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Featured Feminist

The Featured Feminist column is a new initiative developed last year by the WRC which aims to debunk the common stereotypes and stigma associated with the word "feminist." By highlighting the profiles and achievements of dedicated, passionate individuals in the Boston College community, the WRC staff hopes not only to foster a greater sense of appreciation for people who bring the ideals of equality and social justice into their daily lives, but also raise awareness in the BC community towards a more positive and inclusive definition of the word feminism.

If you would like to nominate someone to become a Featured Feminist, please click here. An archive of our past Featured Feminists is available here.


Featured Feminist

featured feminist

Danny Zepp

Department: First Year Experience

 

Questions

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am originally from Louisville, KY and came to BC on a football scholarship in 2003.   After a football injury my sophomore year, I was forced to reexamine what it means to be a man in the context of the BC community.  During a time of great difficulty, I found my faith and was confirmed into the Catholic Church.  I am filled with much gratitude as I reflect back on my undergraduate years.  I was cared for deeply by many faculty and administrators in the BC community, which is something I have strived to reflect professionally since graduation.

I have worked in First Year Experience for the past seven years, while living in Walsh Hall as a Resident Minister for the past four years.  I am in the second year of my Ph.D. program in Higher Education at the Lynch School of Education.  I am investigating the identity construction of college men at the intersection of masculinity and faith.  Anecdotally, I have noticed that many college men struggle to reconcile what it means to be a man and what it means to be a man of faith.  In turn, men struggle to engage in honest and intimate relationships with themselves, others, and God.  My research will build a more comprehensive understanding of college men, while helping professionals understand the unique experience conferred upon men of faith.

I am also an avid cyclist.  I ride with fellow Campus Ministers, John Glynn and Tim Hanchin.  Cycling is a place of great friendship and conversation.  It is often where I find peace amidst the busyness of the BC community.

 

2. What are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about exploring the depths of the human spirit.  I am ignited by a curiosity that seeks to find the goodness in all people and all institutions.  I am passionate about loving people in their deficits, their brokenness, and their humanness, while providing a balance of challenge and support, which can equip others with the empowerment and the freedom to explore their deepest expression of what it means to be human. 

“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”  - St. Irenaeus

 

3. How do you define "feminism"?

Feminism is a critical lens by which to examine social inequality and power structures, and their cumulative impact on identity construction.  At its core, feminism is rooted in the fundamental dignity of the human person – a key tenet of Catholic social thought. 

 

4. Why do you identify yourself as a feminist?

My self-identification as a feminist is grounded in my relationship with my mother, the strongest woman I know.  She has always engendered in me a feminist ethic of care, rooted in the scholarly work of Carol Gilligan.  This ethic became somewhat repressed during my early college years, as I became preoccupied with my need to belong in conforming to masculine norms.  As I have redefined my masculinity, my life’s work is committed to promoting a feminist ethic of care in all men.   My professional and academic pursuits are a reflection of this ideal.

 

5. Who or what inspires you?

My faith continues to give me energy and inspire me everyday, as it allows me to receive acts of love with gratitude.  I have made reflection a habit as I frequently try to stop and be thankful for the gifts that have been given to me by God.  This gratitude has allowed me to become gentler with myself over time, which enables me to see God working through others.  I am also inspired by the narratives I hear everyday of students who remain courageous in wrestling with big questions of themselves and others.