Caitlin Gullickson ’10

Name: Caitlin Gullickson ’10

Current Title/Profession: Outreach associate for health and reproductive rights, National Women’s Law Center

City: Arlington, Virginia

Major: History and politics

What was your first job after MHC?: Communications assistant, National Organization for Women

Favorite class/professor and why: My first-year seminar with Professor John Lemly (English), Into Africa. While I greatly enjoyed this class while I was at Mount Holyoke, it’s an experience I’ve come to appreciate even more in hindsight. It’s so representative of the things I loved most about the academic environment—small classes, interesting coursework, dedicated faculty, and a student body that brought diverse personal experiences to the conversation.

Talents and/or passions discovered at MHC: At Mount Holyoke, I essentially discovered my love of and interest in using communications for political organizing. I took a seminar on social movements, which sparked an interest in how women organized for peace and reconciliation after armed/ethnic conflict. In that same seminar, we learned about the tools and methods utilized by social movements. I regularly rely on this part of my academic background. My work today absolutely connects to coursework I undertook at Mount Holyoke.

What do you value most about your liberal arts education?: I have always valued the liberal arts education Mount Holyoke provided because it encouraged me to explore academically. It pushed me to move away from the coursework I knew I could handle and try new things. Of course that meant sometimes I struggled, but I always learned something new.

Why is a women’s education still relevant today?: Too many view single-sex institutions as relics of a bygone era when higher education was strictly segregated. However, we still live in a world where the oppression of women is codified in legal systems and very present in social attitudes about women’s roles in public and private life. Educating women from all walks of life—and providing the resources they need to advocate for themselves—is key in the fight for women’s equality.

What do you want the world to know about MHC?: Some of the most important things Mount Holyoke provided me were lessons in humility; my classmates were extraordinary women accomplishing great things at such young ages! I had come from an environment where competition was king, but the foundation of Mount Holyoke is sisterhood. It was impossible to feel anything but pride in the work of my fellow MoHos. Mount Holyoke was such a safe space in which to take the first steps in figuring myself out. I have never doubted the decision to attend MHC.

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