Name: Ethan Balgley
Class year: 2012
What are they up to now: I'm currently finishing up my first year in the social sciences track of the MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School.
Why they joined GlobeMed: I joined GlobeMed because of its emphasis on the pragmatic and its spirit of critical reflection; I stayed for the relationships I made.
Any advice for current GlobeMed members: Figure out why you're involved with GlobeMed--discern and articulate those values that brought you to it. Don't get hung up on the sexiness of "global" health. Injustice and poor health are everywhere, and the US is just as much part of a global outlook as anywhere else. There are struggles here that could desperately use your passion and commitment.
Name: Adriana Meza
Class year: 2012
What are they up to now: I'm pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at NYU Wagner with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. I'm also currently interning in the development department of a non-profit called goods for good. They are improving the care for orphaned and vulnerable children in Malawi, South Africa by investing in micro-enterprise projects that help promote economic development. The success of these small business leads to the allocation of funds to help provide educational opportunities for children in Malawi as well as empower the surrounding communities. I've really enjoyed working with them.
Why they joined GlobeMed: We often think of healthcare as just the delivery of care, meaning physician visits or hospitalization, but it's so much more than that. I joined GlobeMed to learn about the healthcare field from a different perspective, a more pragmatic view. As I learned through GlobeMed, public health plays a significant role in improving health outcomes and I wasn't aware to what extent it could change overall health. After GlobeMed I wanted to learn more.
How did GlobeMed influence their time at Amherst, and after Amherst: When thinking about my time at Amherst, GlobeMed was one of the most rewarding experiences I had in college. The pursuit for my current masters program was influenced by my participation in GlobeMed and everyone's passion about the provision of equitable healthcare. Now I'm studying the policy, economics, and organizational structure of the healthcare sector.
Any advice for current GlobeMed members: First, enjoy your time at Amherst, it will fly by. As professor Upton said in my first year seminar, Eros and Insight, "Your time here will be gone in a blink of an eye." Second, remember the people around you. They will be doing great things in the world.
Name: Josef Ntim
Class year: 2012
What are they up to now: I'm currently pursuing a Master's in Forensic Science, as part of a post-baccalaureate program whose goal is medical school matriculation.
Why they joined GlobeMed: My reasons for joining GlobeMed are multi-faceted. It started with the fact that the initiative was a concept, structure, and executing collective that is founded with students, like myself. With the rallying force behind Amherst's Chapter founding being close friends of my own class, I easily felt the first GlobalHealthU Coordinator position call out to me. I joined the group because its goals were modest, practical, and ultimately with an awesome cause.
How did GlobeMed influence their time at Amherst, and after Amherst: As an exec board member, it made my time at Amherst one highlighted by a leadership role. The unity in our goals, successful accomplishments of our tasks (World Aids Day 2010, World Day of Social Justice 2011, 1st Pastoral trip) and the feeling of fellowship throughout, inspired pursuing of the Quantum Theory of Consciousness in med school.
Any advice for current GlobeMed members: The best advice I can give current members is to enjoy their college experience, with GlobeMed as a part of it. Don't put up mental barriers to getting to know people inside and out of the group, and ultimately - do not let the affluent, bourgeois, and divisive environment of the Amherst community bring you down.
Name: Brian A. Smith
Class year: 2012
What are they up to now: I'm working at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, right outside of D.C. I work in a neuroanatomy lab, and we are "mapping" the mouse brain, or trying to figure out what specific types of neurons do in the brain. I'm also part of the NIH Academy, which is a fellowship for Post-Baccalaureate researchers such as myself to learn about health disparities and to participate in community outreach. My outreach project is in Capitol Heights, MD, located just outside of Southeast D.C. and is a food desert. My project works with a community food distribution group and I've helped to get the group established as a nonprofit and helped connect them to other community outreach groups. Lastly, I'm a Director for the Washington D.C. GlobeMed Alumni Hub! I just hung out with Peter Luckow, one of the co-founders of GlobeMed, last week, and we both spoke at a GlobeMed event at Georgetown. So I'm still heavily involved in GlobeMed!
Why they joined GlobeMed: I have a very simple requirement in life, and that is whatever I do with my life I need to help others in the process. In college, I struggled to find ways to really do this while also juggling school work etc., but GlobeMed presented a way for me to get more involved and also allowed me an opportunity to learn about something I was interested in--global health.
How did GlobeMed influence their time at Amherst, and after Amherst: At Amherst, I found GlobeMed opened up more social connections for me, and also allowed me to really learn outside of the classroom in a relaxed atmosphere that was more conducive to my learning style. It made my time at Amherst less cemented in the classroom and allowed me to shift some of my focus to learning outside the classroom. After Amherst, it's affected my life even more! I was selected as a Fellow for the NIH Academy, which was based heavily on my background knowledge of health disparities which I mostly learned about through GlobeMed. When I learned there was an alumni group in D.C., I joined right away and have helped out with many alumni events and was recently named as a Director to the Alumni Hub.
Any advice for current GlobeMed members: Don't believe that you need to have letters behind your name in order to do great things. You've most likely learned that the most sustainable change comes from working with a COMMUNITY, and a community trusts your actions over your name any day of the week. You can do that through GlobeMed. Don't stress yourself so much that you become inefficient and become incapable of being useful. Look at your education at Amherst and through GlobeMed as an opportunity for growth and your personal tailoring in becoming a really productive, helpful world citizen.
Name: Ellen Swiontkowski
Class year: 2012
What are they up to now: Starting med school at Loyola (in Chicago) in the fall
Why they joined GlobeMed: I joined GlobeMed because the idea of doing something globally important as a college student in an on-campus group was something unexpected...and awesome
How did GlobeMed influence their time at Amherst, and after Amherst: What I found through time in the group is that my perspective shifted. I was better educated about what was going on in the world and better equipped to help. GlobeMed focuses outward rather than inward, which is an important lesson that has stuck with me and will continue to shape me in my years to come
Any advice for current GlobeMed members: Go on the GROW trip...I wish I had done that!
Name: Maddie Giegold
Class year: 2013
What are they up to now: finishing a volunteer position with Seva Mandir, a local nonprofit in India where I've been working on projects on child health and sexual and reproductive health and rights
Why they joined GlobeMed: I joined Globemed to be part of a community of people who wanted to learn about public health and share their own experiences with what "public health actually means
How did GlobeMed influence their time at Amherst, and after Amherst: Globemed became the passionate community I was looking for. I met people I otherwise would never have had the pleasure of meeting, and the experiences and ideas thoe people shared shaped my idea of public health.
Any advice for current GlobeMed members: ask questions when you don't understand something in a discussion! Push back at accepted ideas - that always leads to the most interesting discussions. Learn as much about Pastoral you can. Meet the members of Skype and go on the GROW trip if you can. It will make your participation in Globemed more meaningful.
Name: Sophia Meyerson
Class year: 2013
What are they up to now: I'm working in New York City in the South Bronx as a caseworker at a child welfare agency called the Children's Aid Society. Technically my role is called a sociotherapist. I work with kids and teenagers in therapeutic foster care, which is a higher level of care for kids with emotional and behavioral concerns who often move from foster home to foster home. I visit each kid/teen in the foster home once a week to work with them and their foster parents on behavior, how the placement in the foster home is going, and lots of other concerns. The job is challenging but I've really enjoyed working with the kids/teens.
Name: Jaya Tripathi
Class year: 2014
What are they up to now: I'm doing City Year New York, which is an Americorps school based program. I work in an elementary school in the South Bronx.
Why they joined GlobeMed: I joined GlobeMed because of its partner-based model of global health work - the idea of working with a community based organization in partnership to support their mission and ours appealed to me far more than most of the other, more dated, non-profit models.
How did GlobeMed influence their time at Amherst, and after Amherst: GlobeMed taught me many of the important things I learned at Amherst - public speaking, fundraising, working on a team, and working hard to lead an organization in a way that both upheld its ideals and forwarded its mission. More than that, however, it connected me with Pastoral, an organization that inspired me to join the global health movement and continue striving towards health equality for all in a way that is not individualistic but team and partnership based.
Any advice for current GlobeMed members: Volunteer for stuff. If it does not interfere with your schoolwork, say yes to everything that you possibly can - I learned more by agreeing to stuff that I dreaded than I ever thought I would, and those skills and lessons have defined where I am today.