Jessica describes Mills as the place where she came into her own and began leveraging the power of her words. By taking advantage of the diverse opportunities available at a small liberal arts college, Jessica has already been able to use her voice on national and international stages.
Majors: Women’s, gender and sexuality studies and English literature
Outside the Classroom: Presenter at the annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf
What are your majors? I’m double majoring in women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) and English literature because I’m equally obsessed with feminism and reading critically. My double-major choice was a no-brainer after a class in each department during my first semester. English has always been my academic bread and butter, and I think about how gender shapes our life experiences practically all the time, so it all felt very natural. I love how my fields inform one another, and I feel confident in my ability to make my passions professionally relevant, especially with Mills faculty support.
Do you ever interact with your professors outside of class? I’m currently working on projects with WGSS professors, so I’m lucky to be on a home-phone-number level with some truly remarkable minds. I stop to talk with my professors whenever we run into each other on campus. Professors who had me semesters ago will see me and want to know how things are going, what my plans and involvements are. We really get so much quality attention here.
What are your proudest accomplishments since arriving at Mills? As a first-year student, I was thrilled to have my paper proposal selected by the Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf. With sponsorship from the Associated Students of Mills College (our student government organization), I was able to travel to the conference and represent Mills while presenting my paper. I represented Mills in Aarhus, Denmark, as part of the International Museum of Women’s Young Women Speaking the Economy project, which involved more than 40 young women from Denmark, the Philippines, Sudan, and the United States.
How have you surprised yourself or changed since coming to Mills? I’ve surprised myself by becoming bolder and practicing channeling the power of my words. I’ve opened myself up to connecting with incredible people and interacting with new concepts and, as a result, find myself so very intellectually stimulated, surrounded by people I admire deeply and learn from daily. Mills is where I’ve come into myself, and I’ve never felt more like, well, me before. The ways in which I’ve developed are endless; I’ll just say that I know every day that this is exactly where I am meant to be.