CSU Fresno Chapter
By: Jessica Martin, SDSU Chapter Member
Meet Kelly Meehan, the Vice President of our Fresno State University Chapter! She is majoring in Biology and minoring in Deaf Studies while also pursuing a certificate in Conversational American Sign Language. After she graduates, Kelly plans to pursue a career as a surgeon and wants to improve healthcare within the Deaf community.
Kelly joined WSS because she feels as though women in STEM are severely underrepresented. Most of her classes at Fresno State have been dominated by her male peers. By joining WSS, she felt as though she was advocating for a stronger community among her female peers. Since joining, Kelly has found WSS to be a place for women to support each other without fear of judgement from the sexism that exists in our society. It can be scary to navigate the STEM field alone as a woman, and she is so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of WSS and grateful to all of the women who have contributed to its success.
Outside of WSS, Kelly is involved in a wide variety of other activities. She is involved in research at the Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California. Her project seeks to identify how interactions between hearing physicians and Deaf patients can lead to lower quality healthcare. Kelly also serves as the Head of Public Relations for the Premedical Club at Fresno State which gives students opportunities to interact directly with physicians while also getting personalized feedback. Additionally, she volunteers her time with a volunteer program at Fresno State called the Peer Ambassadors of Wellness. This program allows her to educate her fellow students on the services provided at the Student Health and Counseling Center through outreach events on campus.
It is important to note that Kelly’s journey hasn’t always been straight forward. She started her undergraduate education at a local community college pursuing a degree in Biology. She decided that science was too hard for her and instead switched to pursue a major she thought would be easier. Eventually, she ended up in a job in that field and although she liked it, she missed challenging herself academically. This led to her switch back to Biology to pursue what she is truly passionate about and willing to work hard for. Moreover, Kelly actually sees switching majors as a step that led her to become more well-rounded as both a person and a student.
Although Kelly is currently involved in a lot of extracurriculars on top of her classwork, she feels as though the biggest thing that helps her succeed is that taking time to do things that she enjoys. She says that although your GPA is important, it isn’t more important than enjoying the journey on the way to earning your degree. For example, Kelly loves Broadway and theater. She has made time to see 14 shows in the past two years, each one increasing her passion for the stage. She is living proof that you don’t have to cut fun experiences out of your life, you just have to make sure you manage your time well to be able to include them!