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Amalia Bob-Waksberg ’14

Women’s and Gender Studies

Accomplishments as a UDR:

I organized a faculty/student mixer in the fall with about 5 or 6 undergrads and 7 professors in attendance. Last month we had a potluck at our chair Wendy Cadge's house where majors, grad students, WGS staff, and professors were able to get to know each other in a more casual environment. One of the reasons I wanted to become a UDR was to encourage students and faculty to bridge the gap and get to know each other and our events have showcased that. We are also planning on hosting a coffeehouse for students (and hopefully faculty) to showcase their various talents later this semester.

I've attended WGS staff meetings and voiced concern over curriculum/name changes. I've engaged with faculty on behalf of student concerns and have thus helped to create program changes that reflect student needs. I am constantly in and out of the WGS program offices, checking up on events, asking how I can help publicize, what I can do to make events more successful, and just generally building relationships with WGS faculty. Because I have become well acquainted with WGS faculty and have become pretty close with Shannon Hunt, the program administrator, and Wendy Cadge, the program chair, I am able to address student concerns, and I always know who to talk to.

In every WGS course I announce at the beginning of the semester that I'm a UDR and that I'm free to talk, give advice, look over courses, or just chat about feminism in general. I'm also fairly involved in feminist activism on campus and have made sure to let my peers know that I'm a resource for them. Along with the other UDRs, I created a facebook page for WGS majors so that there is a space for students to share events, find any WGS events/news, and a place where the UDRs are easily accessible.

This semester multiple students have approached me to seek advice about issues that came up in WGS courses. Earlier this semester a student had informed me of issues she was having in a class she was taking. Because I've taken many WGS courses, I had a relationship with this specific professor and was able to facilitate a conversation between the student and the professor so that the issue was resolved. A few weeks ago, multiple students from a specific class were coming up to me with concerns they were having. I arranged and, again, facilitated a meeting with the students and our chair, Wendy. These issues have also since been resolved.

I'm not great at talking about myself, but I honestly don't know anyone (UDR or not) who cares more about his or her program/department than I do. I owe so much of my education and growth to the WGS program at Brandeis. I can go on for hours about the brilliant professors that comprise the program, but also am not shy to express my concerns when I think we are doing something to jeopardize the quality of the program. I have made myself accessible and easy for students to talk to, and I think I have helped to foster an environment in which students and faculty are able to have relationships beyond the classroom.