Whitney Kippes, class of 2008

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Whitney Kippes, class of 2008

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and American History

I graduated from SMU with my BA in Political Science and American History in 2008. At the time, SMU only offered a few women's studies courses, and only on a rotating basis. For example, you could only do WS every other year. As a result, I missed my 101 course, but managed to work women's studies into various research assignments in almost every class. My favorite example was a final paper for Dr. Roger Snider for Political Ideologies on why socialism would never succeed without a feminist revolution.

Based on my general proclivity toward women's studies, in spring 2008 I was invited to participate in a course on advanced studies taught remotely by Simona Sharoni. That course was part of preparation for Women's World 2008, which is a massive multi-disciplinary conference held in Madrid. Our team went to the conference and went on to the Basque country to meet with several organizations and women involved with the separatist movement. That trip significantly informed my thesis on the international legal frameworks relative to Basque separatism. This trip was truly amazing, and definitely shaped my view on how the world works, and what needs to be done in order to make real progress.

Today, I'm applying my women's studies knowledge by acting as a gender mainstreaming advisor within Lutheran World Relief (LWR). LWR is a faith-based non-governmental organization working in international development to achieve its mission to end poverty, injustice and human suffering. In my role, I help to ensure that all projects are designed based on an analysis of the different needs of both men and women in communities experiencing poverty and marginalization overseas. By analyzing gender-based constraints, LWR can build programs that reduce gaps between men and women in access to resources, power, or income in our target communities.

Personally, I have continued my involvement with U.S. domestic policy through personal advocacy and engagement with organizations including the Women's Information Network (WIN), Women in International Security (WIIS), and Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

College of Arts and Sciences