Ella Bardin graduated with a BA from the Institute for Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies in 2021. She is now working as a Manager of Talent and Culture at Ammunition, an advertising agency. In this interview, we talk more with her about her experience in the department and her pursuits after graduation.
What was your most memorable experience in the WGSS dept at GSU?
Honestly - and I'm going to sound like such a nerd here - I think what I most enjoyed was the assigned readings. The curricula brought so much cohesion and humanity to the concepts within race, gender, queer, and feminist theory. For me, reading about the lived experiences of some incredible thinkers and activists illuminates the complex and intersectional nature of marginalization. And it's that way of critical thinking and analysis that I will carry into all corners of my life.
What have you been working on since leaving GSU?
I have used my degree to pivot into the growing DEI space. Professionally, I've chaired and led an internal diversity council, built out DEI programs for a couple of different organizations, and aim to bring an intersectional, radical perspective to all the work I do. What I think is most interesting about the WGSS program is that, once you've studied within it, you'll never see the world the same again. It's inherently purposeful, and for those with whom it resonates, deeply cathartic. Above all, I persistently aim to create space for others to experience the same sort of relief, catharsis, sense of belonging, awareness, and righteous anger that I found in the program for themselves. It is both a healing and catalyzing experience.
How has a BA in WGSS helped you in your current work or projects?
Bottom line, I understand people more deeply. And am more aware of the ways in which I do not and can not understand. I believe a degree in WGSS gives you a complex, multi-dimensional, and holistic understanding of the social machine and how that affects individuals differently, which is applicable no matter where you go or what you do. It provides a type of insight and, frankly, empathy that is so needed in the world.
Any advice for prospective students considering a degree in WGSS?
Stick with it and read all the things - this work matters. More than ever, this work matters.
What are your interests and hobbies outside of school? What are you reading/watching/listening to lately?
Oh gosh, what a question! My fiance and I love watching drag...it's basically our "sports" so we go to lots of shows. Like the nerd I've already proven myself to be, I'm always listening to NPR. I've been listening to lots of Cobrah lately, but most of all, I've been listening to the Renaissance album over and over. I'm still not over it. I recently picked up a first-edition copy of Female Masculinity by Judith Halberstam which I am thoroughly enjoying. (Told you I'm a nerd.) In fact, if everyone wants to send me their syllabi, I'd like to be kept up to date with those readings too!! 🙂