Hi! My name is Jia Yao and I am a Public Health and International Studies major at Johns Hopkins ☺ My motivation to partake in this Uganda trip has been driven heavily by my past experiences. As a recruit and then officer-cadet in the Singapore Armed Forces, I spent a lot of my time outfield. In the Army, water is the single most important item in our field pack. On a personal hiking trip through the Brunei jungle, the many water-purification tablets we brought along were a constant reminder of the importance of water, so much so that even dirty stagnant puddles would have to suffice if no other source were to be found. The irony in the tropics is that despite the massive downpours we experienced on our trek, none of that rainwater added to our water supply. I really hope to dig deeper into the issue of water and sanitation in Uganda and hopefully tackle the causes of such a Public Health crisis. In addition, I love exploring new cultures and meeting new people; my travels have brought me across four continents. Alas, Africa has eluded me on my travels thus far and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to finally see Uganda up close, after reading about it so frequently in the past!
Hello everyone! My name is Brandon Cherry and I am a current senior. For the last 16 years of my life football has been a major aspect of my life. However, this past season marked my last time ever touching the field at a competitive level. I plan to stay involved with the sport, hopefully with the opportunity to coach a youth team. I also enjoy playing football and lacrosse. The little exposure that I have with Uganda actually is related to lacrosse. A good friend of mine went over there to help bring attention to the sport while also doing community service. His consistent and committed relation with the community eventually led to becoming the general manager for the national lacrosse team of the country. So that is how I was initially informed of the country! My motivation for going on this trip is to simply immerse myself into a new culture within a different country. Studying abroad has always been a goal of mine as a college student but due to my athletic obligations I was never able to do it. I think that it is important to realize that the ways that things are done in this country are very different compared to the rest of the world. I am excited to see my reactions in certain situations and also how I interact with the group. Since freshman year I haven’t really been forced to interact with a new crowd so I am definitely excited to meet new people not only from Uganda but other Hopkins students as well!
Hi! My name is Daniel Minicucci. I am a Senior Economics Major at Johns Hopkins University pursuing a career in finance. Despite my career interests having almost nothing to do with public health, I found the Uganda program to be the most attractive study abroad option. I have always been curious about the culture of Africa, especially as it relates to childhood development and maternal health. Growing up in the North-East United States, I'm excited to see just how different my upbringing was from the children growing up in Uganda. The saying, you don't know what you don't know, has been used to describe this trip and I am so curious to see what it is I don't know. Outside the classroom at Johns Hopkins I commit a lot of time to volleyball. I am a student manager of the women's varsity team and vice president of the men's club team. Hopefully my background in economics, along with the team and leadership skills I have developed through athletics will allow me to contribute to our group's goals from a unique perspective.
My name is Kang Minhi and I am a Molecular and Cellular Biology junior from Wisconsin. When I'm not in class or work, I enjoy spending my time volunteering at the rehabilitation clinic at Mercy Hospital or playing strategy games (like Coup and Resistance) with my friends. At Hopkins, I am involved in the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, the Homewood Chamber Seminar, and Musicare (music is almost my second life). However, after Hopkins, I hope to continue my education in medical school. I've had the pleasure traveling to many places through my high school orchestra and with family. The experiences to places like the Czech Republic and Korea always left me in awe from the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of their cultures. I am nervous embarking on this journey to Uganda as it will be my first time to Africa and I am known for being a mosquito magnet, but I cannot wait to meet the students there and my host family! I'm also looking forward to the cuisine, the music, dances, nature, and the humbling opportunity to be immersed and educated about their way of life.
My name is Isabella, and I’m a second-semester senior Public Health major from New Jersey! I came to Hopkins interested in pursuing Economics, and switched paths after becoming interested in risk policy and practice as it relates to public health crises. I’ve spent time working on the payer side in the healthcare industry, and will be continuing my career after graduation in consulting. I love spending time with my family and friends, and running (in that order). I’m deeply grateful for this opportunity to participate in a homestay with a family in Rakai, and for the chance to become familiar with the community structure as it applies to health education in the district. Rapidly evolving technology has allowed for a deeper geographical interconnectivity, and the implications this has for cultivating health education initiatives are massive. I’m passionate about maternal and reproductive health, and am excited to experience culture in Eastern Uganda!
Hi! My name is Lara. I'm a public health and international studies student interested in going into the field of international aid, public health education and outreach. I'm specifically interested in disease control and reproductive health. I love helping others and I'm a big proponent of equal access to health care. I love being pushed out of my comfort zone, traveling to new places, experiencing new cultures and working with other people. I'm also on the Hopkins cross country and track and field teams so I love running! Uganda was a country that I really hadn't ever considered traveling to prior to a few months ago. I had very little knowledge about the country and and no connection with the public health issues there. But through learning about public health at Hopkins, specifically problems in child and maternal health in underdeveloped countries, I gained a strong interest in helping the people that were subject to these issues. So upon hearing about an opportunity to travel to Uganda and work in this particular public health field, I was immediately drawn. I'm very excited to work with Ugandan students and study child and maternal health care in both the urban and rural societies of Uganda. I'm hoping to learn a lot, see new things and meet lots of people!
Hi! My name is Wendy. I am a junior majoring in neuroscience and public health. I was born in China and raised in the multicultural city of Vancouver, so I have always cherished the differences between people of varies cultures and ethnicities. I decided to study abroad in Uganda because I would experience a new culture and allow me to set foot on Africa, the most frequently mentioned continent in my public health classes. I would love to meet the people in Uganda, learn their lifestyles and know them more than what is taught in lectures.
Hi! My name is Sarah. I was first drawn to the Uganda program when I heard about the homestay. My family was lucky enough to do a lot of traveling when I was in grade school so Uganda will be my 34th country to visit, but my first time staying there for an extended period. On vacation, the McKeowns always try to see historic sites and fancy museums so staying in a village in rural Uganda will be a totally different kind of trip. In this case, I think I'll have a much better understanding of the local culture itself and therefore a better understanding of the country.I'm especially jazzed about the opportunity to develop some close ties with my host family and see what's important to Ugandans in general and how values may vary by family. Another aspect of the program that motivated me to apply was the academic opportunity. The course itself looks incredibly interesting and may give me a chance to actually see some of the concepts I've learned about in previous classes.I'd love to work in public health legislation someday and this trip gives me another chance to learn about public health in the most extreme situations and consider policies that may vastly improve it.
Hi! My name is Siswo. I am a senior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, with particular interests in food science and pharmaceuticals. Coming from a technical background, I understand drug formulation and development, but have much to learn about healthcare access and the role of nutrition in rural communities of Uganda. Originally born in Indonesia and having spent 13 years in Singapore, I have done a fair amount of travelling but Uganda is the first of hopefully many more visits to Africa! My goals for the program include: Forming deep, cross-cultural friendships with students from Makerere University and my homestay family. I hope to dispel the myth that Africa has little to offer other than safari tours and often exaggerated risks to visitors.
Hi! My name is Chelsea and I'm a Junior public health and economics major at Johns Hopkins University from the San Francisco Bay Area. I wanted to take the trip to Uganda to visit not only the country but also Africa for the first time! I am interested in exploring more about my theme topic, childhood illness and working with students from Makerere University.
Our team is comprised of various individuals.