Opportunities for Student Engagement

Student Involvement

Many students in the Program serve on the Women's and Gender Studies Council, composed of faculty, staff and students who oversee the administration of the program. Among the responsibilities of the Council are the selection of recipients of the Margareta Deschner Teaching Award; selection of recipients of student research assistantships and faculty development grants; the publication of a newsletter for the Women's and Gender Studies Network with subscribers including past students, faculty, and members of the community; curriculum development; and providing student input to the Program Director.

Tuition, cash awards, and research assistantships are awarded every year through the Ann Early endowment and the Betty Janette Maynard endowments. Students may participate in a variety of conferences, lectures, and social events. Many also participate in activities sponsored by the Women's Center.


Most if not all of the local internships listed on this page have the potential to earn academic credit. You need not be a Women's and Gender Studies minor to apply, but please email the Director of Women's and Gender Studies if you are accepted as an intern so that we can keep referral statistics. Students even in apparently distant majors (e.g., Finance; CCPA) will find opportunities here, and they are not limited to women.

For academic credit you will need to set up a class using the WGST internship number (4309) or a course number for an internship in your major or other minor, if relevant. You will also need a faculty sponsor. For further information, contact jcryan@smu.edu.

Hopeful Solutions

Hopeful Solutions empowers homeless, single mothers who are overcoming the challenges of substance abuse with the resources they need to reduce the chance of relapse and increase the opportunity of self-sufficient living with their children. Interns will work directly with clients, helping them learn life skills and how to follow up on a phone call, how to manage time, following up on the work of social workers, and so on. There may also be some need to help with maintaining data, but overall this is a great mentoring opportunity.

New Friends New Life

New Friends New Life is a faith-based organization located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area dedicated to helping women leave sexually oriented businesses. We assist women in overcoming backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty, and limited opportunities by providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance and spiritual support. Internships are available in programs for women and children by contacting Lalla Shackelford, Program and Operations Director. Interns need not participate in a religious faith, but should be aware that we are a faith-based organization and that they will need to be supportive of that orientation.

Attitudes & Attire

Attitudes and Attire promotes personal growth and self-sufficiency for women overcoming adversity by helping them enter or return to the workplace. (One Women's & Gender Studies minor worked as an intern for this non-profit and had a great experience.) Contact: Cristal Ooi, Volunteer Coordinator.

Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center

Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center. Offers a variety of internship opportunities, and provides the necessary training. Examples: client counseling (graduate students only); crisis intervention; participating in educational programs in local schools; assisting in research about sexual violence; victim advocacy; administrative work. Established in part by an SMU alumna. Download descriptions and contact information here.

The Turning Point

The Turning Point is a rape-crisis center. Three types of internships are available: crisis intervention (hospital calls, hotline coverage, etc.); work in the program's education department (includes participating in teen awareness programs in public schools); and administrative tasks. Training provided where relevant. Contact: Haleh Cochran.

Aberg Center for Literacy

At Aberg Center for Literacy interns will work with adult learners who seek to improve their English skills and earn a GED. Though most clients are women, this is not strictly a gender-related opportunity, and so probably is not the best choice for an internship in WGS. It is, however, a very good volunteer opportunity. Download the volunteer description here.

Employers and non-profit agencies:

If you are looking for an intern (paid or unpaid) for which a student minoring in Women's and Gender Studies might be a good candidate, please contact the Director at jcryan@smu.edu.

Career Opportunities

A minor in Women's and Gender Studies enhances career opportunities in many fields. For example, individuals interested in business might profitably combine courses in Women's and Gender Studies with training in marketing or finance. Those interested in psychology would similarly find Women's and Gender Studies instructive for counseling future clients. Past minors have found Women's and Gender Studies courses beneficial to their careers in public relations, journalism, law, education, and health professions.