Hear from WGS Alumni
I was a Women and Gender Studies and Biochemistry double major and part of the CUNY Honors College. The majors were an unusual, and yet appropriate, pairing. Following my graduation from Hunter in 2007, I became a medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College. I hope to enter the field of Obstetrics & Gynecology. I will always be indebted to the WGS Program at Hunter for helping to make me a stronger and more aware person that is able to tackle any challenge.
Weill Cornell Medical College Class 2011
I began college as a Chemistry major, primarily because the pre-requisites for medical school fulfilled the requirements. By the end of my sophomore year, however, I realized my inspiration to become a physician was more closely related to the courses I had taken in the Women and Gender Studies Department, and changed majors.
A year later, I was accepted early to the University of Rochester School of Medicine on the basis of my interdisciplinary interests, and was encouraged to take a semester abroad to develop my Spanish language skills.
Contrary to the advice I received as an incoming student, majoring in Women and Gender Studies is not exclusively an option for those who intend to pursue a PhD. I am grateful for the connections between the humanities and the practice of medicine my classes in WGS have revealed, and feel confident I will be a better physician someday because of my exposure to feminist scholarship as an undergraduate.
Women and Gender Studies Major, Chemistry Minor
Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Matriculating Fall 2009
I came to Hunter thinking I wanted to be a doctor, but within a few weeks I withdrew from Biology and decided on pursuing Women's and Gender Studies. It was so much more applicable to my life personally and the lives of people I care about. The program also opened my mind to the possibility of going to Law School to have the legal backing to create the change I want to see in the world. Law School is extremely rewarding and challenging and I am constantly drawing on my background in Women's and Gender Studies in applying the law.
Berkeley Law School
While I thoroughly enjoyed what I learned as a Women and Gender Studies major at Hunter, I often wondered (before and even after graduation) what the heck I would do with my degree in the real world. Now I see that I wasn't shaping myself to fit this world, but was instead preparing myself to fit this world around me. All the strength and momentum I needed to do just that was gained during my years at Hunter in that program. Now a self-proclaimed Spiritual Midwife, I live everyday as a healer with my goal being to help people heal their bodies (from physical to emotional to spiritual to sexual) so that they may ultimately reconnect with their innate, yet forgotten, divinity and power. In other words, I help people give birth to themselves, who they were meant to be.
"I graduated in January 2010 not knowing exactly how I wanted to use my Women and Gender Studies degree, but I knew I wanted to help women directly. I was called to become a birth doula not long after graduating. However, I soon realized how often inaccessible doula services are to many women due to cost and access to information. Now it is my mission to support all laboring women, regardless of identity, ability and socio-economic status. Aiding laboring women to have a joyous birth is both inspiring and fulfilling. I feel that all laboring women should have a doula if they choose, thus ensuring a more satisfactory birth experience that respects women's bodies and autonomy."
My time spent in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Hunter College has been transformative. The WGS program offered me the intellectual space—as well as challenge— for exploring the intersections of culture, language, race, class, sexuality and gender through a critical lens. I realized that the discipline’s teachings reached far beyond the constraints of the classroom and was crucial to the person I was becoming; gender studies provided me with the theoretical articulation of what I was simultaneously experiencing in my personal life. What I have learned in my gender studies courses has provided me with the conceptual tools to effectively alter my worldview and engage in life on an analytical level. My experience as an undergraduate in the gender studies program has had an overwhelming impact on the way in which I perceive others, as well as myself, and how I situate myself into the framework of our society. I have refined my writing skills and research methodologies, and, inspired by the program’s tight-knit community, made up of a diverse and supportive group of radical thinkers, activists, and organizers. And I’ve used my capacity for critical thought and writing in my post-graduate pursuits. The dedication of the gender studies faculty and their persistent and comprehensive involvement in my college experience fueled my work as an undergraduate. It is because of my participation in the program that I want to continue on to graduate school and engage in research that aims to serve those beyond the ivory tower. I have come to embody the feminist theories and methods taught in the Women’s and Gender Studies program—ideologies that preclude unidimensional and positivist claims to the creation of intellectual work—and look forward to carrying these skills on with me in my professional life.
After graduating with a double major in Women and Gender Studies and Political Science at Hunter College, I received a Fulbright-Hays Grant Scholarship to work in the Republic of Cyprus for one year where I worked on a variety of projects related to gender, conflict, and migration. I am currently in an MA program for Social Work, and I hope to use my degree to work with survivors of sexual violence. I am indebted to the incredible community of both faculty and students in the Women and Gender Studies Program at Hunter College – their dedication, capacity for critical thinking, thoughtfulness, and passion for social justice have deeply transformed both my professional and personal life.
Maria Arettines firstname.lastname@example.org