Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
at Miami University
Student Profile: Sarah Pliske (2010)
Sarah Pliske is a junior Psychology major and Women's Studies minor. Although she started out at Miami in fine arts, she is pursuing an undergraduate focus in social psychology and psychopathology. Sarah hopes to combine this with her women's studies knowledge to explore the possibilities that exist in using creative arts and literature as healing tools in therapy and a means of community building among women.
I decided to minor in Women's Studies, because I saw the relevance of the coursework to my research interests as a psychology major in gender differences and community intervention.
Why did you choose Women's Studies?
I decided to minor in Women's Studies, because I saw the relevance of the coursework to my research interests as a psychology major in gender differences and community intervention. With the knowledge I've taken away from my Women's Studies classes I have a much better understanding of how female identity has been shaped and reshaped throughout history and the profound effect of dominant cultures on individual identity.
How have WMS classes impacted your overall Miami experience?
Women's Studies classes exposed me to unique perspectives and theories that carried over to many of my other classes. I was able to re-evaluate my own location as a woman and a student. In learning about feminist theory, I realized the importance of finding alternative forms of knowledge and critically analyzing the structures and institutions that facilitate the oppression of not only women, but other marginalized groups as well.
Are there particular classes, encounters, experiences as part of your WMS major that have enhanced your leadership, interpersonal relations, and/or career-related skills?
The Women's Studies program is dedicated to providing numerous opportunities for its students to learn about the multiple perspectives that exist in current feminist debates. Most recently, I presented one of my papers at the 9th Biennial Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Symposium. Not only was this great experience for future graduate study, but also I interacted with other students, professors, and professionals in an academic and highly accepting atmosphere.
Would you recommend WMS to your peers? If so, why?
I think any student who genuinely desires a deeper understanding of the social structures that shape our daily lives would benefit from courses in Women's Studies. A Women's Studies major or minor can easily supplement any other major. I highly encourage anyone who values social justice, especially students interested in politics, international studies, any of the humanities, psychology or other service-oriented careers to take a Women's Studies class. Many classes are cross-listed with other departments.