Meet our interns & fellows!

Let’s talk academics. What are you studying right now and what are your biggest interests?
I am currently in my last year of my undergraduate studies at the University of Washington Seattle campus, pursuing a degree in Public Health with minors in Law, Societies and Justice, and Anthropology. My areas of interest focus on reproductive justice and health. I’m particularly interested in applying interdisciplinary frameworks that addresses questions such as, “How do we care for those who are the most vulnerable in our society?” and, “How do we present them with a real “choice” when it comes to their own bodily autonomy?” I am also interested in criminal justice reform, racial justice and Indigenous peoples’ studies.

What drew you to apply for a position at SIECUS?
I came into SIECUS through the Civil Liberties and Public Policy’s Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC) program which builds up and supports young Reproductive Justice leaders. I was drawn to SIECUS because of its focus on policy work in areas of social justice. I am particularly interested in SIECUS’ rebrand, which pushes for comprehensive sex ed as a means for sparking social change.

Can you briefly describe some of what you’re working on right now at SIECUS?
I am working on a number of projects at SIECUS. So far, I’ve worked to track state-level legislative activity and have updated resources on key federal bills that SIECUS advocates for. I will also help in creating a new publication on racial justice and sex ed–which I am very excited about!.

What was the sex ed you received in middle and/or high school like?
Strangely enough, I had two very different sex ed experiences in middle school and high school. In middle school, I had sex ed with my gym teacher who was very open to answering our questions about sex and female anatomy. She talked about topics that were considered “taboo” and it made me feel more comfortable in my environment and identity. I was grateful to have someone that took the time to help my classmates and I figure out our bodies. However, in high school, I had quite the opposite experience. I had so-called “sex ed” with a health teacher who passed around a tiny plastic baby (not fetus) and told us that this was what women were “killing” when they had abortions. Needless to say: I will never forget that absolutely wacko moment.

Tell us something fun about yourself that is not work or school-related.
I am quite the concert-goer–and specifically for one band: Paramore. As I am tiny (5’2”) and determined, I thoroughly enjoy camping out before shows as early as four in the morning so that I can be in the first row. I have many friends around the country that I have met because of Paramore and I can’t wait to go to ALL of the shows with them when this pandemic is over.

 

Let’s talk academics. What are you studying right now and what are your biggest interests?
I’m currently just a few months away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree in political science from Monmouth University. My areas of particular interest are HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ issues, criminal justice reform, and racial equality. I also feel obliged to mention that I’m part of MU’s debate team so I spend a lot of time arguing with people in closed rooms about all kinds of stuff.

What drew you to apply for a position at SIECUS?
I was really intrigued by the framework that SIECUS views sex ed through. While the public health aspect of sex ed is of great importance, the spillover that comprehensive sex education has into nearly every social justice issue needs to be better acknowledged. 

Can you briefly describe some of what you’re working on right now at SIECUS?
There’s a lot going on with sex ed in America right now, so I’ve jumped into a number of projects. Thus far I’ve worked on tracking state bills, keeping up with new federal religious freedom / right to discriminate rules, and following activities surrounding the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program.

What was the sex ed you received in middle and/or high school like?
It was a mixed bag. I’ve had the interesting experience of being taught sex ed at an all girls Catholic middle school and a public high school. By the time we learned about the menstrual cycle in Catholic school, nearly all of my classmates had already gotten their periods. I also have no recollection of talking about sex there, not even abstinence. I literally thought babies were made by two married people laying down next to each other and thinking really hard. In high school, we learned about contraceptives, but it was cis-and-heterocentric and we spent more time talking about how girls need to be responsible for not being assaulted than we did the necessity of affirmative and enthusiastic consent. That’s whack!

Tell us something fun about yourself that is not work or school-related.
I worked at a sleep away camp for five years. My highlight reel of shenanigans includes accidentally burning my director’s niece’s glasses in a campfire (I’m so sorry Claire) and building a functioning trebuchet for a fake viking funeral. 

 

Let’s talk academics. What are you studying right now and what are your biggest interests?
I am currently pursuing a Master’s of Science in Global Health at Georgetown. I’m most interested in sexual and reproductive health and health disparities among vulnerable populations such as young people, sex workers, and queer and trans individuals.

What drew you to apply for a position at SIECUS?
Since high school, I’ve been passionate about advancing access to sexual health information and resources and helping people have better sexual experiences. I know from first and secondhand experience that many young people–young women and trans people in particular–face sexual experiences that range from uncomfortable to traumatic. I believe that all young people deserve the information to have consensual, enjoyable, and healthy sexual experiences. I love that SIECUS is working toward making that ideal a reality.

Can you briefly describe some of what you’re working on right now at SIECUS?
As policy intern, I am currently assisting the policy team with tracking state laws and policies and helping with preparation for the next edition of the SIECUS State Profiles. I’m also researching impacts of the Trump Administration’s attacks on Title X — specifically in relation to clinic-based sex education programs around the country.

What was the sex ed you received in middle and/or high school like?
The sex ed I got in Kentucky was basically straight out of Mean Girls. It was part of my health class, which was taught by my high school’s football coach. We were supposedly going to learn about both abstinence and safer sex practices, but somehow we didn’t have enough time for anything but the abstinence portion. It was unbelievably heteronormative, slut-shaming, and generally inaccurate and unhelpful.

Tell us something fun about yourself that is not work or school-related:
I love skincare and makeup. I’ve been watching YouTube makeup tutorials since middle school and love experimenting with new looks on my friends. If my current career path doesn’t work out, maybe you’ll see me as a celebrity makeup artist on your Instagram explore page someday!

 

Let’s talk academics. What are you studying right now and what are your biggest interests?
I’m pursuing a master’s in public health at George Washington University in the Health Promotion program. I’m most interested in sexual health and social marketing – basically I hope to learn how to use tech-based interventions as tools for promoting sexual health.

What drew you to apply for a position at SIECUS?
I’ve actually been following SIECUS’ work since I was in high school. I grew up with virtually no sex ed, saw the consequences of withholding sexual health information, and wanted to do something about it. When I googled “sex ed” to learn more, SIECUS was one of the first organizations I saw. Seeing people promote sex ed inspired me to dedicate myself to the issue. About eight years later, here I am!

Can you briefly describe some of what you’re working on right now at SIECUS?
I’m currently getting acquainted with SIECUS’ digital channels (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and the website). I’m very excited to work on engaging and growing our audiences. I’m one of those people that geeks over data, so I very much enjoy looking over analytics and trends. I’ll also be helping with fundraising initiatives and maintaining our media lists later on in the semester.

What was the sex ed you received in middle and/or high school like?
Growing up in my small, Oklahoma hometown, I only ever received a single, one-hour presentation in 7th grade. It featured disturbing pictures of STIs and it was gross. In the meantime, I watched friends and classmates become unintentionally pregnant, have no idea what to call or how to manage STIs, and survive intimate partner violence. It pained me to realize that, through all of these experiences, the most common response I heard was, “I didn’t know what to do.”

Tell us something fun about yourself that is not work or school-related:
I hike! I got married in July, and my husband and I completed a 40-mile hike in three days and two nights for our honeymoon (from Polebridge, Montana to Waterton, Alberta through Glacier National Park)!

 

Let’s talk academics. What are you studying right now and what are your biggest interests?
This fall will be my second year in the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin. I am interested in researching LGBTQ folks, LGBTQ mental health, and more specifically in increasing the LGBTQ community’s access to affirming healthcare services!

What drew you to apply for a position at SIECUS?
I love SIECUS’s main goal — K-12 comprehensive sex education that is culturally responsive, racially just, LGBTQ inclusive, empowering, and age and developmentally appropriate. I view sex ed as health care, and I think if everyone had access to the kind of sex ed that SIECUS is working to advance, it would change the world.

Can you briefly describe some of what you’re working on right now at SIECUS?
So far I’ve been getting an idea for the research that has already been completed in the field and the data that SIECUS has while also coming up with some research initiatives that SIECUS could take on to advance the field. I’ll also be working on a grant proposal a bit later in the summer to hopefully increase funding to support further SIECUS research projects.

What was the sex ed you received in middle and/or high school like?
It was trash! I’m still mad about it. The girls and boys were separated, and I’m pretty sure it lasted approximately one week in 5th grade. All I remember is that they told us what a period was, gave us pads, and explained that sex is what happens between a man and a woman when they are married and want to have a baby. After that it was MAYBE a week in health class in the 9th grade where we watched one Lifetime movie starring Kristen Stewart. It was supposed to teach us about consent. How is that legal?!?!

Tell us something fun about yourself that is not work or school-related:
I’ve gotten super into cooking in grad school, and I keep a very long note on my phone of recipes that I want to make! Not sure if I’m a good cook yet, but I’m definitely having fun. And that’s what matters right?

 

Let’s talk academics. What are you studying right now and what are your biggest interests?
I’m going into my third and final year of a dual degree in MSW/MSP (social work and social policy) at Washington University in St. Louis. My social work practice focuses on looking at what we can learn and apply from the kink community to improve the way we think about and practice consent. My policy practice explores expanding access to reproductive health services and comprehensive sex education (CSE).

What drew you to apply for a position at SIECUS?
I see CSE as a form of liberation, which aligns very closely with SIECUS’ mission and values. If we can start teaching sex education that not only includes but also celebrates all identities, we build a world that sees all human beings as worthy of compassion and respect. I love that SIECUS recognizes the power of sex ed and works to increase access to such a life-changing resource.

Can you briefly describe some of what you’re working on right now at SIECUS?
As the policy intern, I’ve been able to help out with a lot of exciting projects! I’ve contributed to some toolkits we’re building to highlight the importance of and provide policy recommendations for sex education for transgender youth and young people with intellectual disabilities. I’m also working on this year’s mid-year report that explores what’s happening at the state level for sex ed legislation.

What was the sex ed you received in middle and/or high school like?
It was bizarre mishmash of some comprehensive sex ed and some abstinence only programs. I think the best example of this is that we were taught how to make a dental dam out of a condom (cut the tip off of an external condom, cut a slit up the side, and boom, you’ve got a dental dam!) but were not told how or why you would use one (i.e. non-penetrative sex with a vulva or anus). I mostly remember the activities that showed how “awful” it would be to get pregnant outside of marriage, and feeling very let down that I would not get to practice putting a condom on a banana.

Tell us something fun about yourself that is not work or school-related:
I’m a wannabe amateur bartender. I love hiking, scuba diving, and tap dancing, and my main goal for the future is to slowly amass a fleet of dachshunds. Somewhere around five, I think. That feels right.

 

Let’s talk academics. What are you studying right now and what are your biggest interests?
I am going to be a senior in High School in the fall at Sidwell Friends School. My main academic interest is English, but I also love history and am excited about possibly taking an Intro to Psychology course next year.

What drew you to apply for a position at SIECUS?
I spent most of my junior year researching the birth control pill and the larger birth control movement that surrounded it in America during the 1960s. Through that, my eyes were opened to the huge societal change brought about by birth control and sex education. I love that SIECUS is working to make comprehensive sex education more accessible and progressive because history has demonstrated just how liberating and empowering it can be.

Can you briefly describe some of what you’re working on right now at SIECUS?
I’ve been working on a number of things in the SIECUS office Every day, I compile relevant news clippings that mention sex education, abortion, LGBTQ rights, birth control, and many other similar topics. I also help the policy intern with updating and maintaining our federal legislation tracking system.

What was the sex ed you received in middle and/or high school like?
My sex ed was pretty subpar and definitely not memorable. I only remember putting condoms on wooden penises and watching movies about puberty. I also took quiz in middle school in which the only acceptable answer for “How can you ensure that you do not get pregnant?” was “abstinence.” What I learned was definitely not as comprehensive as it should have been.

Tell us something fun about yourself that is not work or school-related:
Despite being pretty mediocre, I love playing tennis. I also religiously watch reality television–I mean who doesn’t love some scripted drama??

Interested in joining the team? Apply to become our next intern or fellow today