Success Stories in Gender Studies


Graduates of Whittier College's Gender Studies program have used the minor to serve as a perfect complement to their major field of study and career plans.

Students have gone on to win prestigious fellowships, pursue graduate study, occupy advocacy and leadership positions in both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises, and to organize community actions for the enhancement of the lives of women, men, and children.

Tricia Tongco '07Tricia Tongco '07

Dean's Scholar, Graduate Student
USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism


Art, Philosophy


Gender & Women's Studies (now known as Gender Studies) 


Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy Honor Society)

What first attracted you to Whittier College?

I was attracted to Whittier College because of its small classes, individual attention from professors, and the well-rounded liberal arts education it offered.

Why did you choose to pursue Gender Studies?

I had taken a few classes in the minor, such as ‘Women in the Visual Arts’ and ‘Gender in Politics,’ just out of interest. I have always been interested in gender inequality and finally had a chance to dive into the topic at Whittier from different angles.

Describe your experience at Whittier College. What was your favorite class?

My favorite class at Whittier was Feminist Philosophy. It was the most challenging but also the most relevant to my own life and in interpreting the world around me. There were some very memorable intense class discussions, since feminism can be so polarizing. It encouraged me to bring my best arguments and ideas to that dialogue.

What are you currently up to? How has your Whittier education benefited you professionally?

Currently, I’m a  writer and researcher, working in narrative podcasts, TV, and film. With a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California, I have worked for outlets like The Huffington Post, ATTN, and KPCC. After being staffed on the educational TV show Adam Ruins Everything, I left journalism to pursue telling my own stories through screenwriting. Some highlights so far include attending UCLA’s TV Writing program, reaching the semi-finals for NBC’s Writers on the Verge fellowship, and participating in Women in Film’s mentorship circle for emerging talent.

My Whittier education helped me hone my critical thinking skills, which have been essential in my professional, creative, and civic life. As a writer, I bring the same curiosity, reflection, and empathy to my work as I did when I was a student cultivating those sides of myself.

What advice would you give to future Gender Studies students when they graduate?

I would tell them not be scared about the future. It’s okay to be uncertain about how you’ll leave your mark on the world. No one tells you this, but after college, there’s a wandering phase that is inevitable. Instead of pressuring yourself to figure it all out right now, enjoy the process of figuring out what you want to do – even the failures and missteps. You’ll eventually get to where you want to be.

Finish this sentence: I am a ‘Poet for Life’ because…

my time at Whittier has shaped who I am as an adult for the better. 

-Are you a graduate of the Gender Studies program and want to share your story? Contact the Office of Communications at