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Alumni Spotlight on Kaytlin Reedy-Rogier
I graduated in 2010 with a bachelors in GWS and Psychology. I went directly into grad school at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University St. Louis where I got my Master of Social Work degree. While I was at the Brown School, I focused on social justice and human diversity education with a special emphasis on gender and sexual orientation. I worked really hard to create safe, gender neutral spaces in the school and I lobbied for better human diversity education within the school and within the social work curriculum as I was given the opportunity to speak with the Council of Social Work Education Accreditation board. I began working with a small non-profit while I was in school called the National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis (NCCJSTL) where I was able to do intergroup dialogues with their youth programming and with healthcare professionals. While I was there, I was perpetually thinking about how my education in GWS was so vital to my daily successes. My Gender and Women's studies education was really useful in teaching me how to think critically about everything I encounter which helps me to be a better facilitator.
While I still contract with NCCJSTL and the Anti-Defamation league on a part-time basis, my full-time job is as the Engagement coordinator with St. Louis Effort for AIDS. My job entails working with folks who are HIV+ who have been lost to care or out of HIV care for at least a year. I help them get on medications for their HIV, establish a relationship with an HIV specialist, and connect them to any other basic resources they may need, for example, housing, food, mental health, or dental care. The awesome thing about my job is that not only do I get the opportunity to meet with folks from all different walks of life but I also get to think about the systemic barriers and the ways that a client's identities (typically their gender presentation and their sexual orientation) are impacting how they are able to access resources. Without my GWS background, I don't know that I would be able to identify and process these barriers and help my clients overcome them as well as I am able to with that knowledge.
I still maintain relationships with several of my GWS professors and they are an invaluable part of my life. They encouraged me to follow my passions, to be outspoken about what I believe in, and that one person can make a world of difference, even if only to another person. I sort of fell into the GWS major by taking the Intro to GWS course and I am extremely grateful that I did.