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InTouch Peer Health Advocates

As InTouch PHAs, we aim to create an honest and sex-positive environment to discuss sexual health and healthy relationships that is inclusive to all identities, experiences, and ways of having sex. We educate our peers on sexual health, healthy relationships, and on- and off-campus resources through workshops and events. In doing so, we empower UChicago students to make their own decisions about their sexual health and relationships. We combat stigma against sex and intimacy through open dialogue about personal and interpersonal wellness in order to thrive as a campus community.

Alex Hayward

Alex Hayward, she/her/hers

InTouch PHA Student Coordinator

Third Year
Major: Molecular Engineering

“Growing up in an abstinence-only policy school and within Filipino culture that often stigmatizes sexual health, I relied on my own research to educate myself on how to take care of my body, my mental wellbeing, and how to be sexually healthy when the communities I considered my support systems failed to do so. Now as a part of InTouch, I educate students on sexual health, healthy relationships, and on- and off-campus health resources while helping create the first honest, sex positive environment I’ve experienced to prevent other young people from feeling the same fear, confusion, and shame I felt about my own body and sexual health.”

Marta Beramendi-Conde, she/her/hers

Third Year
Major: Biochemistry

"I wanted to become an InTouch PHA to help destigmatize general discussion about sex and sexual health on campus, as well as promote the necessary tools to help maintain healthy relationships – be they sexual, romantic, or otherwise. I’ve always been very openly sex positive, and my goal is to spread that positivity campus-wide."

Shayna Cohen

Shayna Cohen, she/her/hers

InTouch PHA

Third Year
Major: Neuroscience

"I joined InTouch because I think that education about sexual health and healthy relationships is of prime importance on college campuses. As a Health and Society minor, I love learning about how health intersects with societal needs and issues, and I think that the InTouch program connects health with the college experience in a really meaningful and accessible way!"

Kathleen Cui

Kathleen Cui, she/her/hers

InTouch PHA

Fourth Year
Major: Creative Writing and Pre-Med

"I joined PHA because I think it's especially important to have access to information about healthy relationships and sexual education when coming into college, and PHA allows me to spread that information in the company of other amazing advocates who always teach me more!"

Annagh Devitt, she/her/hers

InTouch PHA

Fourth Year

Major: Molecular Engineering and Chemistry; Minor: Biology

"I joined InTouch because I never received a sexual health education in high school. Coming into college I was completely clueless about things like birth control, safe sex practices, and healthy relationships in general. I wanted to be a part of helping others who come from background like mine and just need access to good information on sexual health and wellbeing."

Giovanna Gari

Giovanna Gari, she/her/hers

InTouch PHA

Fourth year
Major: Psychology

I joined InTouch because as a woman of color, discussions about sex or sexual health were always seen as something to avoid, and I wanted to be part of an organization that helped others to get the information they need. I wanted to make sure I created a safe space for other people of color on campus to be free to ask whatever questions they had. 

Mari Knudson

Mari Knudson, she/her/hers

InTouch PHA

Third Year
Major: Environmental Studies

"I have always been passionate about sexual health and healthy relationships and am always looking for more ways to act on this passion, which is why I joined InTouch. I love that the group seeks to foster a sense of sex-positivity on campus by making sex education as inclusive and relatable as possible."

Sophia Li

Sophia Li, she/her/hers

InTouch PHA

Third Year
Major: Gender Studies

"I wanted to join the InTouch group to help de-stigmatize sex and reproductive health topics, especially among communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community. The reason why I'm a Gender Studies major is because I'm interested in women's health and exploring the concept of womanhood in an attempt to move past the traditional gender binary, especially given the increased acceptance of queer and trans communities. I am passionate about medically accurate and inclusive sex education instead of old curriculums that misunderstand or blatantly neglect marginalized communities."

Liana Massey, she/her/hers

Third Year
Major: Gender and Sexuality Studies and Comparative Human Development

"I joined InTouch because the way that we talk about sex and relationships matters. I have always been really passionate about health, and women's sexual health in particular. I want to do my best to foster a space in which my peers can explore what having safe, good sex means and what a healthy relationship looks like."

Emma Reilly

Emma Reilly, she/her/hers

Third Year
Majors: Public Policy and Linguistics

"I want to help normalize open and vulnerable conversations about relationships and sex. I think that destigmatizing being informed and communicative about the subject is empowering and can aid in the practice of empathy. I hope to help the University of Chicago community feel comfortable in their own skin and confident in cultivating an experience that suits their needs and wants!"

Jenna Uhles

Jenna Uhles, she/her/hers

Second Year
Major: Biology

"Many students come from abstinence-only schools or only know a few ways to protect themselves during sex. I became an Intouch PHA to help promote a sex-positve culture on campus and to inform my peers about the many options they have in regards to their sexual health."

UChicagoSocial: UChicago Student Wellness