We asked Lauren to answer the following questions:
- What is your hometown, your pronouns, and your major(s)/minor(s)?
- What areas/aspects of activism (gender, women, children, etc.) and/or social justice do you find most engaging/interesting, and why?
- Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing (ex. volunteering/local activism), or any involvement you have on campus with clubs/organizations.
- What impact have your WGS courses had on you? and/or: Why should every CofC student take a WGS class before they graduate?
- What does being an Alison Piepmeier scholar mean to you?
- What are your plans and goals after graduation?
Lauren Kendall Graham (she/her/hers)
● Honors College Class of 2023
● Major: Biochemistry
● Minor: Women and Gender Studies
● Hometown: Citronelle, Alabama
This summer, I received a SURF grant to co-author and help conduct the “Do You Want a Period?” campaign. This project was created to gather data concerning women’s knowledge concerning contraceptives. So many women are unaware that the withdrawal bleeding that happens at the end of the birth control pill cycle is unnecessary. Contraceptives can change a woman’s period or can sometimes prevent her from having one at all. This study consisted of an interview that determined the extent of the interviewee’s familiarity with contraceptives as well as what would appeal best to them in a campaign. My main role was to recruit and interview participants, as well as co-author sections of the manuscript. This research is important to me as I plan on pursuing a career in women’s health. I am currently majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. I hope to attend medical school and, after my residency, practice within the field of women’s health. I am extremely interested in the current issues that are relevant to women’s health in the United States and further globally. I feel that my research with the Women’s Health Research Team is helping me to prepare for issues and phenomena that I will definitely encounter throughout my career. I feel that there is a stigma surrounding women’s health issues. People my age feel uncomfortable when I bring up issues or current legislation that concern women’s health or reproductive rights. I feel that my work on these projects helps me to communicate better with my peers, most of whom are women, that our health issues and complications are normal topics and that we should not be embarrassed to discuss them. The more I study women’s health, the more work I find that needs to be done. Most women do not understand contraceptives or know about the multitude of options that are available regarding their reproductive health. I want my generation to become informed and empowered about their freedom and options concerning their sexual health. I am most interested in reproductive justice because when I was in high school in Alabama, I watched my state supreme court take away my reproductive rights to my own body. I was an active member of the Women’s Health Research Team from Fall 2020-Fall 2021. In the Fall of 2021, I left Charleston to do an exchange semester in Aalen, Germany where I conducted research. I am a proud member of Alpha Delta Pi ,and I currently serve as the Vice President of Administration for the Panhellenic Council. WGS has allowed me to take courses that discuss issues in our society regarding women’s health. I have also learned so much about families in my current sociology class. Being an Alison Piepmeier is such an honor. Alison Piepmeier was an active feminist who is so inspirational to me. I hope I am honoring her legacy with the work I am doing.