SIPA Admissions Blog devotees will remember that my favorite part of the SIPA experience has been my participation in the Gender Policy program. For that reason, I am thrilled to announce that thanks to the incredibly hard work of SIPA’s Gender Policy Working Group, Gender Policy and Practice will be offered as a specialization for the first time this fall. This will mean more funding for programming, classes and faculty in the field of gender. Hooray! I really can’t express to you how much even for those of you who do not choose this specialization will benefit from GPWG’s efforts. When you get here, make sure to hug a gender policy 2nd year! (With her permission of course.)
In light of this new and exciting development, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite classes in the Gender Policy Program. I am not sure when these will be taught next year, but if you have the opportunity to take any of these courses with any of these professors, I would highly encourage you to do so.
Women and Power in the 21st Century with Carolyn Buck-Luce– This was my first gender class I ever took at SIPA. It is a ½ semester long course usually offered in the fall. (Pro-tip, be sure to check the short course listings every semester. They usually have very specific skills driven offerings.) Carolyn brought in phenomenal guest lecturers like Marie Wilson (http://vitaminw.co/giving/marie-wilson-talks-white-house-project-feminism-and-how-fix-it) and Stewart Emery (http://stewartemery.com/) to talk about their paths to success and the lessons they have to share with young professionals. Our final project was a personal power plan for success and work/life balance over the next 5-years. I loved this class because it focused on concrete strategies for overcoming social and institutional barriers to achievements. From readings and from my hearing classmates’ experiences I felt like my concerns, challenges and observations from being a young professional woman were validated.
Gender Mainstreaming with Kristy Kelly- Gender mainstreaming is the practice of incorporating a gender perspective not only into new public policy (although that too) but also into the design of policy-making and administrating institutions. It is the official policy of most countries, although notably not the US. We started off with a refresher course in some feminist theory and then moved on to practical experiences and implications for policy makers. My favorite thing about this course was how excited and passionate Kristy is about the subject material. Even though this was a course with an international development bent, I got to tailor it to apply the lessons I was learning to my career in domestic politics.We got to choose our final projects with ranged from a survey and evaluation of gender dynamics at SIPA to research papers to literature reviews. I designed and lead a gender mainstreaming workshop of campaign operatives that has led to a journal article I am still working on with Kristy.
Work-Family Policy in Advanced Industrialized Nations with Claire Ullman– This is one of the few courses in gender policy that focuses on industrialized nations (although thanks to the new specialization, hopefully that is changing!). In this course we learn about childcare, parental leave, workplace discrimination and how different policies impact fertility, women’s workforce participation and child development. We also learn about the history and political processes behind passing these types of legislation. Claire is clearly knowledgeable and passionate about the material and she is able to make a somewhat dry subject very engaging. This course counts for a lot of graduate programs across the university so we had a fun mix of Social Work, Journalism and SIPA students in our 12 person class.
Now all we need is an elections specialization!