Carrie Gates | February 23, 2019
For Ann Biddlecom ’89, the Gender Studies Program was a revelation.
She was on track to graduate with a degree in sociology when the program was introduced in 1988 — but with only a year left at Notre Dame, she dove in and completed the new concentration.
“The program was like a breath of fresh air,” Biddlecom said. “It was the only place where I was encouraged to have intense discussions about gender and the broader public world.
“The Gender Studies Program helped me see how we shape what gender means, how we play it out in life, and what the consequences can be.”
Biddlecom became one of four students in the program’s first graduating class and she is one of the hundreds of students who have found a home in the program over the next 30 years — including Sarah A. Mustillo ’96, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
Today, the program is thriving, with more than 70 students currently pursuing gender studies majors, supplementary majors, and minors at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as more than 50 associated faculty across campus.
Mary Celeste Kearney, director of the Gender Studies Program, credits its success to the caliber and dedication of its students and faculty.
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