Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership


Sonja Anderson

Sonja Anderson
Midland, MI

How have you benefited from the Gannon Scholars program?

The Gannon Scholars program has introduced me to strong, intelligent women, who serve as role models for me. Each has offered valuable advice and care. Gannon has given me confidence to act on my instincts, especially in the realm of social justice.

Why is the mission of women's leadership important to you?

I am a feminist not only for myself, but for all women and girls. Female leaders are essential to ensure equal rights for all, and I think the Gannon Center prepares women to take on this task; to spread the mission even further.

What are you interested in researching? Why?

My research is focused on children's literature, with a goal of making children's novels, or "chapter books," more socially conscious and representative. I'm using Judith Butler's theory of gender performance and literary analysis to examine the most widely-read books by third through fifth graders. I'm looking for positive and negative standards set by characters that become rules and frameworks for how real children build gender identity while reading.