WGS graduates have the ability to “think outside the box,” work across disciplinary boundaries, analyze complex problems, and propose creative solutions.
The multi-sided perspective associated with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program helps prepare our graduates to become confident leaders within today’s diverse society and changing workplace. WGS scholars go on to careers in law, business, policy, social work, publishing, the health professions, nonprofit work, and education, to name a few.
“I was always intrigued by the mechanisms of nature, and women’s and gender studies allowed me to extend this to culture,” says Colin Rementer ’12, a Ph.D. student in chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA.
“I worked with Mary Armstrong, associate professor, on a research project during my junior year. I analyzed the U.S. Military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in the context of theories of masculinity,” Rementer recalls. “I was fortunate enough to present my research at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.”
As a graduate student researcher in engineering, Rementer focuses on nanofabrication processes, including atomic layer and chemical vapor deposition and plasma etching. In any nanotech field, the rules are in flux. Rementer credits his experiences at Lafayette with helping him to propel research forward by questioning assumptions. “Simply because practices are common, does not mean they are correct. This is a lesson I have been able to apply to research within women’s & gender studies and chemical & biomolecular engineering.”
So far in Rementer’s doctoral studies the most exciting development has been the simple joy of learning and familiarizing himself with the tools of his future trade. “Someday soon, I will run the equipment on my own. I am excited for the prospect of directing my own research.”
As a graduate of women’s and gender studies, Beatriz De Jesus ’12 won its top award, the Susan A. Basow Prize. Now, De Jesus, who also majored in government and law, helps others win—in the courtroom.
“Being a WGS major you are taught to question and critically analyze the world around you. In the legal field one is required to view issues from all angles and conjure persuasive arguments,” says De Jesus, a legal assistant for Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP. “Because of my experience at Lafayette, I now have the ability to deconstruct my assignments by digging deeper to discover key issues.”
De Jesus studied issues related to immigration law and completed her independent study on “The Perception and Judgments of Female Skin Color in the Media.” While the majority of her work deals primarily with corporate and financial legal needs, portions reflect those prior interests. “I’ve had the chance to work on immigration cases as well as participate in the Children’s Law Center Hope Drive by shopping for foster children and building bicycles. As a WGS major, the pro bono cases are particularly compelling, as many of them deal with the Violence Against Women Act.”
For the future, De Jesus wants to attend law school and continue to hone her legal skills.