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College of Medicine student selected for art education award

Sarah Walser, a rising third-year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine’s University Park Curriculum Track, is one of two winners of the 2020 Judy Chicago Art Education Award.

A head-and-shoulders photo of medical student Sarah Walser

Sarah Walser, third-year medical student

Penn State University Libraries and the Penn State School of Visual Arts support the award, which is made possible by Through the Flower and the generosity of Mary Ross Taylor.

A panel of judges representing Judy Chicago Portal collaboration institutions selected Walser as one of two winners out of 31 applications that were submitted from around the world.

Walser is interested in how medical language, and health care providers as purveyors of such language, give false legitimacy to oppressive social constructs. Her two-part project explores this concept, building off her previous work on the conflation of social constructs about sexual purity with biology.

“It is such an honor to receive this award. I’ve admired Judy Chicago’s work as a feminist artist and activist since before beginning medical school,” Walser said. “I’m excited to build off her work to explore systems of discrimination and oppression in medicine, which the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to further highlight.”

Read more about Walser’s proposed project in this Penn State News story.

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