August van Nieuwenhuysen
People here genuinely care about you, and want to help you.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What’s your favorite class? Why?
One of my favorite classes I’ve taken so far is Biology 202 (Core Concepts: Mechanisms) with Professor Tamily Weissman-Unni. It was one of the first classes I’d been in where we were having conversations about diversity and discrimination in the STEM fields. Learning the stages of mitosis was just as important as talking about Henrietta Lacks and reflecting on the legacy of the HeLa cell line. It was really great to have an enthusiastic professor who cared about the material and our understanding of it.
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
I already knew I wanted to attend a small, liberal arts college so that narrowed my search a little bit. I looked at many schools but what made Lewis & Clark stand out to me was the small class sizes, merit aid, proximity to Portland, and beautiful campus.
What do you like or find most interesting about your major?
I love the diversity of interests amongst biology majors. Whether it’s health care, pharmaceutical research, veterinary medicine, ecology, mycology, etc., you are bound to find a classmate eager to discuss it with you.
What do you like or find most interesting about your minor?
I love that gender studies is an interdisciplinary program because you get to work with lots of professors from different departments. It gives you this fantastic opportunity to collaborate with people you otherwise may never have taken a class with.
Tell us about your support systems and social outlets on campus: people, activities, clubs, res halls, etc.
The Office of Student Accessibility and the Queer Student Union have been two of my strongest support systems on campus. The OSA helped set up academic accommodations and connected me with off-campus mental health providers. Their guidance has been very beneficial as a neurodivergent student. I’ve also met some of my closest friends through the QSU. We host many events like Trans Day of Remembrance and Queer Prom, as well as smaller, student-led support group meetings. Now that I am involved in leadership, I am so grateful to be in a position to give back to the queer community on campus. Our team works very hard to provide resources for students such as the QSU Transition Fund, which provides trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, questioning, etc. students with gender affirming and transition related items, regardless of their financial status.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Something I can really struggle with is asking for help. I have gotten better at advocating for myself but it can still be quite the challenge. It helps to know that people here genuinely care and they want to help you. So schedule an appointment with the Student Counseling Center, visit your professor’s office hours, email your advisor, and talk to your RA. That first step of reaching out can be daunting but I promise it is well worth it.
Have you been involved with one of our symposia, as an organizer or participant? What was the experience like? How did the event complement your academic experience?
I am one of the cochairs for this year’s Gender Studies Symposium. Working with the other cochairs and our director Kim Brodkin has been such a fulfilling experience. I really appreciate how involved students are on all levels of symposium planning, from theme discussion, proposal submission, to event set up. It requires lots of dedicated teamwork, but seeing that symposium come to life after months of planning makes it all worth it.
What’s one of the best spots on campus?
The Dovecote. I have spent many hours studying, writing emails, and drinking coffee there.
What’s one of your best Lewis & Clark memories so far?
One of my best memories was the Gothic Masquerade Queer Prom. So many people dressed up, there was a photo booth, and a majority of the night was spent dancing. I didn’t attend my high school prom, so getting to finally have that experience, steeped in queer joy, was amazing.