Meet our featured alum: Chelsea Gulbransen ’14! This theater major first got interested in the women’s and gender studies (WGS) minor when she took IDS 121.39: Women by Women: Contemporary Women Playwrights, which sparked her interest in the plight of women and other dehumanized groups of people. Gulbransen hopes one day to be a part of a company in Chicago, doing contemporary, Shakespeare, or social justice theater. Gulbransen graduated recently and is now an alumna of the women’s and gender studies program!

What is your favorite WGS affiliated course?

It’s so hard to choose! I loved the independent study I designed for myself, Shakespeare and Feminist Theory. I was able to explore what I loved and I learned a lot.

Who is one of your favorite WGS faculty members?

Currently I have Dr. Kyle Ciani, and she has been an amazing teacher, also very accommodating and kind. She is so smart, and it’s obvious she wants others to be educated about what women have had to go through beyond suffrage.

What have you enjoyed most about WGS?

I’ve enjoyed meeting people with the same interests; I have gained knowledge in areas of life that are swept under the rug. I have loved appreciating and loving women of all walks of life.

What advice would you give to undergraduate and graduate students interested in the WGS program?

Just do it. Take the classes that sound interesting to you. Get educated about the injustice around you as well as exposing yourself to the good that “minorities” are a part of. Yes, I put minorities in quotes because I hate that word, but it is so ingrained in today’s society.

How did the WGS minor influence your time at ISU?

It made me more aware of the theater I was interested in as well as learning to locate feminist values within writings. It has helped me become less afraid of being a woman in today’s world and allowed me to own my power as woman and a person.

Would you recommend WGS to other students?

Of course. It’s not easy having ingrained beliefs challenged but it’s better than walking through life wearing blinders of privilege.