Women Who Inspire Me : Camryn Hammill

In my series, “Women Who Inspire Me,” I interviewed and wrote about four different women who I believed were movers and shakers. These women came from different backgrounds, political beliefs, and fields of study. However, they shared a few things in common -- each of them are college women who aren’t afraid of speaking their truths and making changes in their communities. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Camryn Hammill, a second-year Political Science and International Affairs student at the University of Maine from Bangor, Maine. Hammill is driven, politically active, and unafraid to tell the truth. Additionally, Hammill is a very complex and multi-faceted person, fascinated by a variety of things and topics.

“I’m interested in a lot of things, maybe too many,” Hammill says. “I like current events, bees, reading, hiking, and D&D (Dungeons and Dragons)!” 

However, this doesn’t cover everything Hammill is drawn to. Camryn is also passionate about a number of other things, most notably people, anthropology, and politics. Hammill finds people to be particularly interesting, because of the stories they have to tell. This is because Hammill finds value within other peoples’ stories. In fact, she thinks it is necessary to look beyond her own scope and hear other people out. 

“Listening to the stories, the pain, and the passion of people is something I believe our society lacks. We are so wrapped up in the ‘self’ we distance ourselves from the ‘other’ -- people,” Hammill explains.

Camryn finds people and their stories very powerful. As a matter of fact, Hammill chose to study Political Science and International Affairs (with a concentration in anthropology), because she felt like these fields held a heavy focus on people and their stories. Hammill also finds her majors interesting, because she believes they reflect “ever-changing” fields of study and allow her to open her mind more and more every day. 

“Aside from [political science and international affairs] being [some] of the most interesting things for me, I learn new things every day. There is such a wide scope with both my majors that I really feel like I could spend a lifetime studying and I still wouldn’t even be close to an entire understanding. Human culture is as infinite as society and politics is ever-changing,” Hammill notes.

Hammill’s fascination with politics and its socio-anthropological nature led her to become more involved in her field. She is a political activist and she is involved with different politically oriented groups and activities. Throughout her political career, Hammill has gone to multiple political events, including town halls and galas, organized protests, and joined on-campus political organizations including the University of Maine College Democrats and the University of Maine Young Americans for Liberty. Additionally, Hammill serves on the University of Maine’s General Student Senate as the Orono Town Council Liaison and a member of both their Policy & Procedure and Membership and Executive Budgetary Committees. 

Within the realm of politics, Hammill remains invested in a multitude of different issues, including reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, racial justice, and class justice. Hammill has spent the majority of her life fighting such injustices through her political work, especially on campus. 

For example, In October of 2019, Hammill actually organized a protest against Larry Lockman, a Maine State Representative who once compared abortion to rape. Hammill’s protest drew a large crowd of people, including students and non-students. The energy of this particular protest was fiery and intense. Many of the attendees waved signs and chanted.  Additionally, the Maine chapter of the Women’s March endorsed Hammill’s protest on social media.

When she isn’t holding her own political events on campus, Hammill is probably attending someone else’s. Throughout her career at the University of Maine, Hammill has attended several political events, including Desiree Vargas’s protest against racism on campus, the Young Americans For Liberty’s Bipartisan Holiday Party with the University of Maine College Democrats, and more.

In conclusion, Hammill is not simply a political activist. Really, Hammill isn’t a simple person! Hammill is extremely multi-dimensional, with interests spanning from global affairs and politics to Dungeons and Dragons and Spanish Club. However, just because Hammill’s passion spans many different areas, this doesn’t dim her shine. Hammill remains a strong, selfless, and courageous feminist and activist who is wise beyond her years. Hammill has done important work for her community and will continue to do so for the rest of her life.