Caleigh Wells '17
What are you up to now?
After I graduated in 2017, I did the year-long Journalism master's program at USC in Los Angeles. Following that I interned with KPCC (one of L.A.'s two NPR member stations) where I did daily radio and digital reporting for them. They promoted me to a temporary reporter position which I held until mid-January. I had the honor of covering everything from Election Day to the Borderline shooting, to the Woolsey Fire and the LAUSD teachers strike. My work has also been featured on BBC and national NPR. Now I'm working as a fill-in producer for them, where I bounce around to their different shows and book guests, write copy for our host, do interviews, etc. Basically like reporting, but now I'm not leaving the station every day!
Why did you decide to minor in WGSS?
I decided to minor in WGSS because, frankly, it fit into my schedule very easily. I just took classes that interested me in my majors (journalism, sociology, politics), and frequently they counted toward this inter-departmental minor. They ended up being some of my favorite classes at W&L, and the concepts/material we covered in them seems to have stuck in my head because it is so relevant in everything I do, much more than I'd expected when I started taking the courses!
Do you find that your preparation in WGSS helped you do what you are doing now?
I'd say the sociological concepts/trends I studied help me better understand interactions in the workplace and better understand the people I interview for work. I'm more conscious of how my colleagues act based on their gender and mine, and I think I'm able to better combat subconscious biases in our interactions. I also feel more empowered as a woman in the workplace, and I appreciate that my WGSS minor has created a little voice in my head that keeps me alert when I'm interviewing women and LGBTQ community members, to ensure my questions to them are fair and unbiased based on their gender, sexuality or orientation.
Any advice for current students?
The minor is about more than preparing people who plan to devote their lives to working with these communities. No matter what your job is, you will interact with women, you will interact with people in the LGBTQ community. The minor is relevant to everyone and the material is applicable in every daily interaction you experience. It taught me more than the role of gender and sexuality in philosophy and history and politics...it taught me their roles in being a person in everyday life. Talk about a liberal arts education.