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Jennifer (Jen) Plouffé

Jennifer (Jen) Plouffé, 2016

Growing up in a diverse community, Jen was always interested in learning about everyone and everything within her reach. As such, during her senior year of high school Jen went on a two week long mission trip to Haiti, on the three year anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that hit the small country – that experience got Jen thinking about her place in the bigger scheme of things. When it came time to decide what “to do” after high school, Jen hadn’t a clue – but took a complete gamble and said ANTHROPOLOGY, and said out of state too.

Coming to UNCG, Jen joined the anthropology department’s first learning community and fell in love – with the material and the professors and fellow students. Soaking up any bit of information anyone could offer – just like she had growing up – Jen flourished in the tight-knit department and took a well-rounded approach to her coursework.

In her second of three years (being a UNCG in 3 graduate), Jen took on the role of student researcher alongside a fellow student-turned-great-friend, and Dr. Murphy. Over the course of a year, Jen spent time researching similar types of chemical/industrial spills, travelled to Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico to participate in the interview process, and reported on specifics within the project findings.

Throughout her time at UNCG, Jen gained many opportunities, mentorships and friendships alike. Joining a historical archaeology field school during the summer of 2015 in Hilton, NY, along with an internship at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (Rochester, NY) the same summer, added to her five-field approach to anthropology. Through these relationships and experiences, Jen was able to change the mantra of what “to do” to what “to solve.”

Having been diagnosed with a rising women’s health epidemic – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Jen has always set out to see how the condition differed based on environment and culture. In January, 2016, Jen joined the PCOS Awareness Association as a volunteer to help women around the globe who suffer from the condition and push for a greater awareness: In August of 2016, Jen became a member of the association’s Leadership Board. Putting her studies and her work with the PCOSAA, Jen decided that the best way to solve problems we face as a global community was to go on and get a Master of Public Health degree, of which she will be starting October, 2016 at Southern New Hampshire University, and eventually a DrPH (Doctorate of Public Health).

Taking a nontraditional approach to the field of public health – with having an anthropology background – Jen hopes to accomplish a more holistic approach to PCOS diagnosis, treatment and awareness; By taking in consideration biology, history, culture, and environment, in addition to the genetic aspect of the condition, Jen hopes to add depth to the way the condition is approached in the medical field and ultimately help change the lives of many.

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