Meet Our Scholars
The University of Utah
Lauryn C. Hansen was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. When she was three years old, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and then passed away when Lauryn was seven years old. Having experienced this loss at a young age, Lauryn gained the ability to empathize deeply with those around her. Looking back, she sees this as her most defining and influential characteristic in the formation of her activist identity. Lauryn is an undergraduate at the University of Utah studying metallurgical engineering. Her experience in the STEM fields, which continues to marginalize queer women, has prompted her to seek institutional change. She served as one of the first ever student co-chairs to the university pride week planning committee and is deeply involved with queer and social justice based student groups on campus. As an undergraduate researcher, Lauryn has had the opportunity to be published in Applied Catalysis B: Environmental and present her research to Utah state legislators. Lauryn most looks forward to gaining the intellectual capacity to grow and change, having the discipline to understand technical engineering problem-solving strategies while also rejecting the parts of STEM field institutions that continue to oppress minority populations and contribute to climate change. After graduating from the University of Utah, Lauryn plans to pursue a graduate degree specializing in an environmental engineering related field. She will always be involved in community-based activism because in her words, once we cease social justice work, we have failed.