Get to know senior Body Positive intern, Laura Widener!

Year: Fourth
Major: Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Hometown: Richmond, VA


1. What do you miss the most about your hometown when you’re at U.Va.?
When I am at U.Va., I miss my family and their laughter the most.

2. What drew you to the Women’s Center and your program?

As a Women, Gender, and Sexuality major, I am interested in and constantly learning about how people and systems interact with one another, as well as how people can empower each other. I think the Women’s Center works toward cultivating experiences that empower individuals in the University and Charlottesville communities, as well as on a transnational level. Last year, I interned with the MarComm Program because I was interested in learning about communication. This year, as a Body Positive Intern, I am excited to facilitate discussions that will empower women to love their bodies for what their bodies can do.

3. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
Sometimes, when I eat pizza, I eat the crust before I finish the sauce and toppings part because I want to eat my favorite part last.

4. Tell us about the most influential woman in your life.
My mother is the most influential woman in my life. She has taught me patience, love, and friendship. I admire her passion to empower others through education, and I am so thankful that she is such an integral part of my life. If you are reading this, I love you, Mom!

5. If you had access to a time machine where and when would you go?
This summer, I interned with Take Back the Archive, a digital archive documenting the history of sexual violence at U.Va., and through this project, I became very interested in the University’s history. If I had access to a time machine, I would probably go back to the mid-1800s to experience the University after it was around for a couple of decades.

6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
In Women’s Autobiographies, Dr. Amanda Davis had the class read an excerpt from Mark Nepo’s book “Finding Inner Courage.” Nepo writes that his readers should think about courage in the context of “the courage to feel, to see, to accept, to heal, to be.” Through this reading, I realized the courage each and every one of us possesses on an individual level. So, remember, you are courageous if you have “the courage to feel, to see, to accept, to heal, to be.”