WGS Testimonial: Morgan Owens

Morgan Owens, Class of 2017

Majors in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies

Minor in LGBTQ Studies


What inspired you to take a Women’s and Gender Studies class?

My first WGS class was Introduction to LGBTQ Studies, and I was inspired to take it because I was curious what an "LGBTQ Studies" minor could possibly be about. I myself am queer, and figured it could be a good way to learn a bit about the larger LGBTQ community.


What has been one of the most significant take-aways you've gained from your experience with Women’s and Gender Studies?

The best thing my WGS courses have given me would be the tools to think about my own identity and who I really want to be relative to the rest of my peers and the world at-large. Examining my own gender and sexuality are things that many people never have to do, and that's a shame. You end up learning a lot about what is important to you and to stop taking things people tell you about yourself for granted.


What particular course or professor, if any, has particularly inspired or positively impacted you?

My favorite WGS course was Queer Studies, which took the information I learned in Introduction to LGBTQ Studies and applied queer theory to it. It turned my entire world on its head, and showed me how to find empowerment in situations where I felt ignored or dismissed.


How has Women’s and Gender Studies fit with any other courses of study you may be pursuing?

I have a Political Science major in addition to WGS, and there have been lots of opportunities for the two to intersect. Political understandings of what populations of people are most able to advocate for themselves and use the government to their advantage, for example, rely heavily on being able to understand how gender and sexuality impact people's lives. The entire realm of LGBTQ advocacy also involves essentially taking WGS ideas and educating people about them in order to bring about political change.


How do you see Women’s and Gender Studies fitting into your post-college experiences?

I hope to go to graduate school for International Relations or Public Administration, and the writing skills I have developed in my WGS courses will be invaluable for that. More directly, I have seen how issues of gender and sexuality cannot be ignored in almost any field, and so whether I am doing political science research, working for the State Department, or anything else, I will be sure to incorporate the language and outlook of my WGS courses to add to my ability to create meaningful knowledge.