Student presenting in lecture hall, text reads "Sciences"

Student Abstracts: Who Tells Our Story? Exploring how the healthcare system and the research data represent or exclude people from the narrative.


Sarah Hyde
Title: Public and Private Stories of A Medical Disaster: A Qualitative Health Research Project on Diethylstilbestrol (DES)

During the summer of 2021, I was a remote research intern with Mount Holyoke Gender Studies professor Jacquelyne Luce. Through qualitative interviews with 26 participants, Jacquelyne’s project centers the life experiences of individuals who were exposed to a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero. DES was a pill that was prescribed to pregnant people starting in the 1930s until 1971 when it was banned by the FDA because of its link to a rare type of vaginal cancer. Working collaboratively with Jacquelyne and one other intern, I contributed writing to two future papers, coded interview transcripts, read literature regarding the prescription of DES, and analyzed archives on patient activism. Although I do not currently plan on going into academia, I will continue to build upon the research skills I developed and the concrete knowledge I now have about systemic inequalities within the medical field.


Adrienne Baxter
Title: Technical Skills For Building A Website That Centers Niche Healing

I created a website that centers black/queer/ transfeminine stories of healing. Developed technical skills like website research, website design, and analyzing similar social media content I wanted to mimic. I refined my vision by creating my viewer base, continuously adding content, and feedback interviews. I was able to create a seven-tabbed website with multimedia content ranging from the written word to queer music artists to podcasts. Time management was a huge part to my success. Overall this project inspired me to act on the intersections of art, social media, and black/queer/transfeminine healing journies.


Margaret Robb
Title: Want to squat into your 90s? How my PT experience transformed my understanding of healthcare and how to provide care to an older population.

I spent last summer as a physical therapist intern at Professional Physical Therapy LLC in Madison, NJ. As an intern I spent a lot of time observing therapist-client interactions while cleaning up equipment and space after each client, folding laundry, and interacting with clients during exercises. I also completed my own research on how motivation impacts recovery from sport related injuries or after knee or hip replacement. My long-term presence at this clinic allowed me to see an array of clients and conditions, as well as exploring different techniques used by PT. One of the challenges of my role was watching more than doing; however, I learned about the business side of PT and the pros and cons of entering a career like this. Overall, this experience allowed me to be on the opposite side of healthcare and see the impact that this career could have on others.


Léa Sleiman
Title: Surveys, where color becomes noise.

I spent last summer working as a Data Specialist at Venture For America (VFA), an American nonprofit organization and fellowship program headquartered in New York City. At VFA I managed the Database, created daily surveys to gather quantitative and qualitative data, and ran different types of analyses (ex: OKR analysis and NPS score analysis). However, my primary responsibility was ensuring the program was meeting fellow’s expectations, that they were having a good learning experience, and that they all felt included in the VFA community. In a dominantly white cohort, I quickly found myself struggling to tell the accurate story of fellow satisfaction and engagement.