In May 2019, JR Hardy became the first TCU student to graduate with a degree (BS) in Women & Gender Studies, and the first undergraduate to graduate with a degree with from the new School of Interdisciplinary Studies. As part of his Advanced Seminar Community Action Project and an internship for Fraternity and Sorority Life, JR developed and implemeneted an anti-sexual violence consciousness raising group for his fraternity in 2018. We asked JR to share a little about his experience as a Women & Gender Studies Student.
How were you first introduced to the department of Women and Gender Studies?
I was first introduced to the department of Women & Gender Studies my freshman year by Dr. Margaret Lowry. After taking an English course with Dr. Lowry, she encouraged me to take Intro to WGST the following semester which I did and after I took that course I became very interested and decided to add an emphasis. This emphasis lead to a minor which eventually lead to my double majoring in Communication Studies and Women & Gender Studies.
Why did you choose to major in WGST?
I chose to major in Women & Gender Studies because I want to use the knowledge that I have learned throughout the courses I have taken to be a male activist educating other men on 1.) issues of violence against women and 2.) ways of debunking the societal pressures to conform to hyper masculinity.
What is your favorite WGST course and what did you learn?
My favorite Women & Gender Studies course was the Advanced Seminar with Dr. Nino Testa. This class was very effective as it was deeply rooted in large class discussions where we would discuss various issues related to identity, intersectionality, and a thorough history of ways in which women have challenged the oppressive patriarchal society.
What are your plans after TCU and how has WGST helped you plan for them?
After school I would like to work with professional sports teams, especially those that have struggled in the past with issues related to gender inequality in the workplace, and educate members within the organization about content I have learned over the course of the past 4 years.