Photo Credit: Jada Wraalstad
April 1, 2024

Major: Women's and Gender Studies

Minors: Ethnic Studies, LGBTQ/Sexuality Studies

Hometown: Fargo, ND

Year: Junior

Why did you select your major and minors? Were there any events or people that convinced you to declare?
I came to UNL undeclared and wanted to explore classes. I took WMNS 101, the introduction to WGS, and I loved it. I declared my major in my second semester at UNL while taking WMNS 201 (Intro to LGBTQ Studies) because I knew that this coursework was something I was very interested in. I felt so welcomed in all of my classes and I was learning things I was not allowed to learn before going to university. I added on my LGBTQ Studies major after taking WMNS 201 because of the atmosphere that was developed between students in the course. I always felt comfortable being myself around other queer people because we all had an understanding of how sexuality works in our own lives. Additionally, I added my Ethnic Studies minor because I learned that I loved working with intersectionality in all of my courses. I feel like looking at everything through an intersectional lens can create a better understanding of how society works and how we all function within society.

What is your favorite course you have taken and why?
My favorite course I have taken so far is WMNS 301: Sexuality and Power with Dr. Rose Holz. I am currently taking this course and even though I was unsure if I would like to discuss pregnancy, Dr. Holz has created such a supportive environment where we are encouraged to question the things we are learning as well as see how intersectionality comes into play. The materials and class discussions help me to learn more from many different sources as well as the students around me.

Who have been some of your strongest mentors or role models here?
All of my professors in the WGS program have been wonderful. They all truly want students to learn as much as possible. Some other role models for me have been the staff in the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Office. I started working in this office in January of 2023 and I have found amazing role models in everyone who works in this office. They are all such hard workers but they show so much care for everyone they meet. I feel welcomed in this office and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity.

Do you have research experience? If so, please describe your project. Have you had an internship or job?
I just completed my HR internship at Lutheran Family Services. I found this internship through UNL's Micro-Internship and Mentoring Program. I was unsure if I wanted to go into HR but this internship gave me wonderful experience and learning opportunities surrounding the world of HR. I was able to interview many people throughout the organization as well so I could learn about other career paths that may interest me. I also work in the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs office, where I am given the opportunity to help with simple office tasks but I am also able to help with events around campus and learn from the people I work with. Everyone in the office is so supportive of my studies and will always ask about my classes.

Did you/are you going to study abroad?
I am going to be studying abroad this upcoming summer (May-June 2024). I will be going to Stockholm through DIS Study Abroad, and be taking a course called "Transgender in Scandinavia". This is a 3-week program and I believe the course will directly relate to my studies at UNL.

What are you involved in on campus or in the community?
I am involved in the Ballroom Dance Club on campus and I volunteer at Planned Parenthood. This is my second semester being in Ballroom and it is such a good way for me to keep my love for dancing while getting to meet new people. I started volunteering at Planned Parenthood for a class assignment, but I would like to continue my work with them after the semester ends because I am passionate about reproductive healthcare and reproductive justice.

What are your plans after graduation?
I am still unsure about my plans after graduation. I would like to find a career where I can help people and connect people with resources, as well as do something to push back against inequality. I am exploring the idea of getting a master's in social work, as I believe this would be a field where I could meet my goals, but I am still undecided.