Graduation year: 2012
Majors/Minors: American Studies major, Gender Studies minor
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.