WGSS Minor, 2013
Assistant Director of Student Involvement, Pratt Institute
After graduating from F&M in 2013, I joined the field of Higher Education Student Affairs. The goal of this field is to provide holistic support for student development to complement college students’ academic coursework. Being a Women’s and Gender Studies minor helped prepare me for this field in highlighting the roles of power and privilege in a student’s college experience. Having the knowledge of these dynamics helps me advocate for my students who hold marginalized identities. While WGS focused on gender and sexuality, my knowledge of these identity experiences provided a basis for me to apply the same concepts and theories to other oppressed identities such as race, ability, age, and socio-economic status. My classes also helped me to understand the role of intersectionalism within a person’s identity. I cannot help a student one way just because she is a woman. I must also advocate and empathise in relation to her experience based off of the other identities she holds as well.
For the past two years while working toward my masters in Higher Education Student Affairs, I worked in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Specifically, my role was advising the Panhellenic Council, which was composed of nine social sororities. My time at F&M helped me work with these women as they were challenged with issues such as sexual assault and harassment, female competition, body image concerns, and not being heard in relation to the fraternity men. Having had critical conversations on these issues within my classes, I was able to support and advocate for my students in my role. Since receiving my masters, I have started my new role as the Assistant Director of Student Involvement at Pratt Institute. Working at an art and design school, I interact with students who identify across many gender identities and sexualities. Again, my experience in WGS classes provided me great knowledge and skill to understand where my students are coming from and support them in the ways they need. Of course the critical reading and thinking skills support me in my work as I question programing options and student development theories, but the conversations in class provided me the best base to work from when advocating for students who hold marginalized identities.
"Being a Women’s and Gender Studies minor helped prepare me for this field in highlighting the roles of power and privilege in a student’s college experience. Having the knowledge of these dynamics helps me advocate for my students who hold marginalized identities. "