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Alumni Profiles

Comments from Gender and Women’s Studies Alumni

If a student were to ask, what would you say are the benefits of having a gender and women’s studies major or minor?

Tiffany Braley, Volunteer Services Assistant

“This is a program that motivates and prepares students to make changes. Once you take a gender and women’s studies course, the world becomes a very different place. Changing is all that is left.”

Susan Zwick, Strategic Alliances Manager

“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 gender and women’s studies coursework provided a springboard to look at life - personally and professionally - and ask ”Is this right for me?” Gender and women’s studies also gave credibility to a lot of thought and ideas I had, but could never find a place, or voice for.”

Rebecca Goldman, Housing Specialist at Domestic Violence Shelter

“I have an understanding of women and society. Also through my education, I reached a new level of self confidence. Professionally and personally gender and 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.”

Jennifer Churchill, High School English Teacher

“It helps you become more aware of yourself as a woman. Gender and 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.”

Elizabeth Bacci, Research Support Specialist and Caregiver for Mentally Disabled

“[Gender and 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.”

Jacqueline Vaida, Teacher

“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.”

Latanya Sumpter, Mental Health Therapy Aide; Teacher Assistant

“A lot of places are amazed by my gender and 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 the gender and 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 the history of women.”

Sandra Ortsman, Graduate student, Latin American Studies and Public Policy, University of New Mexico

“I believe that education is only valuable when we can apply it to our lives, to look at and challenge the status quo. A gender and women’s studies degree is based in that philosophy. gender and 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 gender and 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.”

Eleanora Palumbo, Site Coordinator, Girls Inc.

“Having a gender and 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. gender and 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 gender and 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 gender and women’s studies as a major!”

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