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Students Talk About their CRIS Majors and Minors

Meet Ousia - a recently declared CRIS major. 

Right now, Ousia studying abroad at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile) through Beloit's International Student Exchange Program, but will return in Beloit in the spring to take more advanced seminars in Critical Identity Studies.

What makes you want to be a CRIS major?

I was very happy to see the new major, because it brings together a lot of fields that are important to me. As a Spanish major, and someone who hopes to work with immigrants and migrant communities in the US and beyond, understanding and appreciating multicultural and diverse identities is vital.

What are your CRIS learning goals?

I want to expand my knowledge and understanding of various feminist theories, especially through classes that analyze race, class, ability, and other facets of identity. I hope to be more fluent in discussing, explaining, and critically analyzing power structures that exist within global societies in order to help try to work for social justice in all that I do.

What do you want to do with your CRIS knowledge/skills in your post-Beloit life?

I hope to work for immigrant and worker justice in the US and in Latin America (among other things, of course). This might include going to graduate school for an interpretation degree, and will surely include direct-action and advocacy work on the US-México border. 

What would you tell other students thinking about majoring or minoring in CRIS?

Some might think that the major is too broad, and not understand the intersections between the different fields it covers. I would tell them that the intersections between the fields actually do make sense because the grouping reflects the multifaceted identities all people have, and it is important to recognize that overlapping to really understand people and groups.



[Renee ]

Meet Renee  - a recently declared CRIS Minor.

What makes you want to be a CRIS minor?

The intersectionality of the courses really speak to my passion about societal issues that pertain to public health. CRIS helps me develop my understanding of identifying factors that impact an individual's decisions and resources.

What are your CRIS learning goals?

1. To understand motives of people and how their identities affect those motives in terms of public health.

2. Being able to take any identity I learn about and pinpoint aspects that would be affected by, or affect public health.

What do you want to do with your CRIS knowledge/skills in your post-Beloit life?

I want to use my CRIS education with a Health and Society Major to help people understand important health topics and to be a resource for the community in terms of guiding people to make healthy living choices.

What would you tell other students thinking about majoring or minoring in CRIS?

I would tell students that a major or minor in CRIS can enhance knowledge about ANY topic or discipline in relation to thinking critically about how someone's identity an be intertwined with it. It is useful to have this knowledge because it will benefit a person's career in seeing an interaction with people and dealing with them.




Meet Rachel - a CRIS Major     

What makes you want to be a CRIS Major?

I have been interested in the intersecting components of identity since I came to Beloit. My FYI (Politics of Identity) connected complex components of racism, sexism and classism in the U.S. From the FYI, I became passionately interested in the Women and Gender Studies program but desired some intersecting connection to other forms of identity (especially since Beloit does not have an ethnic studies department). Critical Identity Studies gave me a name and a program that I had already begun studying as a freshman. 

What are your CRIS learning goals?

My learning goals have been to be able to understand the way identity connects to other social structures, how they operate in the world and ways to create empowerment around different forms of oppression or privilege. To finish off my senior year I am hoping to take the liberal arts in practice capstone Translating the Liberal Arts and one more 300 level theory course (most likely Secularism & Fundamentalism) I believe bringing in new subjects on identity before I graduate can help me expand my CRIS education.

What do you want to do with your CRIS knowledge/skills in your post-Beloit life?

I am hoping to go to graduate school after I finish at Beloit. Quite a few peace studies and education graduate programs I have been looking at have shifted their disciplines to focusing on identity construction within the last 5 years. I want to bring an even more intersectional focus to these programs and create alternative public school programs that can allow high school students to experience this kind of alternative education as well. 

What would you tell other students thinking about majoring or minoring in CRIS?

I would probably tell them its ok for students to have a specific focus coming in, like my interest was specifically around race theory. I think some students are concerned that the new program is covering too many things but I think Critical Identity Studies is deeply connected to a lot of other academic studies (political science, psychology, religious studies, etc.) which means you can have a focus coming in but by the branching expansion of the new program you can learn a lot of other intersecting factors as well.