Hello, readers of NCI’s blog! My name is Allison Foster, and I am honored to write my first blog as one of Newcomb College Institute’s Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health interns this summer! I’m a rising Junior at Tulane pursuing a dual degree program in Public Health and Homeland Security Studies with an English minor. As a public health student, reproductive rights and health continue to be something I champion, as they are vital to ensuring women’s success economically and socially. As an intern cohort, we have met twice, and it’s been wonderful getting to learn more about each other and our interests within the broad field of reproductive rights while we hear from organizations working on sectors of reproductive rights (over lunch, which is an added bonus)!
It’s been two weeks of my internship at the Tulane University School of Public Health working under Dr. Alyssa Lederer, and I’ve already learned so much about the world of professional research! In my first two weeks, I have helped Dr. Lederer on a grant application, which is a process I wanted to learn more about during this internship, so we are off to a great start! My main project for the summer, though, is a qualitative analysis of a Tulane public health program called CheckIt, which provides free STI testing and treatment to African-American males in the New Orleans area. I will be transcribing and coding interviews with participants in the program, and I am excited to learn more about this type of public health research. The program itself is still running, and you can check out its website at www.gocheckit.net. This project really centers around the intersectionality of reproductive health and reproductive rights. Its existence emphasizes that this isn’t just a women’s issue, and it continues to remind me that race, access to care, socioeconomic status, location, and so many more factors all play a part in the health of a population. I am eager to get started on my part in this incredible program, and I have attached a photo of one of CheckIt’s Instagram posts as a visual example of the work these Tulane researchers are doing on a daily basis to improve the health of this incredible city and the incredible people that call it home.
This internship will be a fantastic opportunity for me to learn from Dr. Lederer and her colleagues at the School of Public Health about what it means to pursue a career in research and academic work. Another thing I am looking forward to participating in as part of this internship is a journal club where interns and their supervisors doing academic research will meet and discuss a journal article related to reproductive rights and reproductive health.
All in all, I am beyond excited to continue my work this summer and am so grateful to the Donna and Richard Esteves Fund for Women’s Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health for providing this incredible opportunity to learn and grow with such passionate individuals. Stay tuned for more blogging updates!