Wendy Jennings '11

Wendy Jennings '11

Interdisciplinary Studies Program Graduate 

Integrated Disciplinary Areas: Anthropology + International Relations + Economics

What is your current role?

I work at the Bronx Defenders as a Staff Attorney in Family Defense Practice.

What was the topic of your final project?

My topic was examining and critiquing Western, colonial views of post-independence land reform efforts by the government in Zimbabwe.

Why did you choose the IDS major at Wheaton?

I was initially an International Relations major, but in my classes I kept wanting to bring in other perspectives on the topics we were discussing. I kept thinking to myself, "there are other ways we can understand this issue," but one singular major seemed unable to accommodate bringing in other disciplinary perspectives. I spoke to Dr. Davis, and he validated how I had been feeling and got me so excited to study creatively!

What benefits resulted from your participation in the IDS program?

The IDS program encouraged me to think outside of the box and to think holistically about problems we face in our world. That has directly impacted my ability to creatively problem-solve in my work now, as well as to grow as a Christian able to think critically about our world and my own role in it. In the IDS seminar, I had the opportunity to be in an intense, intimate group of colleagues who pushed me to articulate my perspectives and listen to others carefully. 

How did Wheaton's IDS program prepare you for your current work?

My current work as a public defender requires me to think outside of disciplinary constraints in evaluating systems that are oppressing people I work with. These include capitalist structures, the culture of white supremacy, and political and legal systems of "law and order." All of these systems work together and coalesce in the individual lived experiences of the people I represent; understanding how they interact with each other is critical to my work. Wheaton's IDS program equipped me to embrace this opportunity.

What would you say to someone who is considering the IDS major?

Do it! Make sure to take several introductory courses in the disciplinary areas you are considering so that you get the foundational knowledge of each as a starting point.