International Women’s Day: Advice from SIT Academic Directors

March 8th, 2021   |   SIT Study Abroad

International Women's Day is an annual celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and raise awareness of the need to continue advocating for women’s equality.

Today, SIT is spotlighting a few of our extraordinary academic directors across the globe and sharing their advice for young women.

Jana Byars, PhD
Academic Director
The Netherlands: International Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality

Jana Byars

Dr. Jana Byars studied history because she wanted to learn about how everyday people "lived, loved, and died" in the past. She is inspired to keep teaching because her students "continually surprise and delight me."

Her advice to young women:
“Go! Do it! See the world! Be smart and bold! Act with the confidence of a mediocre white man. And never forget that you have to work twice as hard; but at least you will know that you are twice as good.”

Read more from our interview with Dr. Byars.

Ana Rita Diaz-Muñoz, PhD candidate
Academic Director
Argentina: Public Health in Urban Environments

Ana Rita Diaz-Muñoz

Ana Rita Diaz-Muñoz decided to study sociology because she wanted to help design and implement social policies that would improve living conditions for marginalized people. She continues to teach to help students develop critical thinking skills and a desire to make the world a better place.

Her advice to young women:
“Concerning your professional career, feel free to choose to do what you can enjoy, work hard, and try to enjoy everything you do. Always take the time to listen to yourself and to others, and to care for yourself as you care for others. Have a plan and set your priorities, not forgetting about pleasure.”

Read more from our interview with Diaz-Muñoz.

Suman Pant, PhD
Academic Director
Nepal: Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya

Suman Pant

Dr. Suman Pant pursued a doctorate in public policy because she wanted to be able to help create the proper platforms for long-term, meaningful societal change. She says teaching helps her learn more about subjects she cares about and better understand different perspectives and biases.

Her advice to young women:
"I would advise them to not worry too much, learn from experiences and move on. Pursue what you deeply care about and it usually all works out."

Read more from our interview with Dr. Pant.

Nuria Pena, PhD
Academic Director
Argentina: Transnationalism and Comparative Development in South America

Nuri Pena

Dr. Nuria Pena studied social sciences, including political science and development studies, so she could contribute to fighting social inequalities. She says she is continually inspired by her students’ enthusiasm for making a difference in the world.

Her advice for young women:
"Take action as fast as possible; learn by doing; don’t be scared of mistakes. Try to be consistent in your actions and the values you endorse. Get involved in collective projects but maintain your independent critical thinking. Don’t feel bad about your doubts and insecurities; they are often what will lead you to continue having an open mind and heart in the years to come. Lastly, make sure you have fun, too, while you are trying to make a change."

Read more from our interview with Dr. Pena.