Blake Avery '14

Author: Andrea Martinez Dominguez

Graduation year: 2014

Majors/Minors: Film Production & Gender Studies majors


As a freshmen focused primarily on pursuing a career Film Production, I had no idea that gender studies as a collegiate interdisciplinary field existed. After taking Introduction to Gender Studies to fulfill a social science requirement, the critical optic through which I understood the world around me drastically changed. I have never taken a class that has so fundamentally transformed the way I approach academia - exposure to gender studies truly reconfigured the way I think.

Furthermore, I had no idea just how important gender studies would become in all other aspects of my classes. I now read, write, analyze and create with a gendered lens in mind. My previous and current film courses are powerfully deepened by the knowledge and insight gained from my studies of gender theory. I cannot express how important the cultivation of a gendered perspective has been to the success of my time here at Notre Dame. Gender Studies has not only changed the way I interpret scholarship, but it also has radically enlightened my life as a budding academic, passionate filmmaker and fervent advocate of equal accessibility to freedom by all groups of people.

I honestly believe that the incredible education I have been lucky enough to acquire from Notre Dame's Gender Studies department has made me into a better scholar, artist and human being. I would not be the person I am today without the experience, knowledge and support I have received. Ultimately, the critical lens I have obtained from my time learning Gender Studies has and will continue to be the foundation of my future career in the film industry. It is astonishing to think that one introductory course transformed everything for me - do not hesitate to take a Gender Studies class.