Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Department Chair:
Greggor Mattson

Administrative Assistant:
David Divins

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8923
Fax: (440) 775-6698

Rice Hall 29
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring 2011

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring 2011

This years recipients were:

Holland Hamilton
African American Studies major; Theater minor

Project Title: Transformative Theater
Project Description: Coming soon



Annica Stull-Lane
Biology major; GSFS & Chemistry minors

Project Title: The Effect of Garlic on Pathogenic and Normal Vaginal Microbiota: Implications for Treatment of Bacterial Vaginosis
Project Description: My project aim was to test the potential of fresh garlic as a treatment for bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is one of the most prevalent vaginal conditions in adult women worldwide. Associated complications include preterm delivery, increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, and increased susceptibility to HIV acquisition and transmission. BV disproportionately affects women of color and women who have sex with women (WSW), although all women are affected. Depending on the population studied, BV affects 10%-50% of the female-bodied population. BV is characterized by an imbalance of the vaginal flora, in which the usually predominant lactobacilli are replaced by an overgrowth of anaerobic pathogenic bacteria that form a polymicrobial biofilm. The common drug treatment is metronidazole; however, with a recurrence rate of over 50% and reports of metronidazole-resistant BV strains, more effective treatments are needed. Garlic (Allium sativum) is known to be antimicrobial, as it hinders the growth of many bacterial species. The study of non-reduced natural plants, such as fresh garlic cloves, is important in examining the efficacy of treatment options that utilize easily accessible raw herbals.

My lab research project looked at the effect of garlic on the growth of two species: Gardnerella vaginalis, a bacterium highly associated with BV, and Lactobacillus crispatus, a common strain in the healthy vagina. I found that garlic is >10X more effective at inhibiting growth of G. vaginalis than L. crispatus, leading me to conclude that garlic could be a potential treatment for BV. It is possible that at a certain concentration garlic could inhibit growth of the bad bacteria and enable the good bacteria to flourish. The implication is that it is a very affordable and accessible treatment for both people who have limited medical access (be it for reasons of class, race, sexuality, or other) and those who prefer to use natural plants and herbs rather than biomedical drugs. This would be a treatment option for anyone with access to fresh garlic, and especially the minority women who are disproportionately affected.



Amanda Wysk
English and Law & Society major

Project Title: Children, Shakespeare, and Cultural Capital
Project Description: Coming soon