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Career and Change Agent Pathways for Women's and Gender Studies Graduates: Trends and Lessons Learned from a Global Database of Women's and Gender Studies Graduates (1995-2010)

Thursday, February 7, 2013
5:00 AM
2239 Lane Hall

photo of Dr. BergerWhat can you do with an interest in women's and gender studies? is an often heard question from students, parents, the general public and even some educators. Dr. Michele Tracy Berger's co-authored book Transforming Scholarship: How Women's and Gender Studies Students are Changing Themselves and the World (Routledge 2011) grapples with this question. The book argues that not only are women's and gender studies graduates able to find fulfilling employment, they also comprise an emerging vanguard of knowledge producers in the U.S. and globally, and maintain a strong commitment to gender equality and social justice after graduation. Dr. Berger and her collaborator Dr. Cheryl Radeloff surveyed over 900 women’s and gender studies graduates (1995-2010) from around the globe ranging from Georgia State University to University of Ghana about their experiences as a student and their career paths. This is currently the largest global data set about contemporary women's and gender studies graduates. The survey research is augmented with qualitative data collected with a small sample of men and women who responded to the survey.

Drawing from both qualitative and quantitative data, Dr. Berger will highlight and reflect on important trends in demographics, undergraduate learning opportunities, how graduates translate skills and feminist concepts learned in the classroom to the workplace, and popular career pathways.  She will also connect these trends to a discussion on women's and gender studies undergraduate training in the 21st century

About the presenter:  Michele Tracy Berger is associate professor in the Department of Women's Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and adjunct professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Her books include Workable Sisterhood: The Political Journey of Stigmatized Women with HIV/AIDS (Princeton University Press, 2004) and the co-edited collections Gaining Access: A Practical and Theoretical Guide for Qualitative Researchers (Altamira Press, 2003) and The Intersectional Approach:  Transforming the Academy Through Race, Class and Gender (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). Her teaching and research interests include multiracial feminisms, qualitative methods, and HIV/AIDS activism.  She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, both from the University of Michigan, where she was a GSI for WS 240, Intro. to Women’s Studies.

Dr. Berger is also a creative writer and conducts seminars on women, leadership and creativity.  She maintains a blog about the everyday practice of creativity:

Michele Tracy Berger, Assoc. Prof. of Women’s Studies, UNC, Chapel Hill