Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Women, Gender & Sexuality DSA Ryan Drew

Ryan Drew


Hometown: Niles, MI
Major: Women, Gender & Sexuality
Minor: Psychology
Study Abroad: Athens, Greece
Best Adjective to Describe You: Passionate

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
Definitely the inclusivity and focus on self-reflection.

What is your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
Definitely take a WGS-101 course or a class with Karyn Boatwright in psychology! From there, the profs will provide you with information on WGS nights and events revolving around gender, sexuality, race, intersectionality, and more.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
TRY NEW THINGS AND FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS! I was originally a psychology major, but after meeting with my advisor post taking WGS-101, I knew I wanted to pursue WGS as my major. Do not be afraid to declare a major that isn’t often pursued (like Biology). You will find success regardless of your major!

What has been your favorite class at K?
I loved my religion course based on the construction of the Christian family with Dr. Petrey. Though not directly listed as a WGS course, this was one of my electives for my major. We covered topics like the legal construction of marriage, sex practices, abortion and contraceptives, and more. This course made me rethink my current life course, making me pause on questions such as “what’s the point of marriage?”, “what is motherhood?”, and “what is femininity?”.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
I have taken everything from biology to violin! I crossed math off my list, too (which I did not think I would do in college!). Push yourself to take a course in each department at K or during study abroad/ away.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
I have been in SPEAK (Sexual Peer Educators at K) since my freshman year. We host programs and trainings on gender-based violence and healthy/unhealthy relationships. While I was studying abroad, I worked as a volunteer English teacher with two Afghan refugees (and we still keep in touch). We met two times a week and it was delightful. Once I returned from study abroad, I worked as an intern at my local Children’s Advocacy Center in Saint Joe, MI. I have learned so much from these experiences!

What is your SIP?
I am looking to complete a WGS SIP combining WGS and creative writing. I am hoping to do a poetry collection on the epistemology of the “woman”– who is she? Where did she come from? And how have my experiences informed my own understanding of social constructions and myself?

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I am hoping to get my masters in social work (MSW). From there, I would like to be a forensic interviewer for children’s advocacy centers.

What is a random fun fact about you?
I collect Blue-Q socks… If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend you look them up! They can be found at Lana’s Boutique downtown.