GWS Student Spotlight – Fiona MacCrimmon

Fiona MacCrimmon is planning to graduate in Spring 2024. Fiona is majoring in Gender & Women’s Studies and has a certificate in Scandinavian Studies.

1. Why did you choose GWS and LGBTQ+ Studies?

I chose GWS after a long period of feeling lost at UW-Madison. I decided to take time off my spring semester freshman year to travel and re-evaluate whether or not college was the right choice for me, and then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Moving back home to quarantine for the semester, I suddenly found myself with more than enough time to contemplate what was most important to me and what I really cared about. I made the decision to go back in the fall of my sophomore year, first enrolling part-time in an online GWS 102 class. I was immediately hooked! Despite working remotely, I found myself revisiting recorded lectures and delving into the material like I never had before. I was in such awe of the knowledge my lecturer and classmates brought with them to each class and was excited to engage. I felt welcomed by the kindness and understanding of the GWS Department and their gentle guidance and flexibility. As soon as the fall semester came to an end, I made the decision to switch majors and continue my education. Jumping back into in-person classes this fall at UW for the first time since 2019, I have had the opportunity to meet and reconnect with so many amazing people in the GWS Department who consistently remind me of why I initially chose this community and why I love it so much.

2. Has GWS and LGBTQ+ Studies changed your approach to your involvement (on or off campus) during college? If so, how?

More than anything, the magic of GWS is that it can be applied across all subjects and aspects of life…the personal really is political! The overlap of my Scandinavian Studies certificate and GWS major has led to my personal and academic interest in transnational feminism and my focus and research on Scandinavian feminism during my year abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. GWS has brought depth and understanding to all aspects of my life as I’ve grown these past four years and navigated my own identity, my relationships, and my place in the community during my time at UW.

3. How has GWS and LGBTQ+ Studies shaped your future plans?

As a semi-senior planning on taking an extra year to graduate, GWS has given me the assurance that whichever direction I turn, I will be equipped with a unique and valuable perspective and knowledge I wouldn’t otherwise have. While I am uncertain as to if academia is where I will eventually reside, GWS has given me the space and opportunity to explore my personal interests and to develop a critical lens to take with me wherever I go. Leaving UW-Madison as a GWS major I feel proud and excited to pursue a path I never dreamed was an option that is deeply aligned with my values and personal beliefs.