Julie Ruth Malone '18

Though I had entered Washington and Lee with a strong interest in feminism, it was my fall term freshman year Global Politics course taught by Professor Robin LeBlanc that solidified my interest in the minor. I was struck by the intersectional nature of the course curriculum and the ways in which my professor seemed to analyze and interpret information.  The interdepartmental nature of the program allowed me to explore courses in various academic fields, engaging in topics ranging from feminist sociology and political philosophy, to gender in Hinduism and the Abrahamic faiths, to women and gender in modern Europe.  The perceptive lenses, analytical tools, and micro- and macro-level social awareness gained through WGSS study are relevant to every facet of life.

It was the intimate nature of the department that quickly transformed the WGSS community into my favorite of my undergraduate academic “homes.”  I loved the proactive and relevant character of the programming organized by the Department, particularly the passion connected to this programming.  I loved the finals week dinners, where I could de-stress with my friends and learn more about who my professors were as people.  I loved the opportunities to speak candidly and informally about campus, national, and international issues with professors and students, whether that conversation happened in office hours, while grabbing coffee downtown, or over pizza at a roundtable discussion.  The mentors, friends, and role models that I found through WGSS have affected me profoundly and will continue to do so for years to come.