Clare Dudoit is a senior psychology major with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is graduating this spring with her bachelor’s degree psychology. Originally from Hawaii, but raised in Springfield, Illinois, by her mom, she loves to ask questions and make people smile. When asked about her plans post-graduation, Dudoit responded, “The reason I am not pursuing grad school right now is because I really have no idea what programs I would consider the most because so much interests me at this point in my life… I honestly feel like there are so many opportunities that I could pursue in the coming years, so I intend to do a lot of searching in order to find what fits me best, and where I would be the most helpful in the future”.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation Clare!

Why did you choose Women and Gender Studies as a minor?

When I was coming to college I knew I was interested in women’s studies, mostly because of how I was raised and the things I was exposed to as I was growing up. I was raised by a single mom. She was involved and very active with the groups Theresians and WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) when I was growing up. I didn’t realize that I was being raised by a feminist until I came to college.

I was debating on minoring in WGS for the first year and a half that I was ISU (I also heavily considered a minor in Peace Studies). It wasn’t until spring of my sophomore year when I took the intro course, WGS 120, that I was sure I wanted to pursue this minor. I was just so interested in the material and the way it related to me and my life. My friends even told me how passionate I always seemed when I talked about my experiences and stuff I learned in WGS 120, and how it seemed to fit me really well.

What have you enjoyed most about WGS?

I think what I have enjoyed most is the people I have met in my WGS courses (professors and classmates)! I’ve met so many kind-hearted, independent, empowering, intelligent people in my classes, and it’s fun getting to know people and then seeing them and catching up when you end up having future classes together. I have had so many stimulating conversations while sitting in my WGS classes and I really truly appreciate all of them, and the people!

What advice do you have for those either in WGS or thinking about WGS minor?

For those in WGS: Don’t be afraid to reach out to faculty members within the discipline! They are here to help you and, although I haven’t had the chance to meet everyone in the department, I’m pretty sure every single one of them would be happy to have a wide range of conversations with you personally. From my experience, the professors have taught me so much more than I thought they would. Each of them have helped me find myself, more or less, even if they don’t really know it. I think each of them would probably be happy to say they have contributed to your journey towards clarity and success, so look to them if you need help with anything. Also, don’t be afraid to develop relationships with other people in your class. You’re each going through some kind of journey, and it’s nice to know there are like-minded, caring people around you that are going through similar things!

For those considering the minor: I didn’t sign up for the minor until the end of my sophomore year here, but I really wish I had gotten involved with WGS in my first year of college…. If you have questions or are considering WGS, ask someone in the department! The sooner you get involved, the better. You’ll create lots of really meaningful relationships along the way.