Graduation year: 2012
Majors/Minors: Sociology major, Gender Studies minor
The Gender Studies Program has significantly enriched my educational experience at Notre Dame. One of my favorite classes that I have taken during my undergraduate career was an American Studies/Gender Studies class, Schooling Masculinities. Professor Kevin Burke has a clear passion for deconstructing gender norms, particularly when such norms result in destructive behavior such as bullying in elementary schools and high schools. His course challenged me to think critically about how masculinity is constructed and how society responds to people – both women and men – who fall on the margins on hegemonic masculinity. My learning in the course culminated with an ethnographic look at the gender politics of cheerleading squads and the unique ways in which male cheerleaders police their masculinity within that feminized space.