Leslie Nichols, Online Graduate Certificate Student and designer of our GWS t-shirt logo
In the summer of 2010, I started a visual art series that reflected a personal search for a sense of place. This work was based in a desire to locate myself in a historical context and better understand ideas about womanhood as they exist in my community. A fellow artist encouraged me to look into the Gender & Women's Studies Program at WKU. I was fortunate that Roots of Feminism, a course directly related to my research topic, was being offered that fall. This class brought invaluable depth to my work as well as my personal life, which confirmed my decision to enroll in the graduate certificate program. GWS and University College even supported my research with travel funds to the artist residency Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Along with giving me a new perspective, coursework in gender & women's studies has developed my critical thinking skills. I have found the online learning environment rigorous and engaging. While Roots grounded me historically, Global and Cross Cultural Perspectives on Women developed my knowledge and sensitivity of diverse perspectives within America and across the globe. My positive experiences in this program, both academically and personally, inspired me to enroll full-time to pursue the new MA in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities. When not in my studio or in the classroom, I enjoy practicing yoga and cooking with herbs and veggies from my garden and local farmers. I also volunteer locally at Hope Harbor as an emergency advocate for victims of sexual trauma.