Double Major: Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies / Political Science
Current position: Chief of Staff for VA Senator Angelia Williams Graves
What drew you to take courses focusing on gender, women and sexuality during your time at Virginia Wesleyan?
During my freshman orientation, I was picking classes and was curious about the title of the GWSS introduction course. I was completely unfamiliar with the major’s subject matter before coming to Virginia Wesleyan. I had never been taught the definition of feminism and what it truly meant. In high school I was an advocate for inclusivity and was a fan of strong women I learned about like Ida B. Wells. and Shirley Chisholm. Taking these courses made me realize I was a Black feminist and ally all along but I didn’t yet have all the language to discuss the topics.
What do you remember most about your experiences studying GWSS?
I remember sitting around my GWSS 101 course discussing our textbook and I felt a sense of community. My favorite thing about all of my GWSS courses is that every class discussion felt like I was hanging out with friends discussing real life issues that we all experienced or just had a personal connection to.
In what ways did your experiences in this interdisciplinary program assist you beyond college?
My experiences in the GWSS program have helped me know how to better interact with people and how to be a critical thinker about our societal norms. In my position as a field organizer, I interact with so many different people. My job is to meet people where they are and to engage them with my candidate. This wouldn’t be possible without thinking about intersectionality in people's lives. Recently during a presentation at work, I was asked by a volunteer why we introduce our pronouns and what pronouns mean. I was able to explain the difference between gender and sex in a concise way that helped the volunteers understanding.
What advice do you have for other students who are considering taking a course on gender, women and sexuality studies?
I highly recommend taking at least one Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studie course during your time. The sense of community from this major helped me get through school. I was able to use resources from the coursework to improve research in my Political Science courses as well.