• Graduation Year: 2020

Ryan DenboGraduation Year: 2020

Major: Mathematics, Actuarial Option

Minor: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Economics

How did you decide on your major?

I wanted to start off by saying that I am a Mathematics major, but I’m a Women’s and Gender Studies minor who is writing an Undergraduate Thesis in the Women’s and Gender Studies department, and will be writing on that. I’ve always had a passion for math, but when I came to college I wanted to gain exposure to more real-life, current event topics and Women’s and Gender Studies seemed to be a great place to start. I took a few courses and soon looked into what I had left to complete a minor, and declared. This year, I’ve become much more involved in the Women’s Studies department and have gotten to speak with many very passionate professionals who truly care about their students’ success in a way that is very unique at such a large university. I’ve been able to find a place for myself within this department and have been lucky enough to learn about myself and the world around me.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

I really like that Women’s Studies is something that I can make my own with the elective courses that I have chosen to take and that it isn’t too constrictive in terms of how I can use it presently and in the future. I’ve been able to combine Women’s Studies with economics and mathematics to make a really unique, interdisciplinary experience for myself. I also really love the people within the department; the professors are accommodating and truly care more about what you get out of the class than a final grade, and just overall want to make us all better people.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

I loved Gender and the Body with professor Tara Burk. Its an online class that discusses how the body has been represented in various forms of art, media, and visual communications and it allowed me to learn more about how we are influenced and what power we have to change the world.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

I’ve really enjoyed the chances that I have taken to write on topics outside of my major. I’m in the Honors College here and through course requirements in that, I’ve been given chances to write a proposal for an innovative creation and to write about the history of fortune telling, which was very different from other topics that I’ve written about. I have loved when I’ve been given the opportunity to express my creativity and passion regarding specific topics outside of my major because it makes me a better scholar and thinker.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I’m currently the Vice President of my sorority, Phi Sigma Rho, which is an organization that empowers women in STEM to succeed in every aspect of college life and fosters a sisterhood of support in fairly rigorous curriculums. I also work for Rutgers Recreation as an Intramural Assistant where I help out with the everyday operation of the intramural sports program. Finding a balance between having fun and doing well in class has been tricky to learn, but so worthwhile!

What are your plans following graduation?

I’m currently looking for full-time employment following graduation in May 2020! I’ve been looking at different positions around the country, specifically analyst, consultant, and underwriting positions. Before starting full-time employment, I’d really like to get out into the world to travel and learn about other places, as well.


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