Alumni Career Paths

These pages highlights some of the many exciting career trajectories you can follow as a GWS student.  Thank you to these alumni of the Gender and Women's Studies for sharing their success stories.  These pages are a work in progress, so be sure to stay tuned for more interesting career stories from our graduates.

 


BA AlumniPicture of Ashley Felder

Ashley Felder (BA 2005)

Describe what you are currently doing and what you love about it:
For the better part of the last decade, I’ve worked within Human Resources; mostly within the area of Learning and Development. I am particularly passionate about helping people with the challenges of managing their careers, such as dealing with workplace conflict and cultivating emotional intelligence. I am currently a Learning and Development Consultant at the University of Virginia.

What inspired you to pursue a Gender & Women's Studies degree at the University of Arizona?
I gravitated to the multi-disciplinary nature of the degree.  Pursuing a Gender and Women’s Studies degree allowed me to take classes from so many diverse areas - Anthropology, Psychology, and Religious Studies - and better still, allowed me to engage in them through a feminist lens.

How did your studies prepare you for your current position?
Earning a degree in Gender and Women’s Studies made me a critical thinker. This ability is incredibly transferable and highly sought after.

What are some memorable classes from your time at the U of A? Any favorite professors?
Chicana Feminisms with Sandra Soto was a favorite.  I also loved Karen Seat and took several classes with her, including an independent study.

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing a GWS major/minor?
Don’t get disheartened when someone asks you, “What are you going to do with a degree in GWS?” Take it as an opportunity to really educate them in what you are learning and how it is shaping you as an analytical thinker and member of society.

How would you describe Gender & Women's Studies in three words?
Changing The World!

 

Jules Mitchell (BA 1996)Picture of Jules Mitchell

Describe what you are currently doing and what you love about it:
I teach biomechanics to yoga teachers and I love distilling complex topics in a way that gets people excited to learn.

What inspired you to pursue a Gender & Women's Studies degree at the University of Arizona?
 I realized that all my previous education was actually Men's Studies, so I decided to balance out the curriculum.

How did your studies prepare you for your current position?
Yoga in the west is largely a women's space and is therefore intimately woven with gender issues.

What are some memorable classes from your time at the U of A? Any favorite professors?
 I loved all my classes.

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing a GWS major/minor?
It will prepare you for life, relationships, and any field in which you choose to work.

How would you describe Gender & Women's Studies in three words?
Urgent, necessary, compassionate

 

 

MA & MA/JD Alumni

Jessica N. Pabón-Colón (MA 2004)Picture of Jessica N. Pabón-Colón

Describe what you are currently doing and what you love about it:
I'm an Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at SUNY New Paltz. As a professor, I have the immense privilege of preparing the next generation of feminist movers/shakers/thinkers while I continue my own moving/shaking/thinking with publishing<https://jessicapabon.com/writing/> and community activism, such as my latest campaign #FeministsforPuertoRico<https://jessicapabon.com/feminists-for-puerto-rico/>.

What inspired you to pursue a Gender & Women's Studies degree at the University of Arizona?
I had a professor, Dr. Magali Carrera, during undergrad at UMASS Dartmouth who suggested that I "might do very well in a Women's Studies program"...and I never looked back!

How did your studies prepare you for your current position?
I am a feminist Performance Studies professor and scholar-something I simply would not be without my Master's. I also recently published my first book, Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Feminism in the Hip Hop Diaspora<https://nyupress.org/books/9781479895939/> (NYU 2018), which began as a research paper for Harmony Hammond's Lesbian Art in America class and then became my MA thesis supervised by Dr. Laura Briggs at the University of Arizona.

What are some memorable classes from your time at the U of A? Any favorite professors?
I can say honestly that every single professor in the department influenced me, but in particular I will always remember and cherish my time with Monique Wittig. I wouldn't have pursued my PhD without Miranda Joseph's urging. I like to thank Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy for my ethnography skills. I look forward to my yearly reunion with Jules Balén at NWSA. Laura Briggs is a friend and longtime mentor who has gracefully and generously helped me along my career path, especially since my PhD advisor José Muñoz passed away. I am currently working on my next book, which stems form that original thinking about belonging in Sandy Soto's women of color feminisms course.

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing a GWS major/minor?Follow your passions for social justice and be open to taking new avenues-I entered the MA thinking I would focus on Intimate Partner Violence and ended up becoming one of the foremost scholars of women in graffiti art<https://ideasonfire.net/82-jessica-nydia-pabon-colon/>!

How would you describe Gender & Women's Studies in three words?
Necessary. Mind blowing. Community.

 

PhD Alumni

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