“I am Ph.D candidate in Political Science with Cerebral Palsy. I use a wheelchair and have always been known to study topics that very few others would study, but my dissertation project here at Stanford is by far the most unique project I have ever undertaken. It combines the fields of political philosophy, American politics, and human sexuality to explore a justification for political institutions to protect and promote the exercise of various sexual liberties. I think at some other universities, my work would be frowned upon given our society’s taboos about sex and sexuality. At Stanford, I find myself in an environment where research about such a controversial topic is not frowned upon, but actively encouraged. I am inspired everyday by the fact that I have an advisor and dissertation committee members who not only guide me through each step of the dissertation process, but who are just as excited about the potential impact of my work as I am. Instead of being viewed as less capable because of my disabilities and unique research interests, I am viewed as a scholar with new ideas that are just as worthy of intellectual scrutiny as those of other graduate students.”
“When I arrived at Stanford three years ago, I was a very different person both intellectually and in my personal life. Intellectually, I began my career as a graduate student who answered questions that other people had expected me to ask given my background in disability studies and special education. Today, as I embark on my dissertation research, I find myself asking my own research questions with my advisor and committee members acting as guides. I am now, in a way, like a director working on his own film, rather than an actor taking explicit direction from other people. Outside of my work, my collaboration with faculty, staff, and friends across the university has given me the skills and self-confidence to trust my own instincts about many decisions I will make as I continue to mature as a scholar and a young man. I will leave Stanford as a much more mature and well-rounded person. That is one of the greatest blessings I could probably ever hope for.”
Kevin Mintz, PhD candidate in Political Science (expected 2018)
Kevin has an AB from Harvard College in 2012, and a MS in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2013. This summer, he will receive a Doctor of Human Sexuality from The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. He grew up in Miami and resides on campus in Munger Graduate Housing. Kevin spends his free time volunteering as a sex educator with San Francisco Sex Information, a non-profit organization in the city.
Photographed in front of the Stanford Theatre on University Avenue, one of his favorite spots in Palo Alto, on June 7, 2016.