Driven by her passion for health care and social justice, LaShyra “Lash” Nolen MD/MPP 2024 will use her degrees in public policy and medicine to make a difference in the lives of others.
At Harvard Medical School, she was the first Black woman to be class president but as she wrote in TeenVogue, “What’s the point of being the first if you end up being the last?” Now at Harvard Kennedy School, she’s learning how to use policy to make an impact on the health of her future patients.
“While I was seeing patients a medical student, there were so many instances where I felt like I was too late...I needed to go further upstream—closer to the policies and structures that impact the health of my patients. Having a clear understanding of how structural oppression affects my patients’ health is essential for my vision of holistic healing.” — LaShyra Nolen MD/MPP 2024
We spoke with her about her experiences growing up, what inspired her to come to HKS and HMS, and why she stepped into a boxing ring at the MGM Music Hall in downtown Boston in October to literally fight for a good cause.