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If a student were to ask, what would you say are the benefits of having a Women's Studies major or minor?
"This is a program that motivates and prepares students to make changes. Once you take a Women's Studies course, the world becomes a very different place. Changing is all that is left"
"I believe the major benefit to Women's Studies is that it gives you the "other half" of the story. Whether you are studying history, literature, business, etc., or see things differently, because your perspective is broader than the mainstream. It can be frustrating at times, because a lot of people don't get it. While I was more idealistic in college than I am now, I feel Women's Studies coursework provided a springboard to look at life - personally and professionally - and ask "Is this right for me?" Women's Studies also gave credibility to a lot of thought and ideas I had, but could never find a place, or voice for."
"I have an understanding of women and society. Also through my education, I reached a new level of self confidence. Professionally and personally Women's Studies influence me. It affects the way I think, act, and treat others. It also helped me obtain a job that is interesting and rewarding."
"It helps you become more aware of yourself as a woman. Women's Studies also makes you appreciate all women regardless of their race, religion, beliefs, sexuality, etc. It opens your eyes to the "isms" in our world."
"[Women's Studies at Plattsburgh State] was an incredible mind-opening experience for me. It changed the way I saw things to a different way. Taught me how to think for myself, meaning I had to make arguments constantly to support a particular viewpoint which required a lot of thought and research. I am a better humanitarian now because now I know what I can do to help make this society a better place for people to live in."
"It will give you a foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills that will bring about life changing awareness about yourself and the world. This is an excellent basis from which to begin making life choices on any level - whether professional or other."
"A lot of places are amazed by my Women's Studies minor. They always seem to point it out as they review my resume. At a recent interview that I had, the interviewer offered me a position that was not related to the teaching position I was going for due to Women's Studies minor. He said I would make a good candidate as an outreach worker for the mothers of children at this particular school. The object of the job was to instill in these mothers (usually single mothers of lower economic status) pride and teach them history of women."
"I believe that education is only valuable when we can apply it to our lives, to look at and challenge the status quo. A Women's Studies degree is based in that philosophy. Women's Studies calls us to action. As our world goes in the direction of more poor and fewer people with a disproportionate amount of the resources, it is integral to hear the voices of those most oppressed. Also, a Women's Studies major is fun, the faculty is very open to close student/teacher relationships and there are several opportunities to travel and have fun, rewarding internships."
"Having a Women's Studies major may not qualify you to do one specific thing, but that is what fascinated and intrigued me about the program. I have been able to apply my education in many professional fields, as well as in my personal life. Women's Studies gives us tools to respect ourselves and demand equity in a society that markets and capitalizes on objectifying and sexualizing us. The Women's Studies program teaches young women the history and struggles of our brave foremothers who laid the foundation for us to thrive. At the very least, this program makes one proud to be a woman. I highly recommend Women's Studies as a major!"
If you would like more information about gender & women's studies at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact