’99 STS professor
I am an assistant professor of Science, Technology and Society as well as Women’s Studies at a state university. STS played a central role in my choice of profession – without the STS major at Vassar I doubt that I would have discovered this field. Even if I had, Vassar’s STS program was exceptional in preparing me for my graduate coursework.
It’s hard to think of any part of my STS studies that didn’t prepare me for my work since graduation. However, I think that the courses that were most important in my decision to pursue a career in STS were Feminist Approaches to Science and Technology and Bioethics, as well as the courses that I took in the STS program at UCL during my junior year abroad. The STS faculty were wonderful and supportive of my decision to pursue graduate studies, and the encouragement and feedback that I received from them while writing my Senior Thesis made me feel certain that I would be able to carry out independent research in graduate school.
I think that STS is so valuable as an undergraduate major because it gives students the tools to understand science in a social context, to critically evaluate the design and uses of technologies, and to take responsibility for creating the type of world that they want to inhabit - skills and approaches relevant to any number of professions. I love helping my students draw connections between STS concepts and their chosen careers. Watching them realize how their values can inform their work, their choices as citizens and consumers, and even their day-to-day interactions is so rewarding. It's also lots of fun.