I voted for the first time during my sophomore year at Bryn Mawr. I was 19 years old and it was the Presidential Election. I went to the Presbyterian church with my friends and we got our “I voted” stickers and were so excited! I remember feeling equally scared, as it was a highly emotional time in the U.S.
Today was my second experience voting. At the same Presbyterian church. This time for the midterm elections. LILAC provided free shuttle rides from Pem arch to the polls all day. They also handed out information and lollipops to students and tried to make this process as easy and accessible for us as possible.
A sign at the arches, created by the LILAC staff
Political signs by our Athena statue
All of my professors found a way to encourage students to vote during classes these past few weeks. One of my profs even said that if we had to leave class early to go vote, that’d be fine with her. I’ve always loved how political and socially conscious this campus can be. From voting to our president sending letters about current political issues, to students organizing important conversations and protesting, Bryn Mawr tries to be aware of the things going on outside of our campus.
In one of my classes, we took some time to learn about immigrant regulations and how commenting on these regulations can delay the process of finalizing these proposed regulations. I had never learned about that and honestly knew very little about the regulations being proposed, but by the end of class, I submitted a comment on the overturning of the Flores settlement agreement. There are two more proposals that are still accepting comments and I thought I’d include the paper we received on that in case anyone reading this blog would like some info on that.
Today I attended my second (and last!) Bryn Mawr & Beyond poster presentation. This is an event held every fall in the Old Library in celebration of the internships that Bryn Mawr students engaged in during the prior summer. The event always takes place during Parents’ Weekend and is full of students who’ve already received LILAC summer funding, students who might be interested in doing so in the future, faculty and staff, parents, visitors, etc. It’s a really relaxed setting that allows conversation about what Bryn Mawr students are doing outside of campus. Plus there’s free snacks and t-shirts!
Me and Ariana Serret (c/o 2020)
This past summer, LILAC funded my internship at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Disparities Research Unit. The center conducts a variety of research on health disparities and offers interventions that seek to narrow the health gaps that exist among people of different ethnicities, races, socio-economic classes, etc. I was able to work on two really interesting projects throughout my time there. One offered exercise classes and community health worker sessions to elderly folks in greater Boston, in hopes of improving their overall mental and physical wellbeing. Another sought to improve treatment adherence among HIV positive Latinx immigrants by creating a telenovela that showed them positive representations of their experiences, as well as community health worker sessions. Both projects were centered on health justice and sought to make the kind of changes that I am particularly passionate about.
The event was divided into different sections based on fields. This was my field (health & medicine), right by our Athena statue.
Many cool internship opportunities like this exist but cannot offer great pay for undergrad students interested in filling those positions. Schools like Bryn Mawr, however, acknowledge that and offer students an opportunity to fulfill those roles without having to worry about the pay.
This is my second time receiving LILAC funding for a summer internship and I always advocate for them and try to encourage more students to apply. MGH is even letting me use data from their research for my thesis project this year and has been immensely helpful in planning for post-grad. Were it not for LILAC funding, I wouldn’t have been able to have that.
As I go through the last-leg of my college years, I am trying to be reflective of all of the wonderful experiences I’ve been able to have because of Bryn Mawr. And I think of all the experiences that underclassmen and future Mawrters will have too. One of the things I’ve always been grateful to Bryn Mawr for is how much it helps its students professionally, and LILAC funding is just one example of how committed Bryn Mawr is to the professional success of Mawrters.