The Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) program welcomes one of our students minoring in WGS: Breanna Leathers! Leathers is majoring in human development/family resources!

Why did you choose WGS as a minor?

I chose WGS as a minor for multiple reasons. One reason I chose this minor is because every part of WGS is relevant and interesting to me. This minor was perfect for me because I feel that there is a deep importance for everyone to learn about the topics that are present within WGS classes. Some of these topics include the intersections of gender with other aspects of individuals identities, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and so much more. I also chose this minor because I believe that it will enhance my major and prepare me to become a citizen that is aware of issues present within the world and will motivate me further to continue my activism for social justice.

What is one of your favorite WGS classes?

My favorite WGS class is History 262 (History of Women in the United States Since 1865) because of how much I was able to learn from the content, the professor, and my peers. I had already learned so much about the history of the U.S., but looking at it through the women-centered perspective we studied opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of history that I had never encountered before. Dr. Kyle Ciani is also a major reason why this class is a favorite. She genuinely cares about the well-being of her students and wants them to get the most out of the content as possible. She also encourages her students to work together to learn from each other and see how other individuals perceptions of things differ from our own. I love this course!

Who is one of your favorite WGS faculty members?

All of the WGS faculty are wonderful, so it is too difficult for me to choose a favorite. They all provide a different but equally engaging and informative learning environment that promotes learning about important WGS topics. The relevance and diversity of the information that all WGS faculty provide is always interesting and can be applied to things in the real world. All of the faculty truly care about their students and want them to learn and analyze all of the important topics related to WGS. It is apparent that their hope is that their students will use their knowledge to empower each other, engage themselves, and have a voice in society about all of the issues we face.

What have you enjoyed most about WGS?

I have enjoyed every aspect of being a WGS minor, but I would have to say that what I have enjoyed most is the relationships that I have formed with other individuals that have some of the same interests as I do. I don’t think I have ever been surrounded by a community of individuals that are so welcoming, supporting, and caring. All of the people, faculty and students, involved with WGS are amazing individuals and share a common goal of learning and teaching others about the importance of all the issues that arise within the intersections of gender and sexuality and society.

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

My advice for students interested in any WGS program would be to talk to a WGS student/faculty member or to sit in on a WGS course to get a small glimpse of what the WGS program is like. It won’t take much to realize that WGS is an amazing program with many opportunities to further anyone’s education and to build valuable relationships with others who share common interests and goals.

How has the WGS minor influenced your time at ISU?

The WGS minor has been the best part of my educational journey thus far. I have not only learned so much about things involved with WGS but I have also learned a lot about myself and the person that I aspire to be. I am overjoyed to be a part of such an amazing program and to be associated with all the other individuals involved in WGS. Even once my WGS education is finished at ISU, I will continue to further my knowledge regarding WGS issues for the rest of my life. I will never forget the countless things that I have been able to acquire knowledge about or the remarkable individuals that I built relationships with because of taking the WGS minor.

Would you recommend WGS to other students?

Absolutely! WGS has the potential to enhance any major or any individual’s intellectual capacity by encouraging learning about real-life issues that will overall create a more well-rounded education.

What additional involvement have you had on campus?

I am the vice president of the Feminist Lead Activist Movement to Empower (F.L.A.M.E), which is an organization that empowers students, works to challenge all forms of oppression, and informs others of issues in our society that involve gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, age, and ethnicity. I also am a student that works with Disability Concerns to provide assistance to classmates in need with note-taking and answering any questions that they may have regarding class.