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Kirsten Fedorowicz ’19

Published on

By Hayleigh Potter, Spring ’21

Kirsten Fedorowicz graduated from Aquinas in 2019, with an English major with a writing concentration and a minor in Women’s Studies. Life has had some unexpected twists for Kirsten, but she continues to welcome exciting new opportunities with open arms.

After graduation, Kirsten followed in the footsteps of her role models, including her Aunt Geri, to pursue a year of service with Quaker Voluntary Service in the Twin Cities, MN, where she worked at a local furniture bank called Bridging. According to Kirsten, here she learned how to sit through some tough conversations and push around some furniture. After working at Bridging, Kirsten was offered a salaried position as an Outreach and Marketing assistant for AdoptAClassroom.org.

When Kirsten reflects on her time at AQ, she fondly remembers writing the Senior Honors Project that became her poetry manuscipt “Most Nights,” inspired by institutional violence against women. She praises Dr. Amy Dunham Strand and Dr. Jennifer Dawson as her advisors on the project for their voices providing key perspectives and guidance when she fell too deep into the material. Another fond memory Kirsten recalls is her time studying Women, the Law, and the Courts with AQ alum Cheyna Roth. She says she thinks back to this class on a regular basis because, in Kirsten’s words, “I don't think I actually understood how the judicial system worked before I took that class, and though I always understood that politics affects people's daily lives, this class gave me the ability to point to a specific how.”

Kirsten’s advice to current Women's Studies Minors: “Get obsessed with something and run with it. The Women's Studies minor is so interdisciplinary and varied, you get the chance to look at it from a hundred different angles… In a world where others want you to tone down your passions, the faculty and peers in the Women's Studies department will support you with a ‘Yes! Tell me more…’” Kirsten found things she was able to write openly and passionately about within the program, and she hopes all Women’s Studies minors are able to find their passions as well.

If Kirsten could wave a magic wand to address an issue in our society, she says that she would tackle compulsory sexuality. Similar to compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory sexuality is the assumption that all people are sexual beings. Kirsten explains that without compulsory sexuality, there would be no rape culture in our society, and that nobody would feel that they are “owed” sex. She says, “Without compulsory sexuality, I think we could have a more nuanced view of consent; what does it mean when the sex you said yes to is harmful? What does it mean if consent was coerced? Without compulsory sexuality, we could look at sex as it is: messy, complicated, delightful, and, most importantly, part of human life, not the center of it.”

Looking forward, Kirsten's first goal is to hone her ability to tell impactful stories and to travel again. She hopes to be a tour guide for her parents in Ireland, who didn’t get a chance to visit her during her study away program there. She also plans to continue to publish poems from her manuscript “Most Nights;” one has already been published in the University of Houston’s literary journal “Glass Mountain.” Kirsten’s motivation partially stems from AQ librarian Christina Radisauskus, who, after the Top Ten Sampler Reading Kirsten’s senior year, reached out to Kirsten saying, “I hope I am someday able to purchase a book of your poetry for our library.” In five years, Kirsten hopes to be on her way to publishing that book!