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SPH students report on their unforgettable summer field experiences

Through assignments with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations, the students are serving communities in 11 different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. With eyes wide open to new cultures, terrains and climates, they are testing theories and applying practices learned in the classroom. In the process, they’re discovering unforgettable lessons—maxims likely to guide their public health practice for years to come.

Through blogs, photos and e-mails, many of the SPH students are regularly reporting their activities and observations—and managing to step back to distill fundamental insights from their experiences. Through their reports, we are invited to travel along as they experience first hand the challenges and opportunities of public health in communities around the world.


Sumaiya Mamdani may have left her native Kenya as a young girl, but her homeland never left her heart. Focusing in recent years on maternal and child health studies, Mamdani has become passionate about helping Kenyan women and children suffering with AIDS.


Traveling into remote communities with community health workers and clinicians from the Christian Fellowship Hospital in Oddanchatram, Tamil Nadu, South India, Heather Oleson is conducting one-on-one interviews with women who visit the outreach clinics to assess their knowledge and attitudes toward HIV.


Matilda Essandoh-Bondzie is gaining new perspective on public health in her work with the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Nutrition for Health and Development in Geneva, Switzerland.

South America

For epidemiology doctoral student Alicen Spaulding, an assignment in Argentina is reinforcing her determination to “use my previous work and volunteer experiences to the benefit of the people of Latin America.”

Read more about Alicen Spaulding and other student experiences in Advances Magazine.

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