Shauna Shames

Shauna Shames

A.B. '01
Women's Studies and Social Studies
Shauna Shames

As you'll see from this short history, WGS has had a tremendous impact on my life. In fact, you can trace just about everything I've done since graduating back to WGS, and my senior thesis in particular. I wrote my thesis about women's strategic use of gender as a signal of outsiderness in political commercials (I later published my findings.) This work helped me get a job as the Research Director of The White House Project, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women's leadership in politics and other sectors. In this capacity, I worked on some exciting research projects, including an investigation into the gender gap among guests on Sunday morning political talk shows.

Later, I worked as the President’s Assistant at the National Organization for Women (NOW), the country's largest grassroots feminist organization. My job included event planning, speechwriting, conference organization, and a variety of projects relating to women, gender, feminism, and reproductive rights. In my spare time, I also volunteered with several community projects working to ensure reproductive freedom for low-income women.

Although I dearly loved the feminist activist work and world, I decided that I wanted to pursue an academic career. In 2004 I began a PhD program in Government at Georgetown University. After two years, I switched programs and returned to Harvard to complete my degree. Along the way, I engaged in a series of research and writing projects about women, gender, feminism, religion, public opinion, race, class, and inequality. (Some of my published articles and other work can be found online.) I graduated from the Harvard Department of Government with my PhD in 2014 and that fall began my current job as Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University-Camden, in NJ. Now I teach classes on women, gender, race, and politics (and my newest class is on Dystopian Government in Futuristic Fiction).

So that brings us to today! I love teaching and research, and am forever grateful to WGS for such a solid undergraduate education in women's, gender, and feminist studies! It has been essential to me every step of the way.

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