Where are they now?
Lorenzo Rodriguez '19
Fulbright Scholar, Bulgaria
Lorenzo currently lives in Bulgaria and is conducting a study of Bulgaria's healthcare system, sponsored through a research grant from the Fulbright Commission. His research uses ethnographic methods to assess the perceptions of health care quality and access in Bulgaria, as well as the local structures, resources, and history. Lorenzo is especially interested in understanding how marginalized groups in Bulgaria, specifically the Roma community, navigate the healthcare system and structures in large cities, and in rural municipalities. His findings will inform local community leaders and those who seek to become advocates for what he believes to be a basic humanitarian right: access to affordable and reliable healthcare.
As a Fulbright grantee and anthropologist, Lorenzo's primary objective is to promote cultural and educational exchange between Fulbright and Bulgaria, while being conscious of the historical context that makes Bulgaria's political and social landscape so unique. Lorenzo believes that his minor in sociomedical sciences has given him "the knowledge and experience necessary to best carry out his role as a Fulbright researcher, and to remain civically engaged both at home and abroad." From the case studies to the in-class critical thinking scenarios, the sociomedical sciences minor has given Lorenzo "a holistic" lens through which to view the world. After Fulbright, Lorenzo plans to attend grad school and pursue PhD in medical anthropology, and further his career in the medical landscape, both in the United States and globally.
Abigail (Abbie) Guisbond '19
Government Affairs and Policy Associate, Albany
Abbie is working as a Government Affairs and Policy Associate at Capital Health Consulting LLC, in Albany, NY. Capital Health Consulting is a woman-owned and operated business, serving health care clients with the expertise cultivated by careers in government, health and policy.
Abbie's job is to participate in face-to-face lobbying efforts and relationship building in the New York State legislature as well as the New York State Department of Health, monitor activity of the regulatory, legislative and executive arms of New York State government, and research and analyze various public policy initiatives as well as legislative and regulatory issues in the social services and health care arena. In the upcoming months at CHC, Abbie will act a central point of contact for clients with legislative and regulatory business in front of the state.
Her day to day job includes managing the firm's social media, writing news reports for the company, tracking and managing the bill files on the legislative retrieval system software, and communicating with clients for different projects. Currently, she is working on projects for clients such as the New York Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NYAASC) and AHRC New York City. In the past few months, she has already been exposed to meetings at the State Capitol Building, and State wide conferences for the firm's clients.
After Capital Health, she plans on going to grad school and pursuing a Master's in Public Health, focusing either on Health Policy or Health Administration. However, she is still completely open to the idea of pursuing a career in Research in the Social Sciences and Health field. She will also continue to pursue a side-career in teaching Ballet and dance to young people, and may also become a certified yoga or pilate's instructor.
Abbie says, "The Sociomedical Sciences Program and the Anthropology Department has given me the experience to be "thrown into" full-time work post-graduation (5 days) in the field of Government Affairs and Health Policy. I am confident that my time at Geneseo has prepared me for future interactions with important members of the State Legislature, so I can continue to advocate for the health issues I am passionate about!"
Kaitlyn Morgan '16
Peace Corps Volunteer, Rwanda
Kaitlyn is serving as a Maternal and Child Health Volunteer with Peace Corps Rwanda. Rwanda health PCV's focus on its First 1000 Days Initiative, a program that works toward combating malnutrition from conception to two years (the first 1000 days of life). Her job is to teach mothers good nutrition, hygiene, and malaria prevention strategies, as well as write grants for a series of projects to prevent stunting, or shortness for age. Currently, she is working on training my health center staff to build community gardens that yield crops all year round and bring access to fresh produce to the communities at the highest risk of malnutrition. She is also writing a grant for a water pipeline that will bring water to a district that has not had water since the infrastructure was destroyed during the Genocide in 1994. Her day to day job includes vaccinating babies, growth monitoring, and teaching small lessons during prenatal care visits. She has a young moms group for moms under 25 that meets twice a month to save for insurance costs and discuss ways to keep their families healthy.
After Peace Corps, she plans on going to grad school and pursuing a career in midwifery. She'd eventually like to work in teen pregnancy advocacy, teaching family planning and providing healthcare to teen mothers in areas where teen pregnancy rates are high and stigmas prevent moms from receiving adequate care.
Kaitlyn says, "Having a strong background in both anthropology and biology has helped me tremendously here. I'm very grateful to the departments for teaching me to think critically, be creative, and work through countless case studies that are actually a reality in Rwanda. Peace Corps is a great way to apply all I learned at Geneseo!"
Samantha Gage '18
Medical Student, Syracuse
Samantha is a second year medical student at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. She is particularly interested in Hematology and Oncology, and hope to pursue a fellowship in that field following a residency in internal medicine. Samantha writes, "I feel that the Sociomedical Sciences minor gave me the best perspective on Medicine that paired with my major at Geneseo, which was Biology. It confirmed that I was interested in the art of medicine (and not just the science) and gave me an early exposure and appreciation for many different challenges that the medical field faces today. Additionally, some of my favorite classes that I took at Geneseo were a part of my minor and I'm so glad I was able to have those experiences."
Makayla Ross '18
Peace Corps Volunteer, Tanzania
Makayla is currently serving as a secondary science education teacher in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. She teaches biology and chemistry and has started a Culture Club at her school, which has given students the opportunity to explore different kinds of art projects as well as write letters to American students via a World Wise Schools pen-pal program. She is also in the process of writing two grants. The first is to start a beekeeping program at the school in order to teach the students about harvesting honey and generating an income by caring for bees. The second is to provide reproductive health education and re-usable menstrual pads for students through the NGO, HURU. In addition to these projects, she is the training coordinator for Peace Corps Tanzania's Health Committee, making sure that the health trainings offered match with community interest. Recently, she helped facilitate an HIV Bootcamp training for volunteers and their counterparts who were interested in starting HIV- related projects in their villages.
After Peace Corps, she plans to pursue an MPH in health education and health promotion and hopes one day to assist in designing and evaluating public health programs.
Makayla writes, "The Sociomedical Sciences minor gave me the perfect opportunity to combine my interests in biology and anthropology. The classes were by far my favorite ones at Geneseo and they definitely prepared me well both for serving in the Peace Corps and for entering into the field of public health."
Mehdi Elmouchtari '17
Medical Student, Roanoke, Virginia
Mehdi is currently attending medical school at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, VA. While at VTC, Mehdi, along with his 41 other classmates, will immerse himself in the 4 domains of his medical curriculum: Basic Science, Clinical Skills, Research, and Interprofessionalism. Through a partnership with the Jefferson College School of Health Sciences, Mehdi works with nursing and PA students to learn the roles and scopes of his healthcare team members, and to reach out to the community and give workshops on health and nutrition. He is also performing research with elderly populations in the Roanoke Valley to develop new screening techniques for early dementia. Through the Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE), Mehdi works with patients alongside a faculty preceptor, to prepare him for his rotations at the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in his latter two years. Mehdi also volunteers at the Bradley Free Clinic, as well as the International Clinic, to provide free healthcare to underserved populations within the city of Roanoke.
After earning his MD, Mehdi plans to pursue a residency in Psychiatry. After his residency, Mehdi hopes to pursue a career in academic medicine, so that he may perform research and teach medical students and residents while also working as a clinician.
Mehdi says, "...I'm certain that my background in anthropology will prepare me well for my ultimate role as a physician. Every interaction with a patient presents a meeting of two (often vastly different) cultures. That initial contact, and that opening conversation, set the tone for the patient-provider relationship. I feel that the time I spent studying anthropology at Geneseo has left me particularly prepared to meet that challenge."