Dean Dvorak – Alumni Spotlight, Class of 2022

Dean Dvorak graduated in May 2022 with majors in Gender and Women’s Studies and Molecular Biology. Dean is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at UW-Madison.

Portrait photo of Dean Dvorak standing in front of a window wearing a green and white plaid shirt.

How does GWS matter in the day-to-day of your professional life?
GWS gave me the vocabulary to describe the systems I am a part of and taught me how to be critical and notice experiences of marginalization and oppression, which I intend to use in my practice as a therapist. Privilege and power directly impact our mental health and this should be an explicit conversation between therapists and their clients in order to engage in equitable and respectful care.


Do you have advice for students who share your interests and want to pursue a similar career path?
I would recommend that students follow their passions and interests and explore as early as they can. I reached out to mentors and people in the fields I was interested in to gain insight and clarify how my career may look. I did a lot of self-reflection and had conversations with others in my life to feel more reassured that I was making an authentic decision.

What would you tell your undergraduate self?
I would tell my undergraduate self to try to slow down and to rest more! There is a lot of pressure to be as involved as possible and to over-work, and that led to me feeling very frustrated and burned out. Rest is so important for learning and our health matters more than a grade, although it may not feel that way at times. Following my interests and being intentional about how I spent my time may have made my educational experience more enjoyable and fulfilling.