Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Nicole Morino


As an Admissions Counselor, I meet with high school students and assist them on college applications, attend college fairs, and travel to high schools across the country to present general information about CIA. One of my favorite aspects is promoting a liberal arts education. I applied to multiple higher education/education roles knowing I wanted to start in that realm of expanding my organizational and public speaking skills, as well as working on building relationships with young folk.

During my second, and last year, of Loyola’s WSGS program, I was able to take an education course and complete one of my final research papers on building and assessing the feminist classroom, as well as worked as a Mentor for Loyola undergraduates in the TRIO Scholar program. These experiences really pushed me to continue work in education, especially with one-on-one student experiences. I also was the Reproductive Justice intern for my final year with the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) working directly under two Art Justice Organizers. I am constantly inspired by the art students here at CIA and am hoping to take a class where I myself would be able to create an art installation related to social justice advocacy that tied to my final research project, repealing the Parental Notification of Abortion law, I completed with ICAH.

In terms of long-term goals, remaining in higher education and continuing my own education is definitely in my future. Either earning another Master’s degree in Higher Education, possibly in Curriculum or School Counseling, or working towards a Doctorate in Gender Studies where I am able to expand on building the feminist classroom and adding to my research of reproductive justice access for young folk. My current dream job would be working in Student Affairs at a college or university at a Women’s Center (and actually expanding from that language itself).

I wanted a degree in Women/Gender Studies 1) because I love learning, expanding my own knowledge, and just enjoy being a part of a school-atmosphere and 2) knowing it would add to my career particularly because of my interest in education and teaching that began early in my undergraduate experience.

I was lucky enough to sit in on a few Students for Reproductive Justice meetings and learn more about how undergraduates are currently working towards RJ, while meeting some wicked awesome undergraduates in the process. I wish I had known about the group sooner than the final months of my graduate program and was able to participate and support their impactful activities. This leads into my advice for current/future WSGS students which would be to self-advocate for one-self and explore all of the resources provided by Loyola and the city of Chicago.

I was able to gain great experience from a wide variety of organizations because of the city of Chicago but needed to work hard to expose myself to those places. I worked as a Grant Writer for the Girls in the Game, a Development Analyst for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and was the Chicago Alumni Relations Coordinator for the Council of Opportunity in Education, and all of these experiences have helped prepare me for a wide variety of careers.

While I am not in my ideal career quite yet, I am thoroughly enjoying my time, and know this position was the right choice for me. I will soon get to be an advisor for student organizations on campus and will be presenting on using more gender inclusivity for our upcoming Staff week! Do not be discouraged if you aren't exactly where you anticipated you'd be, as I was immediately upon graduation with not having that ideal job, it still takes time and our program is one that is valuable for all career paths.