First Person

Reflections on Living and Working in Rwanda

by Kelly Everhart MS, MIV, Geisel School of Medicine 

Rwandan Ministry of Health

We landed in Kigali around 10 pm, 30 hours after leaving Boston Logan. The first thing I noticed about Rwanda’s capital city were the lights — on approach to the airport, instead of the haphazard array of neon and LED lights I associate with US or European cities, we flew over thousands of yellow sodium and low-wattage fluorescent street lights. Few, very few, lights fell outside of the linear arrangement lining (some of) Kigali’s streets — I later learned that the homes which do have access to electricity conserve it tightly, since electricity is an expensive commodity here.

The second thing I noticed blew in through the aircraft’s open doors once we were parked on the tarmac — smoke, the smell of a whole city’s cooking fires. But, coupled with the many military and policemen carrying semi-automatics patrolling the airport and the history of the 1994 Genocide I had finished on the plane, the smoke elicited apprehensive thoughts in my mind, so incongruent with the friendly hospitality I now associate with the same smell.

Little Devices Lab Creates Tech to Improve Global Healthcare

by Kaira Lujan '16, Little Devices Lab, MIT

Winter term 2015 I was working at Little Devices Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The lab is a part of the International Design Center, a collaboration between the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and MIT. The main focus of the lab is to create accessible healthcare tech to improve global healthcare. One of the ways the lab does this is by solving problems using innovative ways to hack existing resources. Some examples of what they have done in the past include creating a solar autoclave (the solarclave) for sterilization in locations off the grid, and designing a foot pump nebulizer for medicine administration (in areas without consistent utility connections).

Global Health Case Competition Engaged Contrasting Viewpoints

Six Dartmouth students were selected to compete at the International Emory Global Health Case Competition in Atlanta, GA, in 2015. These are their reflections on the competition and on their experience working with diverse opinions to come up with solutions to difficult problems.

by Cecelia Shao '16

Since each of us was chosen individually, before our first team meeting, we didn’t know who we were going to be competing alongside. It turned out to be an incredibly diverse team of six including two undergrads (Anna and myself), a MD/PhD candidate (Christiaan R.) two Geisel students (Vanessa S. and Tolu K.), as well as a Tuck student (Andrei C.). Luckily, our program directors and advisors (Jessica, Jonathan, and Suzie) came up with the idea to try out a practice case–one that allowed us to get feedback from a diverse panel of faculty and staff from campus (and even a former competition team member) to help us learn about areas where we could improve and areas of expertise.

Students Intern at the CDC During the Ebola Response

by Ian Speers ’17, Allessandra LeDoux ’17, and Kristina Mani ’16

March 16, 2015

During our ten-week internship, we were welcomed into the dynamic and fast-paced environment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the agency’s largest emergency response in history: the fight against Ebola in West Africa. While the number of Ebola cases has been declining globally, the amount of effort directed to controlling the disease has been astounding to watch.

For the Ebola response, DGMQ consolidated a group of experts and frontline responders to form the Global Migration Task Force (GMTF). This task force is responsible for all travel-related aspects of the Ebola response. Enhanced entry screening not only identifies travelers who may be sick with Ebola or may have had an exposure to Ebola when they arrive in the United States, but also ensures that these travelers are directed to appropriate care and monitoring, if needed, and equips travelers to help them monitor themselves for symptoms and report to their health department for active monitoring.

Student Global Health Blogs Around the World

Undergraduate, graduate and medical students supported by the Dickey Center's Global Health Initiative have been working around the world in medical and health settings. Their blogs from Rwanda, India, Peru, Kosovo and elsewhere tell the story of their experiences in the field.

 

Lombard Public Service Fellowship Blogs

Read the blogs created by alumni who have worked around the world from Switzerland to Kenya as Richard Lombard Public Service Fellowship recipients. 

The Richard Lombard Public Service Fellowship was established 25 years ago by family and friends in memory of Richard Lombard, a 1953 Dartmouth alumni and former Trustee of Dartmouth College. The fellowship is aimed at providing grants to “encourage and enable Dartmouth alumni to use their education to make a significant positive impact on society.”

For more information about the Lombard Fellowship, visit the Dickey website

 

 

Blogging from Antarctica with Middle School Students in Vermont

In January 2015, Ruth Heindel, an earth sciences PhD student, and Jessica Trout-Haney, a PhD student in ecology and evolutionary biology, went to Antarctica to conduct research. They created a blog that they used to answer questions from middle school students back in Windsor, Vermont. Here are some of the students' questions about deserts, ice sheets, helicopters and more.  

by Ruth Heindel, Earth Sciences PhD Student

[January 30, 2015] By the time this is posted, I'll be somewhere over the Southern Ocean, heading toward Christchurch, New Zealand. We’ve had an incredible month here in Antarctica, and it’s been wonderful to share our experiences with you all. Here’s one final blog answering more questions from the students in Windsor, VT. Many thanks to the students who asked such great questions – you have made us think about our experiences from new perspectives. We can’t wait to meet you sometime this spring!

How are Antarctica’s Dry Valleys desert similar and different to warm climate deserts here in the US?

Improving Water Access in South Africa

by Georgi Klissurki '14, ThinkImpact, South Africa

My summer in South Africa working with ThinkImpact helping villagers find ways to improve water access has had and will continue to have an extremely strong impact on my life. Academically, I realized how well my two majors, engineering and economics, combine in real life, and particularly in entrepreneurship. In addition, I found great value in design thinking, an approach to innovation that integrates numerous disciplines and emphasizes empathy through utilizing the so-called human-centered design method.

I have serious post-graduation plans to work as an entrepreneur aiming to create positive social impact. Immediately after Dartmouth, I will continue gathering professional experience working in anti-trust economic consulting in New York City. After two or three years, I plan on attending graduate or professional school, if I feel that I can grow significantly there.

Following those years, I intend to return to my home country, Bulgaria, to start a career at the intersection of entrepreneurship and government.

Student Learns About Poverty Working on Microfinance in the Dominican Republic

by Elliot Sandborn ‘14, International Internship, Dominican Republic

I lived in the barrios of East Santo Domingo and worked at a Banco ADEMI, the largest private, for-profit microfinance bank in the Dominican Republic, and one of the largest and most successful microfinance banks in Latin America. I lived with a local Dominican friend, Sam, whom I had met in the summer of 2009 as a high school volunteer in rural community in San Juan, DR.

At ADEMI, I worked alongside loan officers, visiting clients and following up on loans. I did research on ADEMI's history, their model of microfinance, and tried to tap into what was it that made them so successful. Drawing on my experiences in the field with the loan officers, executive interviews and a 1997 World Bank case study on ADEMI, I compiled a 13,000-word report for the president of the bank that reflected on what I - and my informants - considered to be key aspects of the ADEMI model, including the continuity of leadership and vision the bank has experienced and the strong commitment to a "business-like approach" to service.

Kayaking Siberia's Lake Baikal to Evaluate the Effect of Climate Change

by Anna Gleizer ‘14, Stefansson Research Fellowship, Lake Baikal, Russia

During summer 2012, I became the youngest woman to kayak the circumference of Siberia’s Lake Baikal. The journey through Russia and into eastern Siberia took two weeks and the circumnavigation itself lasted 45 days, during which I collected hydrology data for an independent research project aimed at evaluating the effect of global climate change and localized anthropomorphic pollution on the quality of Baikal water.

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