Anne Rode “Academically, the Women’s College is a lot more challenging for females. It puts them in a position where they’re not being judged upon their sex.”

Anne Rode likes a bit of adventure in her life. “I was a pastry chef on a cruise boat for about two years. Then I thought I’d like to get into accounting.” But after two years in an office, she realized the sedentary life just wasn’t for her. “I took the money I’d made and lived in New Zealand and Australia. Then I backpacked around Asia for another six months before coming back last August.” But her return to the US, and the education at SMC, didn’t mean an end to ‘the road less traveled.’ Anne is immersed in another adventure—one of discovering the potential of women in society—at SMC’s Women’s College.

“Professor Gail Living’s Sex and Gender classes really opened up a lot of doors for me and made me much more aware of women and how they’re placed in society,” says Anne. “And now with the Women’s College, I think a lot of women are being empowered to deal with women’s issues. Throughout our lives, we’ve been taught men’s history and their side of the story,” she continues. “It’s like constantly showing black children pictures of white presidents: they can’t relate. But if you show them a photo of Magic Johnson, bingo! They’ve got a role model. The whole atmosphere of learning is different at the Women’s College,” continues Anne who also volunteers at the Women’s Center. “Typically, women get the wrong kind of attention in classrooms because of what they look like or because of what they’re supposedly capable, or not capable, of. Most women are very good at math and science,” she adds, “But they need to be in an atmosphere where they’re pushed and challenged to excel.”

“I’d love to teach one day,” says Anne of her plans for the future. “Our whole society is undergoing a shift from the nuclear family to extended families and I’d love to be able to educate women about how their roles are changing.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.