Peyton Coder, Undergraduate student, Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies
Enhances LGBTQ+ care
• Hometown: Marion, Iowa
• Faculty mentors/advisors: Mary Ann Rasmussen, Associate Professor of Instruction, Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies; Christopher-Rasheem McMillan, Assistant Professor, Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? B.A., Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, May 2020
• Please describe your research: My research focuses on how to bring Queer Theory into the mental health field when working with LGBTQ+ individuals, especially for transgender identifying folks. My research brings forward the gatekeeping methods and power dynamics that mental health providers often use which keep transgender folks away from resources, and it suggests key ways mental health providers can do better moving forward.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? People within the LGBTQ+ community often do not have access to proper mental health services or have to wait long periods to receive these services. Mental health providers are often not properly trained to work with people in the LGBTQ+ community, which leads to a lot of stress and anxiety for both the provider and the client. The lack of proper services could lead to the worsening of LGBTQ+ mental health for generations.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started my research during my third year at the University of Iowa for the Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies’ Senior Research Seminar.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Research has helped me gain analytic tools and vocabulary, while helping me find my voice on a topic that I feel heavily connected to. I have been able to do many things since completing my senior thesis such as creating and implementing a curriculum for the LGBTQ+ Counseling Clinic here on campus.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I plan to seek a dual Masters Degree in Social Work and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies to continue working on the betterment of mental health services for LGBTQ+ identifying people.
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