DOWNEY, MEGHANName: Meghan Downey
Title of Project: 
Orientation and the Discourse on Sexual Health at William & Mary
Advisor: Annie Blazer
Honors Department: Religious Studies

My research will examine how Orientation Aides and new students discuss sexual health during New Student Orientation, which all William & Mary students participate in. I hope to discover patterns in these dialogues that will allow peer educators and Orientation Aides to better assist new students in their transition and benefit their overall William & Mary experience.

Hometown: Chatham, New Jersey
Hobbies: On campus, I am really invested in making sure William & Mary students feel safe and comfortable so they are best able to flourish as members of the community. I am involved in New Student Orientation as an Orientation Aide for two years and an Orientation Area Director for my third and final year with First Year Experience. I am also involved with a student advocacy group called HOPE, Health Outreach Peer Educators, where I specialize in sexual health and work to create programming to help educate and provide resources to students. I am also a volunteer at the Haven, a confidential resource center for students affected by sexual violence, one of William & Mary’s most incredible resources. My creative outlet occurs in the Bone Marrow Drive Committee, a group that holds drives to register people with Be The Match and raises awareness about blood cancers and how we can help. With this organization, I take pictures and videos and work to spread awareness through media. Finally, I am a Tour Guide at the Admissions Office, because my experience as a William & Mary student started from the moment I set foot on campus, and I hope the journey starts there for future members of the Tribe, as well.
Fun Fact: I am not ambidextrous! I hope to one day begin my rap career thanks to the wonderful media center and other resources available at Swem Library. I do that thing where when I really love a song, I will listen to it over and over and over for weeks and I will never get sick of it. Sometimes my friends call me “Potato” and I don’t really get it. My friends think I am not very funny but I strongly disagree. I hate deer.


Follow Meghan’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!