Caitlin Feuer, Rhetoric '12
As a Drake alumna with a passion for gender and health equality, my Women's and Gender Studies coursework continues to fuel my drive to change the world. At Brandeis University in Boston, I recently earned my Master of Public Policy degree, which I focused on women's health. I chose this focus in order to improve health care access and quality for survivors of intimate partner (domestic) violence, as well as for other disadvantaged populations. To that end, I recently worked for the national Alliance of Community Health Plans in Washington, DC, where I coordinated with health insurance agencies across the country to share their challenges and collectively build on their successes. I'm also completing a nonprofit-focused M.B.A., to more deeply understand the business, financial, and strategic foundations necessary for this systemic change.
My WGS courses at Drake, especially Nancy Berns' life-changing Gender and Violence class, deeply influenced my graduate school papers and projects (which you can find at www.caitlin-feuer.com/portfolio), as well as my overall career path. Most importantly, my WGS courses left me with a deep understanding of how to address systemic inequality and injustice, and I'm proud to carry the Drake Legacy into all of my current endeavors. Go Bulldogs!
Joanna Nichols, Study of Culture & Society '08
I've worked at the Ounce of Prevention Fund, an early childhood education and care non-profit organization for over 5 years. In my work at the Ounce, I support training for staff that work at daycares which receive Birth-to-three Prevention Initiative funding. I find that what I learned at Drake University regarding the intersections of sexism, racism, classism, and the cycle of poverty prepared me to work in the non-profit field.
I'm pursuing a Masters in Non-Profit Management at DePaul University beginning this fall. I've been a volunteer at Open Books, a non-profit literacy organization for over 3 years and joined the Open Books Associate Board in June 2014. I love to read, travel, cook, throw theme parties, and take photographs.
Zac Pace, English '13
As I reflect on my undergraduate experience, my concentration in women’s studies at Drake is one of the most valuable learning opportunities I have been afforded. Whether it was dynamic discussion in the classroom or my internship experience at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, every day I was challenged to be a better feminist and ally by faculty and peers alike. After finishing my BA in English, women’s studies, and anthropology at Drake in 2013 I went on to earn an MA in student affairs administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. At UNL I wrote my master’s thesis on the intersectionality of masculine performativity and feminist ideology, or how masculine-identified students develop as feminists.
After finishing my graduate work, I began work at Morningside College in a dual role where I advise the programming board responsible for large-scale campus events and also oversee the daily operations of a traditional residence hall. In my role at Morningside I work directly with students as they transition to college and develop deeper understandings of who they are as people. I also bring meaningful events to campus that promote diverse perspectives and expose students to new ways of understanding the world around them. What started as an academic concentration at Drake has become a passion driving me toward new challenges and opportunities in the field of higher education.
Stacey Snyder, Marketing '07
In June 2014, I became the E-Learning and Instructional Technology Librarian at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT Libraries, I aid in the instruction of research and information literacy skills via digital learning platforms.
My involvement in Drake's Women's Studies program was the launchpad for my careers in reproductive healthcare and librarianship. To fulfill the requirements of the Concentration, I interned with Planned Parenthood, which led to full-time employment working in databases to support its advocacy and outreach department. The intersection of information and social justice inspired me to seek a Master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following graduate school, I was an Information Literacy Fellow at the University of West Georgia (UWG) where I taught undergraduate, credit-bearing courses on research and using the library. While at UWG, I co-led Safe Zone training sessions, educating faculty, staff, and students on creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQ individuals.
While my direct involvement in women and gender studies has waned, it remains a constant influence in my professional life. These courses taught me about privilege, empowerment, and the politics of access to essential resources. As a librarian, all of these lessons inform my work in supporting my profession's mission of championing intellectual freedom—the equal, unrestricted access to information.