Student Spotlight: Gillian Allison

Photo Credit:
by Nichole Brady November 6, 2019

Major(s): Philosophy, women's and gender studies
Minor(s): English
Year in school: Junior
Hometown: Galesburg, IL

Why did you choose your majors?
When I was a freshman I was a physics major but I was deeply interested in politics and law. I took a Women's and Gender Studies course as a freshman to fill a college requirement and I realized how much fun I was having reading the textbook and doing the homework. I decided to declare a Women's and Gender Studies major and because I enjoyed the professor who taught my Intro to Women's and Gender Studies class, I took a Philosophy course from her and fell in love with Philosophy as I did with Women's and Gender Studies. Truly, I am studying what I love and what I am passionate about. I love learning about these subjects and challenging myself to think in new and different ways.

What is your favorite course you have taken from your program(s) and why?
My favorite course at UNL was my Advanced Social and Political Philosophy course. I am very interested in ethics and was really passionate about this course and discussing the implications of ethical theories on our society. I really recommend this course to anyone remotely interested in philosophy and ethics.

Who have been some of your strongest mentors or role models here?
Dr. McKitrick, she is involved in both Women's & Gender Studies and Philosophy so she really explores intersections between the fields that I am really interested in. She also helps out with Philosophy Club and gives me advice in running that club so I really appreciate her help and mentorship. I also really admire Dr. Burnett, she is the Assistant Director for the Honors Program and helps me manage and plan for my honors courses and requirements, her input has been very helpful in planning for my future.

Do you have work or internship experience?
One summer I interned with Lincoln's YWCA, their mission statement is "eliminating racism, empowering women." I helped them plan the curriculum for their SMART Girls CLC after school club which is aimed at empowering young girls at title 1 schools to get involved in STEM. I felt that my Women's and Gender Studies experience helped me get this opportunity and relate to some of the problems being tackled by the YWCA.

Did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in Krakow Poland with the University Honors Program. We studied challenges to democracy and global security in the context of Poland's rich history. While there we traveled around Poland and visited places like Auschwitz, Warsaw, St Mary's Basilica and more.

What are you involved in on campus?
I am the President of UNL's Philosophy Club and the Vice President of our Ethics Bowl team.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to take a gap year, I am applying for Fulbright and AmeriCorps positions to fill the gap year, after that, I plan to attend law school where I will focus on either criminal or immigration law. Hopefully, someday I will be a judge.