School Attended While Participating in the Student Fellows Program:
Montclair State University
Contact E-mail: SamanthaKwiatkowski@gmail.com
Areas/Topics of Interest in MCH:
I am most interested in topics pertaining to women’s reproductive health and rights, as well as adolescent sexual health and development.
Current Research/Area of Study:
Currently, I am involved in research that explores the context of adolescents’ first sexual experiences. Focus groups were conducted with college freshmen and sophomores during which they discussed messages they received from home and school pertaining to sex and sexual health, as well as what their first consenting sexual experience was like. The ultimate goal here is to better understand gender differences, factors proceeding the “first time”, aspects of the “planning” process, and the identification of points of intervention to improve adolescent sexual health and safety.
At this point in time, I am a graduate assistant for the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University. I assist professors of the MPH program on their research as well as any other work they need my assistance in. In addition, I am an intern with the Women’s Health & Counseling Center of NJ. I am responsible for the development and implementation of lesson plans to students of middle and high school levels on sexual health, dating violence, decision-making, etc. I am also currently in the process of developing a multi-faceted community-wide pregnancy prevention program for adolescents which will be implemented this spring.
My hopes for future work include furthering my exploration of adolescent sexual health and developing best practices in ensuring healthy outcomes within that population, as well as working to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes. Ideally, I would love to get involved on not only a national level, but also on an international level within either or both of those fields.