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Rutgers-Camden Grad Paves Own Way with New Major
Declaring your major can be trying enough. Imagine establishing a new one altogether. Kelly Scott, who will graduate from Rutgers–Camden on May 17, will leave with a major in Women’s and Gender Studies, a major she created for herself.
While also fulfilling requirements for a dual major in history, as an honors student no less, the Somerdale resident, with faculty support, established a major that combined her passions for literature and gender analysis.
“When I entered Rutgers I knew I was interested in feminist issues. My grandmother and my mother are both feminists,” she says. “But I didn’t realize how interesting those things were to me until I took a course on literature of childhood by Holly Blackford. It became one of my favorite classes ever,” says Scott, an inductee into Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.
The course, which introduced Scott to “queer theory,” propelled Scott to get involved on campus and work with the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, directed by Laurie Bernstein, an associate professor of history at Rutgers–Camden. Under Bernstein’s guidance, Scott navigated this new major and also received the Summer Undergraduate Research Award for what became her thesis on the Lesbian Separatist Movement.
“I was intrigued by how someone could hold such radical views. I came to gradually find that this group wasn’t having their needs met by different movements, so they took matters into their own hands and made their own movement,” says Scott of her thesis “Crone-Logically: A History of the Lesbian Separatist Movement in the United States.”
While maintaining Dean’s List throughout her Rutgers–Camden experience, as well as winning department honors, Scott was also living on her own and working full-time.
“It wasn’t always easy. I had to carefully schedule my job around classes, but was careful to put school first…the hardest thing to balance was sleep,” says the 2008 Pennsauken High School graduate.
Scott, who was recently hired by the Cherry Hill Women’s Center, says she’s glad she paved her own way at Rutgers–Camden.
Media Contact: Cathy K. Donovan