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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 27, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Faculty of Arts

Mentorship and Friends in Women and Gender Studies

Mar 15/12


Dr. Margaret Toye (

On February 15, the Mentorship Program met at “Whole-Lot-a-Gelata”, where the owner Chris (thank you Chris!) kept the place open for us, so we could eat gelato and discuss the topic “Mentoring Women and Gender Studies inside and outside the degree.” 

On March 5, we held an event in the renovated Wilf’s Den to discuss “10 Things You Can Do With a Women’s Studies Degree.” We invited three graduates of our program, Jay Harrison, Kate MacLaggan and Jocelyn Hemrica to tell us how they have integrated the degree into their lives, including future graduate programs, and work/career trajectories.  Jay, Kate and Jocelyn were incredible resources as they shared, in wonderful and useful detail, how they transferred the skills and content of their WS degrees into further education and before the work world. It was inspiring to hear how they viewed their degrees and training in WS as keys to their successful employment and an aspect that attracted their employers to them. It was also important to hear the stories of the incredible hard work that was required for each of their separate success stories, which included the work they engaged in while they were students at WLU (including going beyond the classroom and taking multiple opportunities while at WLU to acquire skills and experiences), together with the hard work and perseverance required after graduation that was needed in order ultimately to find areas of employment and jobs that they desired.

We are planning an April event to celebrate this year’s award winners, our current graduating      students, and to invite back more of our graduates. In this event we hope to continue to take steps towards the creation of a “Friends of Women and Gender Studies” group.   The event will be a way of continuing to network current and former students. Our hope is to provide current students with mentors, inspiration and contacts among those who have already taken their degrees beyond     university into the working world. In turn, we hope to provide graduates of our program, who    usually report missing what the university offered them, including the stimulation of the exchange of ideas, suggestions of interesting reading material and the contacts and support of like-minded feminist-friendly people.  We would like to think of it as the beginning of “young people’s network.” Anyone interesting in being a part of this group, or who would like to help to plan it, please contact   Margaret Toye

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