Melissa Williams

Do I Need a Woman on my Thesis Committee?

Filed By Melissa Williams | November 16, 2006 6:23 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
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I am a queer female graduate student at IUPUI in the Occupational Therapy Department. I am writing my thesis on the Theory/Practice Gap and how it is defined in the current literature. The two people who have accepted positions on my committee are male, and I am interested in asking another male, albeit a gay one (I feel weird even adding that qualifier), to the third position. Do I need a woman's voice? It feels forced to choose a person purely because of gender and not because of qualifications and expertise in the subject area.


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If you are comfortable with having an all-male committee, then you should go with whomever you want. Your choices should be ruled more by qualifications than anything else. If it's your choice you don't have to be ruled by "political correctness" in this instance. Just my opinion.

Ellen Andersen | November 16, 2006 9:23 PM

Speaking as a faculty member, I think you should choose people who will help you develop a strong thesis, hound you to finish it, be willing to write you letters of recommendation, and work and play well together as a group. Period.