Kent State Graduate College Asks ‘Who Runs the World?’
Women represent nearly 60% of students in graduate or professional degree programs across America. However, they are still a minority in certain STEM fields like engineering and computer science. The Graduate College celebrated women’s history month by tackling this tough topic head-on.
On Tuesday, March 22, graduate students gathered in the University Library to discuss the struggles that students of different identities can often face in graduate school. “Who Runs the World: Experiences of Gender, Race, and Power in Graduate School” featured a panel discussion of female graduate students sharing their stories and lived experiences during their studies.
The panel opened a candid discussion of the struggles graduate students face from many of the intersecting identities students have between gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age and more.
Panelists for the discussion included Maren Greve, psychological sciences doctoral student; CV Garcia, a higher education administration doctoral candidate; and Gianna Jessup, a higher education administration master’s student.
Garcia discussed her experiences as an international student while also having worked for almost a decade before deciding to further her education again.
“A big motivation for me was that I want to change the face of what a faculty member or someone with a doctorate looks like, and it has to start with me,” Garcia said.
The conversation covered issues many women face in graduate school like being compared to their male peers or being told they are too sensitive or not assertive enough.
Panelists also shared valuable advice for women who may be looking to further their education in graduate school. Their biggest piece of advice: Find a community. Whether you join a writing group, graduate student senate or other graduate student organization, community is important to surviving in graduate school.
Another theme the panel addressed was how women may present themselves and their research within a graduate program.
“Don’t downplay yourself or the work that you do. You deserve a spot at the table,” Greve said. “You deserve to be recognized for your work. Everyone is worth something and the work you do is worth something.”
The discussion closed with panelists sharing the importance of taking care of yourself while in graduate school, no matter your identity.
“Something I have been thinking about recently is that as women, we often have an instinct to take care of other people, but, this is the only time in your life that you can only worry about you,” Jessup said. “So, right now I’m trying to work on myself, take care of myself, and take in every opportunity I can because this is a really important time in my life.”
Learn more about Kent State Graduate College.