Alumni Spotlight: Elicia C. Gonzales '07
BA, University of Colorado
MSW, Widener University
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree in human sexuality studies?
I wanted to go into the sexuality field to help others feel comfortable, confident, and free to be their whole sexual selves, free from shame and guilt. I felt that I had a special gift of being the person that friends and family would talk with about sex and often heard, "I have never told that to anyone before" or "you're the only person I can talk with about this." I knew I needed to go into this field; I have never regretted that decision.
what is your favorite memory of widener?
I had the good fortune of being part of the sexuality program when it was still very experientially based (held at Wayne Counseling Center). We got to participate in SARs and engage in conversations about our feelings and reactions to films. This was the first time I got to explore my values, beliefs, and blind spots in a comfortable and supportive environment. It was life changing. Dr. Satterly in particular forced us to explore our feelings, rather than our thoughts, about various sexuality issues.
My Professional Experience
what advice would you give a prospective student considering your graduate program?
Dream big! There are many different avenues one can travel in the field of sexuality. Do not assume your perfect job already exists. You might just have to create it. Do not assume you will not make money in this field. You might just have to learn to market your skills and expertise. And know that you will never get to the end of learning. There is always something more to learn. And network, network, network—it is always who you know. My Widener sexuality people are my tribe.
what do you like most about your current position?
I get to be my whole self at work everyday—queer, Latina, sex-positive. I get to actually take what I learned, what I am passionate about, and what I want the world to look like, and pour it into my work every day. My job is such a privilege. I knew taking this job was going to be a huge leap. I thought being a director was for grown ups and therefore felt I shouldn't go for it. But I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.