groups and other communities.
Keely Swan '06
Keely Swan ’06 was an International Studies major and Women’s Studies minor at Franklin and Marshall College. A Marshall Scholar, she completed an honors thesis under the supervision of Professor Misty Bastian about women’s organization and development in India.
After graduation, Keely spent a year in Mumbai, India, where she studied Gender and Development at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. While in India, much of her research focused on violence against women and related legal issues, and she had the opportunity to observe women’s organizations working in these areas. Later, she worked as the project coordinator for the international campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence,” which is organized by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University.
The goal of the campaign is to promote the message that women’s rights are human rights and that violence against women constitutes a violation of these rights.
Keely felt that the most rewarding part of her job was working with women’s organizations and women human rights defenders all over the world. She attended the AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development) Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, where she had the opportunity to meet many of the organizations and individuals that participate in the 16 Days campaign each year. Since CWGL has ECOSOC status, she also had the opportunity to attend the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.
Currently, she works as the IDEAS Global Challenge Administrator at the Public Service Center at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), an annual competition that supports MIT student-led teams in social entrepreneurship and innovation development that improves quality of life for under-served populations.