Students connect with women, gender studies

By Viridiana Camacho / VN STAFF WRITER

Jasmina Cunmulaj, a senior with a double major in developmental psychology and English literature, knew the Women’s and Gender Studies minor was for her.

“This has been one of my passions all along,” she said. “I just wasn’t in tune to it. But once I saw that I could make a minor out of it, I was attracted to it immediately.”

She sees it as a natural fit with her education at the university.

“The whole mission of Detroit Mercy is finding yourself as a whole person by the end of graduation and this does just that,” Cunmulaj said.

Professor Dr. Rosemary Weatherston directs the minor, which includes a range of class options.

“These issues touch every one of us personally, academically and professionally,” she said. “What students learn about in their WGS courses is directly relevant to their lives both while in school and afterwards.

“It’s fascinating to look at what is happening in our politics or in popular culture and then to bring that into the classroom to talk about,” she added. “The #MeToo movement, presidential politics, marriage equality, the separation of children and parents at our borders – it seems like every day there is something new and urgent that needs our thoughtful discussion and, often, our justice-based actions.”

The courses are so much more than interesting, Weatherston said.

“WGS also hosts lots of student-oriented events with artistic performances, nationally renowned speakers, films and social justice actions,” she said. “We also offer student grants each year to support students’ own projects.”

Weatherston said WSG alumni have reported benefitting from the program.

“They said that it really set them apart from other job or graduate-school candidates,” she said. “They felt like they better understood their own gender and sexuality and their personal relationships.”

Jack Rehmann is majoring in cyber security and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, too.

What made him join the program?

“I was looking for a minor,” he said. “I didn’t see it as a possibility at first, but I already knew Weatherston and Megan Novell, who are a big part of the program, so I thought it would be good to take these classes and widen my mindset.”

Students can benefit without committing to the 18-credit minor, he added.

“Even if you don’t want to pick up the minor, take a few classes,” he said. “There’s a lot of good discussion that goes on.”

Adding the minor was more of an impromptu thing for him.

Still, he said, “It is very educational for me. I haven’t regretted it. It’s been great.” 

For information on the program, contact Weatherston at or explore the WGS website: