Jessica Coblentz, Class of 2008
Jessica Coblentz, 2008, majored in Women’s & Gender Studies and Religious Studies, and minored in Philosophy and Catholic Studies. She currently is the Scholar in Residence at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenism and is a Dissertation Fellow at the Louisville Institute. She is currently finishing a PhD in Theology from Boston College with her research focusing on constructive theology that engages mental-health issues, feminism, and critical-race theory.
What is your overall impression of the WGST academic program?
Almost ten years after graduating, I see that my WGST major was one of the most formative experiences of my life. The program helped me to integrate my studies in other disciplines. It provided an inspired community where I encountered peers and faculty who continue to be my role models. It awakened me to the role of the intellectual in social transformation-- something that continues to shape my life and work. I wouldn't teach, write, read, donate, protest, or vote the way I do were it not for WGST.
How do you believe completing a WGST major has helped you professionally?
I'm a theologian who teaches in university settings, and my WGST major directly effects my daily work. The WGST sharpened my intellect while it also attuned my interests to marginalized communities; today, as a consequence, my research focuses entirely on underrepresented religious and social groups. My work as a college professor -- from whom I include on a syllabus to the way I interact with students -- is informed by my WGST major, especially the WGST major/minor seminar where I first encountered texts about transformative education and inclusive scholarship.