Public health students featured in Newcomb Institute's Women Leading Change Journal

Newcomb Institute
A collage of all participants
(Photo of Rising fourth-year Newcomb Scholars featured in Women Leading Change: Case Studies in Women, Gender, and Feminism)

Two public health students are featured in the latest publication of the Newcomb Institute's Women Leading Change: Case Studies in Women, Gender, and Feminism. Jazlynn Leung, a public health major, and Molly Shields, a public health minor, contributed to the journal.

Featuring case studies authored by Newcomb Scholars, an elite cohort of undergraduate students at Tulane University, the journal is published periodically and provides a platform for sharing their research and classroom work, which is then carefully curated for journal publication.

Leung, a Public Health major, formulated a case study that follows one woman in her decision-making process regarding her pregnancy after receiving a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome and the larger societal factors that may impact her decision and those of other people in similar positions.

Shields, a Political Science major with minors in Economics and Public Health, analyzes Sarah Palin's vice-presidential campaign. Her case study explores how Palin's conservative feminism and identity as a mother reshaped women's engagement with national politics and influenced politicians' responses to female constituents.

Renowned as one of the leading research universities in the United States, Tulane actively promotes undergraduate participation in research endeavors. Through the Newcomb Scholars Program, students gain access to valuable research opportunities, allowing them to actively engage in meaningful studies, cultivate expertise in their chosen fields, and explore tenets of feminist leadership. The program fosters interdisciplinary exploration and supports a close-knit community of diverse thinkers, leaders, and activists, supported by the Newcomb faculty, staff, and resources provided by the Newcomb Institute. It also facilitates connections with faculty members that extend beyond traditional classroom interactions. Director of the Newcomb Scholars Program Aidan Smith notes “The Scholars’ research engagements are often the first opportunity to develop their own questions and discover their own capacity for knowledge production. They are not just absorbing information from a professor or textbook. They are creating something new, a contribution to the entire intellectual community.”

In their sophomore year, Newcomb Scholars embark on a captivating leadership course inspired by real-world challenges faced by women driving social change in organizations. Utilizing teaching cases inspired by Harvard Business School's approach, students engage in immersive learning through simulated scenarios, tackling complex dilemmas faced by women leaders; this experience equips them with invaluable insights into real-world problem-solving. This dynamic learning environment fosters vibrant classroom discussions, mirroring the advantages observed in professional schools. The course seamlessly combines the exploration of women's leadership, social change, and abstract reasoning across diverse academic disciplines. “Case studies enable students to develop critical thinking because they are able to place themselves in the shoes of leaders whose choices are not black and white” stated Anna Mahoney, Administrative Associate Professor of Women's Political Leadership and Director of Research for Newcomb Institute.

This year’s publication highlights work from a select group of rising fourth-year Newcomb Scholars: Zoe Friese, Navya Murugesan, Molly Shields, Claire Ramsay, Ava Buras, Jazlynn Leung, Jordan Godfrey, and Rebecca Steynberg.

Read more about all of the participants here.