Student of the Week!

Natasha Sutliff!!

Hometown: Grand Island, NE

Major/Minor: Gender Studies and Psychology Major

Why did you choose Gender Studies?: Gender Studies helped answer a lot of questions for me.  In high school, I always had that rage to say something when someone would make a sexist, or disempowering comment.  Now, no one can say anything around me without me saying something back 🙂
What is one of your favorite Gender Studies moments?: I loved our Feminist Ryan Gosling moments in Feminist Theories!  And forming close relationships with my fellow feminist research buds 🙂

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned from Gender Studies classes at NWU?:  The relevancy of Gender Studies.  Gender Studies, being an interdisciplinary major, requires you to take many classes with students that are not necessarily familiar with gender studies and its purpose and sometimes you just want to say, “are you kidding me?”  But it demonstrates how necessary courses in Gender Studies are.

Also, to always challenge your own beliefs.  Learning different perspectives from students and theorists help define what I believe; whether it changes what I originally thought or helps current perceptions become more concrete.
What are your plans following graduation?:  In February, I decided to take a nanny job over the summer so that I didn’t have to worry about the application and interview process during the academic year.  I feel it was the smartest move for me.  Although, it will be difficult to talk about the presidential campaign to a 4 and 1 year old.  In the long run, I want to eventually find something in victim assistance or possibly forensic psychology.

Favorite activity outside of school?:

Other interesting facts about you: I have two, long-haired chihuahuas, Roxy and Delilah that I absolutely love to spend time with!  I love TV shows!  My boyfriend and I often spend all day getting into a new one at least once out of the month. [Yay for Netflix!]  I also love catching up with all my family and friends on Facebook.  And grabbing drinks with my friends has definitely been necessary lately as a good stress reliever 🙂

Yay for feminism!!!

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Professor of the Week!

Dr. Lisa Wilkinson!

Dr. Wilkinson with her daughter and daughter-in-law

Department: Religion and Philosophy

What Gender Studies class(es) are you teaching?: Feminist Theories and Philosophies of Race and Gender

What have you learned/discovered through teaching classes on gender?: I continue to learn how much more smart, aware, and in some ways vulnerable to sexism and genderism students are today, and yet…working with students in classes on Gender always gives me hope that we need not continue to think and act in sexist ways; we can do better.

Why is gender studies important?: Doing gender and being gendered are two of the most significant ways we understand ourselves as human, so unless we take time and energy to understand what gender is and how gender works we do ourselves and others a deep injustice.

Alum of the Week!

Michelle Miller!Image

Profession:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently working as a mental health/substance abuse counselor

Favorite Gender Studies memory:  I really enjoyed my Feminist Theories class with Dr. Heckman

How has the major/minor helped you in your career?:  The transition from Women’s Studies major to Social Worker was a natural one for me. Social justice is a primary focus for some social workers and certainly an underlying concern for most. It is in the Gender Studies program (then Women’s Studies) that I first explored issues of social justice. Additionally, it was in these classes that I was first made aware of the intersection of race, class and gender and the reciprocal relationship between an individual and society. This is similar to what social workers call “person in environment” or “systems theory,” which suggests that there is a reciprocal relationship between an individual and the system with which she interacts (e.g. family, community, society.)

These concepts are important for social workers to understand because they are working to assist individuals and/or change systems. They cannot do this effectively unless they understand issues of race, class and gender and how they intersect. It is important for mental health and substance abuse counselors to understand this as well because they are not working with isolated individuals. For example, an individual’s substance use patterns, from initiation patterns to help-seeking behaviors and treatment retention, are shaped by a number of factors including family, community, culture, race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc. One cannot build rapport with an individual or provide effective treatment if these things are not accounted for. Indeed, the strong correlation between gender, substance use patterns, and help-seeking behaviors has led to a growing number of “gender-specific” treatment programs.

What advice do you have for current students?:  Ummm….
1) Learn to write. No matter what you do after college, you’re going to have to write a lot and you’re going to have to know how to communicate well.
2) Be ready to explain your major to people (every time!) because they’re not going to get it.
3) Have a major or minor in addition to Gender Studies because lots of employers don’t know what Gender Studies is. Otherwise go to grad school for social work because they love gender studies students.

Student of the Week!

Mallorie Wickizer! Image

Hometown: Lincoln, NE. Grew up in Valparaiso, NE

Major/Minor: Psychology and Gender studies majors

Why did you choose Gender Studies?: Because it is interesting and relevant in any line of work I might enter. I was so happy to know there is scholastic evidence to support to my opinions and beliefs.

What is one of your favorite Gender Studies moments?: Well, I really enjoyed Dr. McClain’s “sexy asshole” rants about Edward when we read Twilight in Masterpieces of Lit: Sexualities. But I also laughed really hard when Lisa (Wilkinson)  asked a student whether he remembered having the Oedipus complex. There are too many funny stories to choose a favorite.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned from Gender Studies classes at NWU?: Well, I think what I appreciate most about Gender Studies is that it encompasses a variety of classes and applies to every day situations.So I find it interesting to learn about things that I can apply outside of class.

What are your plans following graduation?: I will be taking a year off to work and pay off some loans and apply to graduate school.

Favorite activity outside of school?:

Other interesting facts about you: I like reading for fun, as well as watching: The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Parks and Rec, Last Man Standing. I love scary movies. Also love being outside!