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Stories

Jana Lee '16

Name: Jana Lee

Year: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Public Health Science major, Chinese and

Communication minors

What has inspired you to study public health?

From the beginning, I really liked that public health is an interdisciplinary field. This major allowed me to dip into different areas of study that are ultimately related to health science. An additional bonus is that there are many career options in the public health field and the flexibility is ideal for someone who does not already know what they want to do in the future.

Can you share a little about your experience with the Global Social Benefit Fellowship and what you did during the fellowship?

The Global Social Benefit Fellowship is a program through the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship that allows students to conduct action research in a developing country, all in the spirit of social entrepreneurship. My project was specifically working with Sankara Eye Foundation, a hospital dedicated to providing cataract surgeries to rural villagers throughout India. My partner and I completed two social impact assessments on Sankara's cataract surgery program and evaluated the social impact of the Vision Care Technician program.

What lessons did you gain from your experience?

While this experience is incredibly eye­opening, my biggest take­away is learning to cope with the challenges of doing research in a developing country. As compared to the U.S., India has a completely different setting for doing research, and thus, there are significantly different cultural practices that I had to adopt while abroad. This experience became a challenge for me to perceive, understand, and empathize with the community I was surrounded in.

How do you hope to apply these lessons in the future and what are some of your goals after SCU?

I really liked my experience in India, and after graduation, I hope I can do something similar to the project I did this past summer. This lesson could definitely be applied in the future ­ just as India demanded patience, teamwork, and cultural understanding, these are characteristics that everyone will need for the future. That being said, the next steps will be exciting!

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