Recruiting Laboratory Volunteers and Coordinator!

Laboratory on Sexual/Reproductive Well- Being

  • Sexuality, Women, & Gender Project
  • Dept of Counseling & Clinical Psychology
  • Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Directors: Aurelie Athan, Ph.D; Melanie Brewster, Ph.D., Riddhi Sandil, Ph.D.


ORIENTATION MEETING: 9/21, 328HM, 2:30-3:30

Description of Research:

The Sexual/Reproductive Well-Being Laboratory will be studying the topic of young adult pregnancy and health education programming. The primary goal is to improve the quality of sexuality/reproductive literacy education. It will review existing programs, survey health educators, and develop a cutting-edge teacher development training platform at TC to disseminate well-validated concepts, topics, and messages that ideally make up a comprehensive and holistic sexuality/reproductive curriculum.

Laboratory Meetings:

Wednesdays weekly: 2:30-4pm.

Orientation meeting: 9/21/16 - 328 HM Conference Room - Orientation, Recruitment/Selection

Please bring copy of your resume and brief paragraph of interest and also email to

Volunteer Research Assistants:

We welcome research assistants to support the various laboratory needs including: literature reviews, survey development, participant recruitment, data analysis, etc. Requirements:

  • Weekly lab attendance + 6-8 hours/week independent work.

  • Interest in issues related to young adulthood/adolescence/emerging adulthood, sex/health education, reproduction & parenting.

  • Priority will be given to students who have demonstrated competency in courses taught by the directors.

  • Knowledge of research databases, and general research skills (e.g. literature searches, data management).

Laboratory Coordinator:

In addition to volunteer research assistants we will be interviewing and hiring a laboratory coordinator. Please attend Orientation Meeting (9/21/16 - 328 HM Conference Room - 2:30-3:30pm). Requirements:

  • 20 hours per week

  • Leadership experience managing projects.

  • Confirmed commitment to this topic as supported by current academic interests and or previous experience.

  • Please bring copy of your resume and cover letter of interest to first meeting and also email to Interviews will be conducted and completed by 9/30.

Ruth Lubic & Call the Midwife

TC's very own Pioneer of Midwifery, Dr. Ruth Lubic

Ruth Lubic

Ruth Lubic

In this month's issue of The New Yorker, the "sneaky radicalism of 'Call the Midwife'" is featured by Emily Nussbaum. Dr. Ruth Lubic of Teachers College pointed us to the article while also highlighting the impact of Public Health Nursing home visits as well clinic appointments. Her own early "eye-opening" experiences during home visits led her to supplement her nurse-midwifery education  at Kings County Hospital with anthropology at TC. She went on to found the Maternity Center Association's Childbearing Center, for which she received a MacArthur "genius" award and to co-found the National Association of Birth Centers which has inspired the creation of more than 325 free-standing birth centers in the United States. Dr. Lubic, a "living legend" according to the American Academy of Nursing, most recently created an endowed scholarship to support TC students in Applied Anthropology, with a preference given to registered nurses or other health care professionals.

To learn more about this mother of the American midwifery movement, read the full TC Today article here.

SWG Project and MOM (Museum of Motherhood) was honored to induct Dr. Lubic into the Motherhood Hall of Fame this Spring.

Image curtousy of The New Yorker

Image curtousy of The New Yorker

Taking Motherhood Seriously - TC Today Magazine

Telling “the biggest story never told” 

Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Dr. Aurélie Athan was featured in the Spring-Summer 2016 issue of TC Today's Alumni magazine as part of it's Early Risers in the field of Psychology.

"The act of parenting changes you. In a world of competition, parenting sometimes teaches us collaboration. In a world of violence, we know our kids respond better to understanding. In a world of distraction, parenthood demands our presence."

To read the full article in pdf, click here. Access her publications here. Visit the Maternal Psychology laboratory here.

OutRight Action International Impacting Lives Globally

Jessica Stern serves as the Executive Director for OutRight Action International, the oldest U.S-based organization focused on LGBTIQ rights internationally (formerly the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission or IGLHRC). OutRight implements a model of change that includes activism, training, and documentation. Working in six regions including Latin America, Asia, North America, Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Europe and Central Asia, their work continues to provide a voice for the silenced.

Jessica Stern: Executive Director for OutRight Action International

Jessica Stern: Executive Director for OutRight Action International

 While her 12 hour days can become draining she has been able to make tremendous impacts nationally and globally. Previously through her work with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch she investigated advocacy efforts in Iran, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa and United Arab Emirates.  To date, one of her biggest accomplishments at OutRight was publishing a graphic novel titled Yousef and Farhad depicting the struggles for LGBTIQ Iranians.

            While much of Sterns position requires copious amounts of traveling, she still finds time to teach a course titled LGBT Rights Internationally: Contemporary Issues and Fundamental Principles in the school of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. This spring course is one of very few at Columbia addressing the importance of LGBTQI rights internationally.

            With many activists there are several goals they have in mind. Going forward Stern hopes to see gender identity fully accepted, the elimination of intersex surgeries without consent, the decriminalization of sodomy, and no laws against sex workers. As with any non-profit organization, there is a constant struggle for resources. If you are personally moved by the phenomenal work of Jessica Stern and the OutRight Action International Organization, please donate here!

Written by: Kenya Crawford

SWG Internship Opening!

Internship Descriptions

Applications Due for Fall 2016 Term: August 1st, 2016

Outreach Intern


Responsibilities include but not limited:

  • Contacting organizations, programs, and universities to further promote the SWG certificate program at Teachers College
  • Creating and maintaining list of organizations with similar missions to SWG, and further our contacts
  • Assisting the SWG staff on related tasks and are expected to attend bi-weekly meetings with the full SWG staff and attend at least half of SWG sponsored events
  • Weekly commitment between 5-10 hours (flexible depending on program need )

Public Relations/Social Media Intern:

Responsibilities include but not limited to

  • Updating social media sites (Facebook/daily, Twitter/daily, LinkedIn/weekly), enhancing SWG presence on social media, writing blogs related to SWG, and promoting events and similar events through our social media platforms
  • Promoting SWG certificate through social media (Hootsuite and MailChimp experience is plus)
  • Interns are expected to attend bi-weekly meetings with the full SWG staff and attend at least half of SWG sponsored events.
  • Weekly commitment between 5-10 hours (flexible depending on program need)

Fundraising/Grant Writing Intern

Responsibilities include but not limited

  • Searching for grants, funding opportunities and creating and maintaining its database
  • Proposing fundraising events, and finding potential scholarships for SWG projects and students (strong communication skill is plus)
  • *Experience with fundraising or grant writing highly preferred
  • Interns are expected to attend bi-weekly meetings with the full SWG staff and attend at least half of SWG sponsored events
  • Weekly commitment between 5-10 hours (flexible depending on program need)

Graphic Design Intern

Responsibilities include but not limited

  • Producing creative and eye-catching flyers for SWG events assisting in the maintenance of the SWG website (Interest in SWG not required but preferred)
  • Working with Adobe, Excel, MailChimp, and/or graphic design programs (i.e., Photoshop) programs
  • Interns are expected to attend bi-weekly meetings with the full SWG staff and attend at least half of SWG sponsored events
  • Weekly commitment between 5-10 hours (flexible depending on program need)

*All interns are required to attend bi-weekly meeting with the SWG staff and attend at least half of SWG sponsored and co-sponsored events.

*All interns are expected to work between 5-10 hours per week.

*All internships are unpaid



Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic

Sexuality, Women, and Gender Project presents Film Screening and Panel Discussion.


Description: The event will consist two parts:

5:00 – 6:30 Film Screening Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic

6:30 - 7:15 Panel Discussion

The Film Screening: Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic is a documentary about five beautiful women from five different backgrounds, educational level, status and location. Five different women that do not look alike, do not pursue life alike but have the same problem – HPV virus***. The film is sharing five unforgettable stories about women who were interrupted by the deadly virus. It shows their struggles, fears, social problems, changing in relationship with partners, husbands, parents and friends. The movie shows the virus’s effect on women’s mental health.


- Frederic Lumiere (Producer, director and editor of the movie that we will screen). Frederic Lumiere is an award winning Producer, director, editor, published author and President of Lumiere Media, Inc., a film and television production company based in Doylestown, PA.  

- Riddhi Sandil (PhD., co-Founder of Sexuality, Women and Gender Project at Teachers College, Columbia University) Dr. Sandil is a licensed psychologist and her clinical interests include complex trauma, working with marginalized/minority populations, women's concerns, identity development, individuation and family of origin concerns.

- Nancy Lesko (Phd., Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University). Inaugural recipient of Maxine Greene Chair, Teachers College, Columbia University.

- Karen Baldwin (Ed.D., Adjunct Professor of Health Education, clinical nurse-midwife, OB/GYN nurse practitioner and administrator in New York City). Ms. Baldwin provided women’s health care including prenatal care and delivery and gynecological care to  thousands of women, and most recently, coordinated the graduate nurse practitioner program at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY.

- Carol L. Brown (M.D., Director, Office of Diversity Programs in Clinical Care, Research, and Training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center). Ms. Brown is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist who, for more than 15 years, has used my skills as a surgeon to provide high-quality and compassionate care to women with ovarian, uterine, cervical, and vulvar cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

***HPV or Human Papillomavirus, is a family of viruses that cause almost all cervical cancers including warts, genital warts, and plantar warts. HPV also causes cancers of vulva, vagina, anus and cancers of the head and neck. Both women and man might be infected with HPV types through sexual intercourse and sexual contact. Cervical cancer is highly preventable because screening tests (pep smears, HPV testing) for cervical cancer, and vaccinations. However, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of cervical cancers occur among women rarely or never screened for cancer, and another 10%–20% of cancers occur among women who were screened but did not receive adequate follow-up care. In 2014, an estimated 12,900 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer. It is estimated that 4,100 deaths from the disease will occur this year ( 80% of all people under 50 of age will have HPV at some point in their lives. It means that 1 in 2 current college students have HPV. Condoms do not fully prevent the spread of HPV, and men cannot be tested for HPV but do unknowingly carry and spread the virus.

Being infected with HPV is very ashamed for women. The idea of having cervical cancer destroy women's self-esteem, increase shame and guilt level, decrease woman's immune system and create a weak relationship with her surroundings (friends, partners, parents).


Twitter: @SWGProject


How Academic Studies Motherhood- Every Mother Counts Interview with Aurelie Athan, Ph.D.

Currently and historically, most research related to motherhood isn’t actually about the mother. It’s usually about her impact on her children. Dr. Athan is on faculty in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University and a founding member of the Sexuality, Women, & Gender Project where she focuses on women’s development across the lifespan and the transition to motherhood. We talked with Dr. Athan about her unique perspective on motherhood.


The mother is the beginning of everything yet she’s often the last called to the table.

Aurélie Athan, Ph.D. is changing the way academia looks at motherhood by focusing on mothers themselves. Read the full interview here.