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Lauren Lewis

Senior / Journalism

I first knew that I wanted to pursue a journalism degree after reading "Half the Sky," a book by NY Times reporters Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. At the time, I was enrolled in a private, all-girls boarding school. The curriculum and environment were women-centered: for the first time in my life, I had instructors who kept their maiden names, studied in and encouraged STEM fields, and had an acute awareness of women’s conditions all over the world. It was progressive escape in the middle of small-town, rural living. My three-year college plan at the Pennsylvania State University included a major in print journalism and a minor in Communication Arts & Sciences. It wasn’t long before I completed many of the requirements for photojournalism, added second and third minors in the French language study and International Studies, and accepted opportunities including being news intern at my local paper, the student seat on The Collegian Board of Directors, and the interning editor for a national peer tutoring publication, The Dangling Modifier. I also became a peer tutor in the PSU Learning Center. In the midst of it all, I never forgot my dream of continuing the project that Kristof and WuDunn began for women. I volunteered over 80 hours of my time to become a trained advocate at the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, and I continue to volunteer and work with the center on a regular basis (approx. 100 hours to date). I also joined a peer education club that aims to promote gender equality on campus. I continued my studies in French and was accepted to study abroad in Besançon, France for two months over the 2014 summer semester. Shorty after putting a deposit down on the France trip, I added a two-week international/intercultural communications opportunity in Vienna, Austria.

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