Taryn Duncan '21

Women's and Gender Studies Major
Taryn Duncan

Whether it’s participating in a campus-wide discussion on equity, justice and freedom or working at the Beauregard Center, Taryn Duncan draws energy from connection. It has, however, required her to step out of her comfort zone. “I’m shy, but I still enjoy meeting new people,” she says.

The Windsor, Conn. native’s favorite part of being a Wildcat has been the organizations she’s joined. In addition to working at the Beauregard Center, she’s a member of Black Student Union, NALA (the support group for women of color at UNH), QT (a support group for queer and trans people of color) and a Treat Fellow Facilitator. “I’ve made really close friendships through these clubs and organizations,” Duncan says. “They’ve been a big reason why I’ve enjoyed my time here.”

Although she came to UNH as a music education major, Duncan switched her major to women’s and gender studies with minors in criminal justice and anthropology. A motivating factor for the switch: lecturer Joelle Ryan, who taught many of the classes that inspired Duncan. “My favorite classes were Race Matters, Sex Workers Rights and Trans/Forming Gender,” she says. “They were the most interesting and diverse classes. I learned so many new things.”

The winner of a Women’s and Gender Studies award, the Kidder Fund Award and a Judge William W. Treat Fellowship, Duncan interned the summer prior to her sophomore year at Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search and consulting firm in Newburyport, Mass. “I learned real-world skills and organizational habits,” she says. “I enjoyed working and creating content for the company.”

After graduation, Duncan hopes to continue her diversity work by working in a diversity outreach program or in human resources. Her biggest takeaway as a COLA student: “I love the courses in this college. COLA has pushed each and every student to the max. The school’s mission is to prepare and support their students. I’ve felt that push and drive since day one.”