Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Molly Cornell


Where have you found yourself and what career goals have you pursued since graduating from Loyola? Where do you see yourself heading in the next several years?

Currently, I am applying for grad school programs to get my MFA in scenic design, hoping to be enrolled for fall 2022. In the meantime, I’m working at a doggie daycare as a front desk coordinator to pay my rent, painting all the shows this season at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, and taking whatever odd theatre jobs I can to build connections. Grad programs for theatre tend to take three years to complete, so I will be doing that and hopefully landing back in Chicago as a scenic designer!


How did the Women’s and Gender Studies (WSGS) program impact your career success and life overall?

Especially pertaining to theatre, the WSGS program gave me another lens to view plays that are being produced, and the people producing the plays. Theatrical design is a cis, white male-dominated space, and theatre companies are definitely not as diverse as I wish they would be. I think my WSGS minor gave me the tools to look critically at these institutions and advocate for more diverse spaces and more diverse stories being told. SO many women/queer/BIPOC playwrights are underproduced and underappreciated, and as a theatre artist it’s really important to me to be in inclusive spaces. 

What was your favorite course/project you took part in whilst being a part of the WSGS program? 

Literally all the classes I took for my WSGS minor were amazing, but my favorite was History of Feminist Thought. I loved delving into theory, as well as the issues with feminist theory, made me a better feminist and theatre maker. It also exposed me to so many amazing feminist thinkers and ideas. 


Do you feel as though your WSGS degree has guided you towards a more fulfilling career path? 

In the 21st century, it is so important to think critically of the spaces we occupy in order to create better institutions for the many, not the few. Minoring in WSGS gave me the foundation to apply those ideas and thoughts to theatre, and hopefully my graduate program in the years to come!


In what ways has your WSGS education helped prepare you to be a more engaged global citizen and local neighbor?

My WSGS education has prepared me to be more aware and cognizant of the people around me. It cemented my understanding of intersectionality, and remembering to always apply it to world issues. I carry a lot of privilege as a white, cis gendered person, and it is so easy to forget the ways I benefit from the oppressive institutions. The Women and Gender Studies program urges us to look beyond our personal oppressions and use our positions to lift up underrepresented populations and give more people a seat at the table. 

What advice would you offer to current or prospective WSGS students?

My biggest advice is to find ways to connect your WSGS topics into your other classes. I got so much more out of my writing intensive theatre history classes when I was writing papers that built on what I learned in WSGS classes. Engaging with these topics outside of WSGS classrooms makes the lessons I learned even more impactful.