After Graduation: The Effect of the Minor on Graduates

We asked our WGSS graduates how the minor has helped shape them professionally and personally. These are the stories they shared with us.

 

Ava Feminelli2016

“The WGSS center and program as a whole, have been fundamentally important and dear to me ever since I first walked in. I’ve made friends that have stayed with me past graduation, and learned so much that has opened my eyes to the world outside of my own limited frame of view I had walking in as a freshman. Ever since graduation I’ve carried the lessons I’ve learned me everywhere I went. I’ve gone on to volunteer, advocate, and help so many people due to the growth the program nurtured within and without, and I sing its praises to all who would listen.”

 

Krystal Gourgue, 2014

“My time spent at the University of Connecticut in Stamford, was a great experience. That greatness was comprised of the friends I made, my job at the gym and the classes and professors who made a long lasting impression on me.  And all of my Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies classes were an experience I will remember always. The various WGSS courses provided academic reasoning to why so many people experience societal hardships. It also helped me to know there was a way to combat it. I learned to be more empathetic and that the issues are layered and complex and that things won’t change overnight. Today I volunteer at The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education and use my feminist outlook to fight patriarchal oppressions at home and in the workplace.”

 

Danilo Machado, 2016

“The Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies Program at UConn-Stamford has been incredibly formative for me as an academic and activist. The Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies Center serves as a unique and vibrant part of the Stamford campus. In the WGSS Center, students are able to socialize, study, and organize in a safe space that is explicitly feminist and student-led. It was a space where I made close friends and had meaningful conversations.WGSS has informed my activism around queer undocumented immigrants, facilitated my poetry around race, migration, and queerness, and, most recently, played a prominent role in my Honors thesis.  Feminism has been invaluable in my work and journey as an activist, scholar, and poet. I plan to apply to graduate school in the coming years, where I will continue to take the lessons, skills and relationships I learned through WGSS.”

 

Ashley Mondestin, 2016

“The WGSS Program made a significant positive impact during my time at UConn. The classes gave me a vast amount of knowledge that opened my eyes and challenged my mind; the Center gave me a place that provided comfort, coffee, conversation and friends; and the events were always interesting, thought-provoking and fun! Overall, it was an amazing program and a wonderful experience that I will treasure for a lifetime. I am currently working with several staffing agencies in NYC! I am looking forward to what challenges and opportunities the position may bring and am excited about the journey as a post-graduate.”

 

Cindy Newman, 2014

“The WGSS Program helped shape my studies while at UConn Stamford. I entered the University as a non-traditional student with an interest in psychology and socioeconomic disparities in education. The WGSS Program allowed me to expand my understanding of the ways in which inequality permeates our society, and many of the principles that I learned in WGSS classes are applicable to my work as Programs Manager of Stamford Public Education Foundation. In addition, through the courses and The Center, I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and hear some phenomenal speakers!”

 

Vicky Pang, 2015

“I’ve learned so much taking WGSS classes! I’ve decided to minor in this field because I felt like I’ve lacked this information growing up. Growing up in an Asian culture, I had to follow old fashioned gender roles. WGSS classes educates a lot of people like me, who will go off into the world learning to go against the society’s norms. It may sound like something little small, but it can really make a difference in the future, if we all continue to learn on this subject and spread the word. I thought my professors were all intelligent, caring, and very opened to giving advice. The things that I learned in these classes answered many emotional questions I had growing up. I was glad that I had professors to listen to my problems and they were very nice and willing to give me advice.”

 

Frank Savage, 2015

“To void ignorance I believe knowledge of the economic, social, and political history of any situation is simply indispensable to truly understanding these matters and tending to them. With WGSS, I found the progressive platform in which to delve into the aforementioned histories to understand our nation’s social constructs and how these affect the daily lives of peoples from various genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Personally, WGSS made a lasting impression on me, the type that imprints itself onto your personality and is carried into every situation. It’s manifested itself as everything from raised eyebrows in personal conversations, to morally responsible business decisions, and finally entire life changes towards more meaningful endeavors. As I prepare to begin Graduate School in International Affairs, I feel fortunate to be able to bring that WGSS influence with me.”

 

 

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