" Sam Peaver '15 & Joseph Mercado '16 at the 2014 National Women's Studies Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico Coming to Connecticut College I planned to major in English. This changed as I completed my first Gender and Women's Studies course. I was taught to think critically about each piece of literature we read and to question everything. GWS has transferred into my everyday life, realizing I leave every GWS course with a new outlook on myself as well as the world around me. With GWS being such an interdisciplinary major I feel confident in the endless opportunities available to me in a range of areas with the skills I am acquiring. I am so glad to have found an area I am passionate about, and the GWS department has made it so easy to get involved. This year am excited to be co-chair to the GWS Student Advisory Board and be involved in the decision making process within the department.

- Sam Pevear '15,  Gender and Women's Studies and Sociology Double Major, photographed with Joseph Mercado '16 at the 2014 National Women's Studies Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Over the past several years, students in Gender and Women's Studies classes have taken an active role on and off-campus. They have:

  • Presented at the 2014 National Women's Studies Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Shared their self-reflective essays in a series of posts to The Feminist Wire on the publication’s College Feminisms forum, which features posts by "millennial feminists" aged 18-24.
  • Organized performances of The Vagina Monologues for consecutive years, raising thousands of dollars for women's causes and raising consciousness about sexual assault
  • Presented original research papers, documentaries, theses at Moving Worlds: A Colloquium (celebrating 100 years of women’s education at Connecticut College)
  • Worked with incarcerated women at York Correctional Facility as part of GWS 295: Training for Transformation
  • Organized a teach-in against bullying and homophobia on university campuses across the United States in collaboration with the LGBTQ center
  • Taken a field trip to NYC to watch the Broadway play "In the Heights"
  • Attended the Bryn Mawr international conference "Heritage and Hope: Women’s Education in the Global Context" to celebrate its 125 years in existence
  • Joined in deliberations on Sustainable Development at the United Nations, expertly guided by noted Salvadorian human rights activist Marta Benavides
  • Taken a six-day road trip with Professors Segrest and Walker-Canton from New London to New Orleans to study the effects of Hurricane Katrina close-up and to join in the rebuilding efforts
  • Put in a garden on campus as part of Earth Day 2007
  • Organized a conference applying human rights principles to campus sexual assault in a way that opened up spaces for dialogue and action (2008)
  • Used ConnSSHARP (Connecticut College Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts Research Program) grant money to work with Professor and Chair Mab Segrest on her research on the state mental hospital/asylum in Milledgeville, Georgia, as it manifests the relationship between race/class/gender/sexuality, definitions of insanity, and practices of commitment of those genuinely mentally ill, and those merely socially deviant