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Ai Doan ′11

Hometown: Memphis
Major: Anthropology and Sociology
Fun Fact: She likes to climb trees–any time of the day, in any weather.

How did you get involved with VOX?
In 2009, Ciara Conway founded the VOX (Voices for Planned Parenthood) chapter at Rhodes and invited me to the very first meeting. I went, fell in love, and ended up as the secretary. Now I’m the vice president and act as the liaison between Planned Parenthood and VOX.

What have you enjoyed?
I have an interest in policy so one of the things I’ve really enjoyed is lobbying for Planned Parenthood. On campus, we organize sexpert training, which is peer training in sex education.

What makes VOX different from the other volunteer programs in which you have participated?
Going to VOX allowed me to find that passion in social justice and women’s rights. It really pushed my limits and I started taking classes in gender studies, which reinforced my beliefs.

What are you doing next year?
I’m applying for several positions in the northeast and D.C. areas that relate to policy and Planned Parenthood. We need grassroots organization efforts, but if the law doesn’t change the grassroots work is almost in vain.

What were some of the highlights of your first year at Rhodes?
It was really my sophomore year that things came together for me because freshman year, I was a commuter. Sophomore year I wrote an essay for a competition called One Voice Summit which landed me a trip to Washington, D.C. We learned about reproductive health and GLBT rights and were able to lobby on Capitol Hill. That was really the point at which I realized this is what I want to do. I came back with an adrenaline rush and a ton of ideas. I don’t think I would have had that experience if I hadn’t moved on campus, and moreover, been a Rhodes student.

What is your favorite thing about Rhodes?
This is going to sound really nerdy, but I really enjoy my classes. My favorite class at Rhodes has been social theory because it really changed the way I view the individual and a constantly changing society.

What advice would you give to the incoming Class of 2015?
Take classes that you are really interested in, not the ones that you know are going to be an easy A. It’s the classes for which I’ve worked hard and pulled all-nighters that have really made an impact. Those classes made me feel like I’ve gotten everything possible out of my liberal arts education.

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