Madison Poore ’19

Photo of Madison Poore ’19

Name: Madison Poore ’19

Hometown: Gloucester, Massachusetts   

Academics: anthropology major, Five College Certificate in Culture, Health and Science

Campus involvement: I serve as co-chair of the Outing Club and have been involved in the org since my first year, which has really shaped my Mount Holyoke experience. I have also thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the Office of Residential Life, and particularly with Jenna Caputo. I am currently the senior community advisor of Torrey Hall and have loved getting to know my staff and residents.

More recently I have been involved in the student organizing group that is a part of Civil Rights and Public Policy, a national reproductive rights and justice program based at Hampshire College. I served as co-chair of the outreach committee for the program’s annual reproductive justice conference.

I have also enjoyed performing with the dance department in senior capstone projects.  

Proudest accomplishment at Mount Holyoke: I had an internship last summer at Pathfinder International in Watertown, Massachusetts, and I felt a great sense of accomplishment in presenting my work and experiences at the LEAP Symposium in October. I was really proud of my work within the organization’s Population, Health and Environment team. And I was grateful for the Lynk funding, which gave me the opportunity to work at the nonprofit.

A place or experience you will miss at Mount Holyoke: I will miss dancing in Kendall in the beautiful studios that look out over upper lake. I have taken dance classes every semester at Mount Holyoke and have enjoyed every experience. I will really miss the opportunity to dance and perform with my peers in the department.   

How a close connection with a faculty member has shaped you: My favorite class at Mount Holyoke was Lynn Morgan’s Medical Anthropology course, which I took sophomore year. Professor Morgan, the Mary E. Woolley Professor of Anthropology, really shaped my interest in public health issues. As my advisor, she informed me about the Five College Certificate for Culture, Health and Science and assisted me in finding summer opportunities for career development. In my junior year, going abroad to Mount Holyoke’s program in Monteverde, Costa Rica, which she directs, gave me insight into health care systems, maternal health and human rights in Central America.     

Course that surprised you, or that you thought you might not like: I was hesitant to take Scientific Foundations of Dance: Anatomy and Kinesiology, my sophomore year. To my surprise, I really enjoyed learning about the various systems in the human body. Taught by Teresa Freedman, the course gave me a completely different perspective on health by joining my passions for both dance and science. It also helped me understand the medical perspective of many health issues that I had learned about in my anthropology classes.    

Best takeaway from internship or research experiences: In summer 2017 I worked as an outreach intern at Health Quarters, a sexual and reproductive health clinic on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Working to increase the reach of the clinic, I tabled at health fairs and local events, where I represented the organization and spoke with potential clients and partners. I became completely absorbed in the importance of accurate public health research, and assisted in researching and capturing health data for state and federal grant proposals. It was while working at this organization that I discovered my interest in reproductive health and rights.

How Mount Holyoke has shaped your global outlook: Anthropology as a discipline has been very influential in the way I think about global issues. Studying abroad in Costa Rica had a big impact on me, particularly because I had the opportunity to live with a host family. The ability to speak Spanish proficiently is really important to me and my host mother was so generous with her time and patient with my mistakes. I will always be grateful for our afternoons together drinking tea and getting to know one another.

Favorite Five College experience: Utilizing the expansive course network in the Five College Consortium has really shaped my experience at Mount Holyoke. I have taken courses at UMass Amherst and Amherst and Hampshire colleges. Currently I am wrapping up a particularly formative Hampshire College course on population control and its impacts. I’m taking it with Anne Hendrixson, who is the director of Hampshire’s Population and Development Programs.

Population and Development Programs grew out of resistance to population control by the international women’s health movement. PopDev — that’s its nickname — offers alternative frameworks for understanding population dynamics and critiques policy for reproductive health and family planning, environment and climate change, immigration and international security. I have really enjoyed learning more, and with working with Civil Liberties and Public Policy, a national reproductive rights and justice organization located on Hampshire’s campus. 

Future plans: I hope to enter the non-profit sector for the next few years and to pursue a master’s degree in public health. In my work, I hope to expand access to voluntary and inclusive family planning in my community and across the United States.