Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Tori Olson

Tori Olson (she/her/hers) 

Graduation Year: 2020 

Program/Degree: MA in Women’s and Gender Studies 

 Current job/position: Current Sociology PhD student at Loyola University Chicago 

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? 

      I am currently pursuing a PhD in sociology at Loyola University Chicago. I plan to continue focusing on feminist scholarship and dedicating the rest of my education, as well as my future career, to feminist and community based research. 

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

      The WSGS program helped me realize my passion for feminist research methods and introduced me to the connections between WSGS and sociology through various courses.  

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

     Two courses really stood out to me during my time in the WSGS program; Feminist/Womanist Ethics and Theology served as an incredible learning experience and broadened my understanding of theology and ethics from a feminist and womanist lens, which was completely new to me. Sociology of Gender served as a milestone in my education because it connected my love of feminist theory to my newfound passion for research.  

Do you have any fond memories of your experience within the program? If so, please elaborate.  

      My fondest memory of the program is definitely the time I spent being a teaching assistant for Dr. Betsy Jones Hemenway’s feminist methodology course. Working with both her and the students provided me with both an educational and enjoyable experience.  

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

     Yes, the foundational knowledge I have gained in WSGS will be important factors as I continue my education and begin conducting community-based research.  

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

     Definitely take advantage of all the opportunities offered throughout their Loyola community. Join campus organizations, find volunteer options in the community, get to know your subject librarian, reach out to other students, and always go the extra step in regards to your coursework and research opportunities—find a topic you are passionate about and connect all your coursework and papers back to it.