She’s been an English major, a film major and a psychology major, and through it all Kristen Anna has found her passion in women’s rights.
She was born in Fort Worth, Texas, but grew up in Woodland Park, Colo. She developed an interest in psychology when she attended the University of North Carolina in Asheville. She transferred to Colorado State University because it was close to home and offered many research possibilities in her field of study.
“The research opportunities here at CSU have only furthered my love for psychology,” Anna says. She will receive her bachelor’s in psychology from the College of Natural Sciences this month.
Anna worked as a research assistant with Professor of Psychology Silvia Sara Canetto and psychology graduate student Lauren Menger. One of their projects focused on women’s rights and leadership in Nepal. Anna notes that women have a hard time getting jobs in Nepal, where there is a great deal of poverty and many problems with human trafficking.
Anna co-authored with Menger and Canetto a poster presented at the Association for Women in Psychology (AWP) conference in Pittsburgh in March. The presentation included findings from interviews with female leaders in Nepal.
“Lauren interviewed 20 women who had various leadership positions and asked how they became those leaders, what helped, and what challenges they faced,” Anna said. “Presenting our findings at the AWP conference was an amazing experience because we saw so many presentations and different research focused solely on women.”
Anna is also an officer in the No More Injustice club at CSU. The club puts on a big event on campus called Enslaved, focused on modern-day human trafficking. The members set up simulations that show what human trafficking looks like in the U.S. today, and participants take part in the simulations. The club hosts many involvement fairs to raise awareness of human trafficking; this year it focused particularly on Colorado and took part in CSU’s first-ever ACT Human Rights Film Festival.
Anna plans to attend graduate school at the University of Denver in the international rights program, in particular DU’s Human Trafficking Center, which is devoted to research on that topic.
“I want to focus on development, particularly for women,” Anna says, “and further my research there in the future.”