Gretchen: The status of women has a big impact on the success of a country whether they will be peaceful and stable whether it is the targeted violence that women face; issues of discrimination; inequality in laws for women. All of these things may seem like minor or moderate problems on their own, but when you bring them together, they really compound and have an impact on how well a country will do and their economic growth. Dr. Valerie Hudson: More and more, research is showing the interconnections between women’s security, or lack thereof, and national security. So whether we’re talking about food security, whether we’re talking about economic prosperity, whether we’re talking health and disease, whether we’re talking demographic pressures, governance issues, or even state conflict, what’s going on with women affects the security of the nation. Gretchen: The Bush School provides a lot of great opportunities for students to take part in research projects, like the WomanStats project. My first year at the Bush School I started working for the WomanStats project and that was a really unique opportunity because Dr. Hudson trains us, she makes sure that we have good training on research skills and finding data and then I’ve been able to work now for a year and a half for the project gaining those valuable research skills. Rainie: I was aware of Dr. Hudson and her work when I applied to the Bush School. I was definitely interested in working with her and knowing more about what she was doing so I registered for a class with her. But then we were provided the opportunity over the summer to apply for a research assistant position with the WomanStats project. Dr. Hudson: My graduate students are just outstanding. I am so pleased to have come to the Bush School because we have such a high caliber of graduate students in our program. One of the nicest things about being a professor is to see what your students then go on to do. Gretchen: After graduation, in whatever field I decide to work in, I want to make sure that I’m bringing to the table what we call a gender lens. And the gender lens just means that when you’re analyzing a problem, you make sure to look at how it will impact the whole of society and that includes women.