The Gender and Diversity Studies (GDST) program acquaints students with scholarship on gender and diversity in their broadest, most inclusive sense. Courses in the program facilitate the development of students' critical thinking skills, knowledge base, and intellectual frameworks for analyzing and exploring the nature of diversity including socioeconomic, political, psychological, and cultural experiences and positions between and among individuals and groups defined by gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, age, religious beliefs, and physical/mental abilities. Students examine the individual and collective experiences of traditionally disenfranchised as well as privileged social groups, investigating the conceptual roots of identity as well as similarities and differences among them.
The gender and diversity studies program is in concert with the educational mission of Xavier University: to educate students about issues of peace and justice and to develop awareness of the variety of human cultural experiences. Graduates with concentrations in gender and diversity studies regularly enter graduate and professional schools. Others work in business, government, health, social services, schools and museums.
GDST caused me to sharpen my focus, question my own thinking and attitudes, as well as examine the political, social, historical, cultural and economic factors that so often contribute to the marginalization of others. Because of this focus, I have broadened my base of knowledge and my perspective on the world in ways I could have never imagined.
-Laura Calhoun, 2012