Democracy Project: Advocacy from the Student Perspective

October 28, 2021



Join for Democracy Project: Advocacy from the Student Perspective this October. CBS Student Services is excited to host an event where students can learn from fellow CBS students about how advocacy and science are connected. Some examples of where science and advocacy intersect are climate change, gender equity in healthcare, public health, reproductive rights, and ethics in science.

Event Details


Student Speakers

Why are Genetic Counselors Necessary? My Experience With the Impact of Advocates in Health Care
Speaker: Sarah Lange (she/her)


A pillar of genetic counseling is providing objective information in order to allow the patient to make their own decisions about their health care. This advocacy-focused mindset can greatly impact the quality of patient care. Last summer, I spent 10 weeks with genetic counselors in a cancer center, and I saw many examples of patient advocacy in the career. In this presentation I will be evaluating the genetic counselor's role as a patient advocate through discussion of clinical examples including Alzheimer's genetic testing, interpreting a miscarriage due to a triploidy, and a stage IV pancreatic cancer patient.

About me: I am a junior at the University of Minnesota studying genetics and cell development with a minor in communications. This semester I am working as a biology lab TA, and I am not studying or working, I like to  go to the gym, read, and bug my roommates. In the future, I am hoping to have a career in genetic counseling. 


The Color of Science
Speaker: Cody Thao (he/him)


The Color of Science: an overly saturated, white, one-note, exclusive, cis-male dominated field and discipline–this is the perceived state of science. People who hold identities within marginalized communities are not best represented in science. These communities have to navigate through collegiate discomfort, while others are easily unaffected. In this conversation, we will begin by breaking down how science is misrepresented. Then, we will be identifying and understanding how social disparities limit science opportunities. Lastly, we will be considering how advocacy can help all communities, instilling a welcoming nature to a field we all enjoy.

About me: I am a proud first-gen Hmong-American and Minnesota local. My family moved a lot growing up due to different job opportunities, so I have never really stayed in one city for a good duration of my life. Aside from that, I currently live in an apartment right here in Minneapolis with my sister. As for my academics, I am a 3rd-year majoring in Biology with a minor in Pharmacology; I anticipate becoming a physician one day, but I am content with whatever life gives me. Furthermore, with my limited time as a CBS student, I enjoy photography, reading, and playing video games. I am attempting to finish this murder-mystery book: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The book follows a teenage boy named Daniel who uncovers the secrecy behind a dead author.