Shyann Stewart, our most recent intern from North Carolina Central University, sat down with us to discuss her motivation in joining the team and her interest in male contraception. This blog post shares highlights from that conversation.
What's your academic background?
I am a senior at North Carolina Central University, where I am studying Public Health Education. I wish to graduate from this program with expanded understanding of public health measures and the skills to apply the most effective health promotion initiatives.
Why are you interested in MCI and male contraception?
Why do you think male contraception is important? What impact could it have? My first sex education lesson was in middle school, and my teacher went over a list of different contraceptive methods for women, but when it came to men, she told us that options were limited. As you can imagine, my 13-year-old brain was astounded by the limited options available for male contraceptives. When I came across MCI 8 years later, I was immediately captivated by the organization's agenda.
New male contraceptives will have a significant impact; I could probably think of a hundred things it will affect, but to focus on just one aspect, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended. Unplanned babies may receive delayed prenatal care, are more likely to be delivered preterm, and have a higher risk of health problems later in life. The disparity in the number and types of contraceptives available to women and men is a problem, and the advancement of male contraceptives will have an impact on more things than people realize.
What are your career and academic goals or interests?
My ideal career is to be an epidemiologist. I feel this job is a good fit for me since I am constantly wondering how things function, and I enjoy learning new things and being challenged. I'm not afraid of being wrong since I know I can reassess what I thought I understood in order to solve problems. Epidemiology is such a wide field of study, but what has my interest as of now is maternal mortality.
What do you hope to accomplish through your work with MCI?
What I intend to accomplish through my work with MCI is to broaden my knowledge of advocacy and research. Along with professional development, I am glad to see that MCI provides a wide range of learning opportunities. Such opportunities are directly related to my long-term ambition to become an epidemiologist. With this kind of support, I can see myself growing with MCI. I'm thrilled to see what I can contribute to the conversation as a public health educator.