Graduation year: 1989
Majors/Minors: Sociology major, Business minor, Gender Studies concentration
Current occupation: Senior Research Associate, Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY
Favorite Gender Studies class/professor/memory from your experience at Notre Dame:
My senior year was the very first year the Gender Studies Concentration was offered and so I raced around trying to pack the available time with enough courses to graduate with the concentration. I remember during a philosophy course the director of religious studies (or some kind of related post) gave an invited talk to our class and we asked during the discussion period why women would want to be a part of a religious order (she was a nun) when their roles, at the end of the day, were so circumscribed within the Church. She replied that revolution from within was more efficient and fast than revolution from outside. This has been extremely supportive advice in so many different arenas of life...
Your experience with Gender Studies/gender issues at Notre Dame:
Nothing but eye-opening and exhilarating (and HARD WORK).
How your Gender Studies education has impacted your life:
My own area of training and research--population issues, particularly sexual and reproductive health--holds gender issues right at the core of almost every research question -- be it how can women and men plan their families (number and timing of children) to meet their preferences to the most effective policies and programs to lower maternal mortality. The Gender Studies program at ND gave me a solid base across multiple disciplines to introduce gender-related questions in the graduate training and professional positions I have assumed since then.
Your hopes for the future of Gender Studies at Notre Dame:
That undergraduate males increasingly realize that the concentration is inclusive and that their own lives--professional and familial--will be improved by taking to heart and learning more about how central gender issues are to our lives.