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Virginia Leach

Profile picture for Virginia Leach

Contact Information

702 S Wright St.
3059 Lincoln Hall
Urbana, IL 61801
PhD Student & Graduate Teaching Assistant
Research Manager at the Tigerlily Foundation


Virginia Leach is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include intersectionality, disparities in breast cancer, and medical sociology. Her work serves to highlight the injustices in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship of Black women. She is a member of four academic societies and organizations that strive for academic excellence and community partnership. Virginia mentors students across high school, undergraduate, and graduate studies for continued academic and professional success.

She is also the Manager of Research & Writing for the Tigerlily Foundation (TLF). In conjunction with team members of the Diversity & Inclusion team, Clinical Trials program, and Metastatic Young, Living in Focus, Empowered (MyLife) Magazine, Virginia specializes in writing academically informed papers for the public. She is responsible for producing written content for the Tigerlily Foundation rooted in scientific literature and patient-centered narrative. Virginia is a powerful force at TLF and uses her strategic planning mindset to accomplish projects. She develops opportunities for patient experts to share their breast cancer experiences with those inside and outside the organization. In addition, Virginia is responsible for developing and implementing several educational content-based projects, ensuring that the deliverables exceed quality and timeline expectations. Ms. Leach has six years of experience in education, managing project portfolios from proposal and budget development through completion.

Research Interests

Qualitative Methods, Anti-racism strategies, Medical Sociology, Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Breast Cancer, Sociology of Reproduction



Research Description

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2020, B.A., Sociology, Drew University, Madison, NJ, USA

2023, M.A., Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

Courses Taught

Fall 2023                     Teacher’s Assistant for Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100) at UIUC

Spring 2023                TA for Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100) at UIUC

Fall 2022                     TA for Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100) at UIUC

Spring 2022                 TA for Social Problems (SOC 163) at UIUC

Fall 2021                      TA for Technology and Society (SOC 350) at UIUC

Summer 2021              TA for Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100) at UIUC

Spring 2021                 TA for Senior Capstone and Honors Seminar (SOC 450) at UIUC

Fall 2020                      TA for Sociology Introduction to Poverty (SOC 161) at UIUC

Fall 2019                      TA for Introduction to Sociology at Drew University

Fall 2019                      TA for Sociology of Race & Ethnicity at Drew University


Additional Campus Affiliations

Aspire Fellow (Graduate College)

Community of Scholars Fellow (Graduate College)

Highlighted Publications

Honors Thesis in Sociology - Exclusion of the Included: Racialized Microaggressions at Predominately White Universities