English 101 Students Create Infographics to Study Gender Norms

Instructor Laura Penrod aims for student exploration of gender issues


Kylie Dacquel

Completing their research, seniors Sierra Prescia, Tyler Alejandro, and Elijah Sicat discuss plans for their infographic. Students collaborated on ideas for this alternative to a traditional essay. “They’re about to go off into the adult world and vote and be productive citizens,” NSC ENG 101 instructor Laura Penrod said. “I want them to research about these different genders because having inclusivity and helping people feel seen and heard, is what’s most important.”

Kylie Dacquel, Staff Writer

Digging deeper into the topic of gender norms, Laura Penrod’s English 101 classes are showcasing their research through infographics.

Nevada State College wants their students to have a variety of forms of writing as well as presentations, infographics and different things that they will encounter in college,” Penrod said. “I also wanted them to learn about these issues within gender for when they do go out into the world after high school.”

As current students transition into the “real world,” the importance of being aware of gender issues increases. 

“I think gender has been a big topic within the last five years,” Penrod said. “Since COVID, we’ve had a lot of exposure to how people are feeling about different gender norms. I just kind of thought, ‘Why not have them [students] talk about it?’ It’s a real world thing.” 

Each student has different ideas that they want to explore based on their chosen country.

“The country I chose was Pakistan as it’s where my parents are originally from,” senior Yusra Shafique said. “I’m already aware of a lot of the gender norms and stereotypes there, but I wanted to dive deeper in hopes of finding more information I wasn’t already aware about.”

From a student perspective, senior Vassily Tan has several ideas on the importance of gender norms to those who aren’t knowledgeable about that subject. 

“I think the most important thing that comes with talking about gender norms is trying to figure out the root of the problem and letting people know that it is a genuine issue,” Tan said. “Some people haven’t had any exposure to hot issues such as abortion. So by letting these people become aware and educated on these issues, we can come to a more equal society.”

As an English class, this assignment was not only meant to educate these students on the ideas of gender norms, but to help them improve on research aspects.

“A big thing Mrs. Penrod wanted us to take away from this project was proper MLA citations,” Shafique said. “With each source we used, we need to compile them into a Works Cited page with proper MLA formatting, which will be used throughout college classes as well.”

Penrod says she wants to bring out the best from her students through this assignment.

“My thought process as a teacher is that we can teach all the technical stuff,” Penrod said. “We can be very strict on grammar and all those things. But at the end of the day, it’s more important that our students are good people and know how to be mindful and caring towards everyone, and not just people they like.”