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SPA & SOC 2017 Women of the Year: Where Are They Now?

In the spirit of our Women of the Year event coming up on April 15th, Her Campus American decided to check in with two of our 2017 Women of the Year to see how the last year of their life has been.  Check out these updates from our SOC woman of the year, Erin McGoff, and our CAS woman of the year, Lauren Beeslee.

Catching up with School of Communications 2017 Woman of the Year: Erin McGoff

After graduation, I spent the summer freelancing as a production assistant and editor while gearing up for a month of production in Laos for my documentary This Little Land of Mines. The month I spent directing in Laos was the wildest month of my life—it was terrifying and inspiring and empowering and exciting all at the same time. Over the summer, I also attended a few conferences for my Pulitzer International Reporting Fellowship and presented my reporting & documentary in progress at Bloomberg News Headquarters in October. I continued my yoga & martial arts training and got my green belt! I recently wrapped on a rough cut for This Little Land of Mines that I’m going to start sending out as we seek finishing funds to complete the film. Right now I’m a freelance editor and am loving balancing being an independent contractor and documentary filmmaker. I’ve been working on smaller documentary projects, including one about a sustainable startup in Richmond, VA creating blue collar jobs in the name of sustainability and another about an all-female dojo in Baltimore. I’m looking forward to finishing This Little Land of Mines and sharing Laos with my fellow Americans. I’m also staying in close contact with everyone at American University—my professors and friends there! I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without them and I hope to return one day maybe to screen my film or something!


Catching up with School of Public Affairs 2017 Woman of the Year: Lauren Beeslee

As a member of the She’s the First national campus advisory council in 2017, I got to work with She’s the First leaders to discuss a new mission statement and inclusive language updates. I presented alongside a team member at the National Summit in New York in the summer, leading a workshop on diversity and inclusion! We worked how we can best include students of all backgrounds in the mission, and talked about why having a diverse range of voices in these discussions is vital! Our campus chapter of She’s the First at AU also received an award for outstanding community engagement at the summit. We received this for putting on a successful Day of the Girl event in October, a day of numerous panels on a variety of women’s issues from women in politics and the media, to women and religion, to women in STEM.

I’ve left She’s the First is such good hands this year, and there have been some amazing events this year! In the fall semester, I had the opportunity to intern at Women Thrive Alliance, focusing on digital fundraising and advocacy. Women Thrive Alliance is a global network of women’s rights organizations. They work with a variety of civil society organizations across the world to provide training on capacity-building and support their programs, whether this be advocating for women’s rights to their own Governments or helping women learn self-defense! All the organizations WTA works with are so inspiring, and it was amazing to learn so much about them! This semester, I’ve taken my interest in education policy back to home ground, as I’ve been interning at the Brookings Institution, working with communications in Governance Studies. I’ve learnt a lot of how think tanks promote policy recommendations and have really deepened my knowledge of domestic education policy (there’s definitely still a lot to improve!) I’m not sure of my post-grad plans yet, but I’m hoping to stay in DC to work in a political communication strategy or advocacy position!


Photo credits belong to Lauren Beeslee and Erin McGoff. 

Shannon is the former Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus American University. She is a Psychology major and is also a senior on the varsity swim team.
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