James Lykens

Research Pathway, Class of 2016


Undergraduate institution(s)?

University of California, Santa Cruz


Tell us about yourself and what you are currently doing.

I am a researcher interested in LGBT health, particularly transgender-spectrum health. Currently, I am the Study Director for Dr. Colleen Hoff's NIH-R01 "Together Study" at the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality (CREGS), which is a study interested in reducing HIV risk among gay male couples. Prior to this, I worked as a Program Coordinator at a nonprofit called YTH (Youth + Tech + Health), which was focused on utilizing technology to enhance youth health and wellness. While at YTH, I lead many programs focused on transgender youth, gay male health, and PrEP use. 


How has your M.A. in Sexuality Studies helped get you to be where you are today?

My degree in Sexuality Studies has given me ample opportunity to connect with countless others doing great research work. I've also been able to specialize in a sexuality field that has limited opportunities for specific sexuality degrees, and this experience has set me up for career opportunities I hadn't previously considered. 


What advice would you give to someone interested in your profession?

Sexuality studies and its career opportunities are not one dimensional; I would highly suggest anyone interested in succeeding in this career to take multiple electives outside their major, particularly in statistics and psychology.