Photo Credit: Student Spotlight Malvika Vijju
November 10, 2022

Majors: Women's and Gender Studies
Minors: Sociology, Humanities in Medicine
Year: Junior
Hometown: India

Why did you select your major and minors?
I realized that Women's and Gender studies was teaching me a history I never learned before. It also gave me the opportunity to read and write as much as I wanted to. It was an opportunity to speak my mind and be myself. I would like to think that this major has made me a "semi" extrovert. I am still an introvert, but if I have to speak in class or give a presentation, I can proudly do that without feeling nervous or anxious anymore. It also gave me the motivation to choose something that I dreamt of for a career and that is to become a lawyer and help people.

What is your favorite course you have taken?
It is definitely WMNS 485 Feminist Theories! This class was small, intimate, and wonderful. It made me think in ways I never thought I would have. The readings we did were so good and [challenged] my brain—in a really good way. It also made me think about all the things our society lacks. I have grown to become a better feminist who likes to think about intersectionality in every step of the way!

Who have been some of your strongest role models here?
I think it is Dr. Holz. She made my brain run, made me think in different ways, and showed me different lenses of different people. She is one of my biggest role models and I have never told her this.

Do you have research experience?
I am working with Professor Kazyak on an independent study. We look at 69 different cases to see how "like race" analogy has played a role in all of these cases where there is a lot if discrimination with regards to either sexuality/gender or religion and intersectionality of race.

Have you had an internship or job? 
I have been working as a Huskers CARE (Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education) Peer Educator this past fall, and it has been such a rewarding experience to be able to share my passion and spread awareness about sexual violence. It is such an important topic but gets pushed aside because of the stigma that surrounds it. But we, as Peer Educators, are trying to provide two-way conversations with students who are freshmen and making sure that we all are on the same page when it comes to sexual and dating violence, especially when they are so new to campus and college life. As a survivor myself, I want to make sure that we have a safe campus and that no one has to go through the experiences that I had to go through.

What are you involved in on campus or in the community?
I am involved with the student government as a member of the Sexual Misconduct Task Force. We have been trying to implement bylaws to reduce rape culture on campus. CARE is also a huge part of my college experience. Since I love writing so much, I write part-time for the Daily Nebraskan as an Opinion Columnist and I enjoy it very much!

What are your plans after graduation?
I want to go to Law school. I also want to work in Public Policy Affairs so that I can help pass bills on issues that I am really passionate about.