Major: American Studies/Minor: Gender Studies
When you can leave an intro class and feel that the subject not only informed your perspective on the world but also deepened your self-awareness, you have found a special moment when academics have transformed to a very personal, formative experience. I found this intersection of cerebral and personal in my experience with the Gender Studies classes and professors. Transferring into a school in the 2nd semester of your Junior year is a daunting prospect, complete with a whole slew of university requirements I thought I'd never have to see again. After looking at the long list of requirements, I told my Gender Studies advisor that I would not be able to continue with the minor. However, Professor Abby Palko walked me through the maze of cross-listings and fulfillments to help me graduate with a minor, allowing me to remain an active part of the Gender Studies community. I say community because my closest friends were also Gender Studies minors, my mentors were Gender Studies professors, and my brief stint at a campus job was at the Gender Studies office. Overall Gender Studies did not just become part of my Notre Dame identity, the lessons I learned and people I met will continue to shape how I view myself as the world changes around me.