12540149_10208355808480196_437673878_nGina Stinnett is an English studies major and a women’s and gender studies minor, anticipating graduation this May. She is also the founding president of the Students’ Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN)!

What brought you to ISU?

I was originally an English education major, so I came here for our excellent education program. After I left the education sequence, I stayed at ISU because of the fantastic community and variety of classes we have here.

What components of the women’s and gender studies (WGS) program would you recommend to prospective students and why?

It’s hard to pick out separate components that I would recommend because everything about the program makes it amazing and unique. The classes are challenging and enlightening, the professors are extremely knowledgeable, and the students are very dedicated and passionate. Overall, it’s a very positive and supportive environment.

Why did you choose to pursue the WGS minor?

I became a WGS minor because feminism has always been an important part of my life. Ever since I was little, my Noni (that’s Italian for “grandmother”) has brought me along to various feminist events, and I always aspired to follow in the footsteps of the women I met at these events. Pursuing the WGS minor has given me the knowledge necessary to do so. I’m an English major, and I hope to become a professor so I can teach my future students about issues related to WGS.


Geraldine Ferraro (left), Stinnett’s Noni, Gina Stinnett, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Stinnet’s Noni’s cousin Florence, and Jan Schakowsky at Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s 2007 Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch

How have courses for the WGS minor/graduate certificate been relevant to other areas of your life?

I love writing, and I’m almost always working on either a scholarly or creative piece (or both!). Oftentimes, I’m incorporating the knowledge I’ve gained from the WGS minor into my writing in some way. My scholarly writing pretty much entirely deals with issues related to WGS, and the classes I’ve taken in the minor have helped me express ideas in a more thoughtful and effective manner. I take a memoir approach to my creative writing, and lately I’ve been writing a lot about experiences in my own life that connect to what we learn in the minor.

What extracurricular involvement have you had related to WGS?


Sister Simone Campbell (left), Jan Schakowsky, and Gina Stinnett at Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s 2015 Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch

This year, a few other students and I started SPAN (Students’ Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence). Our work revolves around preventing sexual assault and dating violence on campus and educating students on these issues. We also want to make sure that when these situations (unfortunately) happen on our campus, those who are affected by them know what resources are available to them and what their rights are as students.