Through its signature program, WomenNC commits to training and supporting the next generation of leaders from a place of knowledge and fact. Scholars combine engaged social science research with public policy recommendations and advocacy to improve the lives of women and girls across the state. They are paired with research mentors (we call them “femtors”) from RTI’s Global Gender Center who work with scholars over the year to craft an individual project that:
- identifies and investigates a specific instance of gender inequality in a particular North Carolina community; and
- determines policy solutions to improve the status quo; and then
- presents their findings in a variety of fora to local, state (e.g. NCSU’s Gender and Equity Research Symposium and WomenNC’s Local to Global Forum at RTI), national, and international audiences (e.g. the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women); and finally
- advocates for their policy solutions with advocacy partners to the appropriate local officials to eliminate the gender injustice.
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Selena Garcia moved to Durham nine months ago to attend North Carolina Central University where she studies Mass Communications and Biomedical Sciences. She hopes soon to use both of her majors to inform and engage women of color on a range of important health topics germane to them.
She is a strong believer in the importance of public health and plans to pursue an MPH upon graduation, after which she will use the skills gained as a WomenNC scholar to educate her community about their bodies and sexual and reproductive health. She looks forward to expanding her network of feminist researchers and advocates during the program so that her voice will continue to be heard.
Margaret Gaw is a senior at Duke University originally from Nashville, TN. Her core values of justice, spirituality, and community inform what she does and the decisions she makes. She is passionate about maternal and reproductive healthcare and seeks to become an adept and compassionate Ob/Gyn. She also strives to become a leader in health policy to work toward gender and racial equity in healthcare. Through her English major, she studies literature and storytelling as means to gain insight into the multidimensional social, emotional, and cultural workings of people and their environments. She currently works in international reproductive healthcare research through the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies at Duke focusing on cervical cancer elimination and is trained as a doula to support families during childbirth.
As a WomenNC Scholar, she hopes to grow as an advocate and researcher alongside inspiring mentors to improve women’s healthcare access and quality in North Carolina.
Gabriela Goodman is a junior studying Economics, Public Policy, and Business Administration at UNC-Chapel Hill. At UNC, she is on the Mental Health Ambassadors leadership team and teaches elementary school civics classes through Civics in the Triangle. She has worked as a research consultant within the UNC Economics Department and conducted research on the socio-cultural factors impacting women’s representation as an intern at RepresentWomen.
After graduation, and with the skills and contacts gained as a WomenNC scholar, she hopes to use research as a tool for social change, particularly when it comes to gender equity, mental health support, and education policy.
A native North Carolinian, Olivia Haga is a junior at North Carolina State University studying Interpersonal Communication. Her work in an after-school child care program with the YMCA taught her about the importance of a comprehensive education for child development, particularly for girls. Her passion for pursuing equal rights for women centers on understanding how the education system reinforces gender inequities rather than combating them and denying women full access to and privileges of full workforce participation.
She is excited to be a WomenNC scholar where she hopes to discover how her broader and deeper understanding of gender inequity will inform her own career choices.
Hailing from France, Camille Lacueille, is a senior studying Business Administration at North Carolina State University, and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her experience in the United States has piqued her interest in understanding and increasing women’s access to comprehensive healthcare, including reproductive healthcare. Her experience in a feminist collective in her hometown in France, organizing and promoting events to raise awareness about matters of concern to women and girls, has made her a believer in the importance of consciousness-raising and advocacy to change the status quo.
After graduating from NCSU, Camille plans to return to France for further study in human rights with a focus on gender at the Paris School of International Affairs. Camille is particularly interested in the focus on social science research that is at the core of WNC’s Leadership Training Program.
Sara Luber is a junior at NC State University, double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Science, where she also serves as the Student Government Chief Justice. Sara is involved in NC State University Housing as a Resident Advisor, the Oaks Scholars Leadership Program, the University Scholars Program, Student Senate, and also writes for the school newspaper – The Technician.
Sara is particularly passionate about the role of gender and race in environmental justice and hopes to explore the topic more through the 2021- 2022 WomenNC CSW Leadership Training Program.
Nia Destiny Martin was born and raised in Charlotte, NC where she was a member of a number of clubs and organizations that include the Academy of Engineering, Health Occupations Students of America, and the National Honor Society. She is also a bronze and silver awardee with the Girl Scouts of America. She also interned with the Mayors’ Youth Employment Program at Atrium Health and Radius Learning Pathway. In 2020, she matriculated at North Carolina Central University on the Cheatham White Scholarship where she majors in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry. She currently interns with the FabLab at NCCU where, among other things, she prints 3-D artificial organs. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she plans to pursue her master’s in biochemical engineering.
Originally from Orange County, California, Kerry Rork is a senior at Duke University studying History and Political Science. She has dedicated much of her time at Duke to researching the lives of female-identifying art historians and constructing missing historical narratives. In this next year, she plans to begin her senior thesis on Irish colonization.
Kerry has a passion for local advocacy. She will continue and deepen this work as a WomenNC scholar. She has worked as a housing justice advocate for both Habitat for Humanity and Legal Aid of North Carolina. Additionally, she is the policy and advocacy co-director for the gun violence prevention organization, Not My Generation. Following graduation, Kerry intends to go to law school to pursue a career in civil rights law.