Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 5, Issue 1
fall 2014
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

Alum Spotlight: Ciara McCormack

Photo was taken in January with a young fan after my soccer game in Newcastle, Australia

I received one of the best pieces of advice during my freshman year at Yale. I was chatting with an alum who had graduated the year before, when we inevitably stumbled upon the topic of what I was planning to major in. I told her I had no idea. She shared some advice she had once been given: “Don’t worry about what you think you want to do after college and how your major will fit that. Instead, pick your major solely by what interests you the most.”
A soccer-playing freshman from Vancouver, Canada, I had begun taking classes in WGSS and loved them. When it came time to choose my major, I thought about the classes that stretched my mind to think and examine topics in different ways, and that I enjoyed most. WGSS was an easy choice!

In 2001, seven of my classmates were also majoring in WGSS. We marveled at what an eclectic group of people we were. We loved going to classes and debating different topics from entirely different perspectives. I particularly loved working on my Senior Thesis for WGSS. I wrote my thesis on women’s soccer in Nigeria, and how the Nigerian team’s 1999 World Cup success positively impacted the view of women in sports there.

My true passion is women’s soccer and the positive impact that it can have on girls. Participation in sports for girls is so great for their physical and mental health, but also has the power to change society’s ideas about what women are capable of. After playing professionally in Norway, Denmark and Australia, and for the Ireland Women’s National Team, I am back in New Haven. I have organized a girls soccer club where I try to impart the many good values that the sport has taught me, and to empower young girls to strive to become their best selves.
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