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Student Spotlight: Meghan Grumbling-McKenna

Get to know Gender Violence & Social Change intern, Meghan Grumbling-McKenna!

Year: 3rd
Major: American Government and Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Hometown: Smithfield, Virginia

1. Why are you passionate about your program at the Women's Center?

For years, I have been fighting against sexual and gender-based violence. Last year, I was an intern for the Women's Center Legal Clinic, and it was incredibly moving to see the impact these free clinics had within the Charlottesville community. However I wanted to engage more with the community and fight for an issue for which I care deeply. So I applied to the Gender Violence and Social Justice in hopes that I could work to eliminate, or at least decrease, sexual violence in the Charlottesville community. Sexual violence is such a pervasive issue, and has never been more relevant. I want to fight back against the notion that grabbing women by their genitals is harmless, or that it is simply locker room talk. Now, more than ever, the work of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center is imperative to ensuring the safety of marginalized people.

2. What made you choose UVA over other schools you applied to?

I chose UVA because of the rigorous academics, financial aid offered to me, and the opportunities attending UVA would afford me. However, I continue to attend UVA because of the level of activism I see on grounds, and the wonderful people I have met who are fighting for justice every day. I am proud to attend a university surrounded by people who are so passionate about social justice.

3. What has surprised you about UVA?

I have been pleasantly surprised to find so many people at UVA with whom I can relate, and who passionate about creating sustainable change. I have found so many organizations and groups that are constantly working to make the University and the world a better place, and that's incredibly heartwarming to me.

4. What's something you know you do differently than most people?

I actually enjoy proofreading papers and editing resumes. It's really weird, but I see it as a challenge.

5. If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet Dr. Maya Angelou. I am absolutely in awe of her resilience, passion, and empathy in the face of such immense struggle throughout her life. Her writing has given me hope during the incredibly devastating aftermath of the presidential election. Specifically, Still I Rise has resonated with me in such a profound manner, that I would be honored to share time with such a prolific woman.   Interested in working with students like Meghan? Our application is still open! Apply by March 1st to join the Women's Center team next year.

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