Senior Spotlight: Susanna Penfield


I’m Susanna Penfield, a current senior graduating with a double major in Political Science and Feminist and Gender Studies – and yes I did write two senior theses in order to complete both. Phew. For Political Science, I used national public opinion data to examine public perceptions of human trafficking in the United States. For Feminist and Gender Studies, I deconstructed my own work in Political Science by critiquing quantitative research processes and instead using postcolonial theory and feminist epistemologies to analyze the harm enacted by public awareness campaigns meant to raise awareness for human trafficking. Basically I spent A LOT of time this year thinking about yes, human trafficking. While this was exhausting at times, I owe everything to the backing of FGS. As written in the acknowledgment section of my final capstone: First and foremost, this project would not have been possible without the constant support and encouragement of my advisor, Dr. Nadia Guessous. I have never had a professor set higher standards, nor have I felt more belief in my ability to meet those standards. I also want to thank Dr. Heidi Lewis for introducing me to this field of study and pushing me to persevere within it, Dr. Rushaan Kumar for providing consistent and candid insight and feedback throughout the entire process, and my fellow majors for sharing stress, tears, laughter and lots of take out food. Thanks to all I have pushed harder, dug deeper, and developed faster than I ever could have anticipated when entering CC. I’m leaving inspired, grateful, and bloated from too many ID house snacks.

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