WILL* is a four-year program that actively develops students’ intellectual and leadership skills, allowing students to excel in their chosen fields and realize their full potential. WILL* enables women, transgender, and gender non-conforming students to explore the influence of gender and other identities across disciplines, cultures, and in their own lives.
WILL* uses a theory-to-practice model to help students apply their academic coursework to real-world situations through internships, leadership opportunities, activism projects, and diversity events. Students take classes together, develop close friendships, and engage in contemporary human rights struggles.
WILL* combines the following central features:
- Academic Foundation: A minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), which provides the academic foundation of the program. Part of the minor includes the course Gender and Work and a supervised internship, both of which prepare students for the world of work.
- Leadership Opportunities: WILL* students take part in WILL*’s student leadership organization and present research at conferences. WILL* encourages and supports student initiatives.
- Activism: WILL* enables students to draw on a strong base of support to stand up for their beliefs and put their WGSS knowledge into practice both on campus and in the Richmond community. WILL* students create positive social change.
- Community: WILL* students form deep connections and close friendships with one another over the course of four years. They volunteer together, share coursework, and attend WILL*’s annual Speaker Series. WILL* students form community and make the most of their education.
By participating in these components of the WILL* program, students find a supportive and intellectually challenging community; develop close friendships with other students; meet with scholars and activists in small group settings; and interact with faculty and staff mentors across the university. Students leave WILL* with their eyes wide open and ambitions high, equipped with the awareness, confidence, and experience to effectively guide their visions for a better world.
WILL* takes career preparation seriously. WILL* students participate in skills-building workshops, develop an on-line portfolio; work with career services, take the course Gender and Work, and participate in a supervised internship.