STEM + humanities = a framework for understanding the world
Natasha Joglekar ’21 is eager to apply her MIT education, with a major in computer science and biology and a minor in women’s and gender studies, to a career in medical research.
When Natasha Joglekar ’21 faced some serious medical issues back in fall 2018, and was feeling ill and isolated, she found particular comfort in one class that term: WGS.229 (Race, Culture, and Gender in the U.S. and Beyond: A Psychological Perspective). “I think that class was sometimes the only time I talked to people all week,” she recalls.
Following a medical leave, Joglekar was able to return to MIT full time in fall 2020, and soon took another class from the Institute’s Program in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS): WGS.250 (HIV/AIDS in American Culture). “That’s the class that made me want to be a WGS minor,” she says. “It was so nice to get a broader perspective on illness, one that was not rooted in medicine, treatment, and doctors.”
A computer science and biology major (Course 6-7), Joglekar found that the coursework for her WGS minor provided her with insight into the human factors that drive so many societal outcomes. “WGS studies helped give me a framework for understanding the world,” she says, “in the same way that my physics and math classes did.” She adds that WGS classes helped her understand myths about various minority groups, as well as the ways children are socialized to believe them.
Support for women in tech
Joglekar, who was named a Burchard Scholar in 2019 for excellence in her WGS studies, says she always knew she wanted to study the humanities, as well as the STEM fields, in college. But she didn’t only choose MIT because the Institute pairs extraordinary technical and scientific education with world-class offerings in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. She was also impressed by the gender parity she saw on a visit to campus.