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Adrienne Banks

Adrienne Banks

Adrienne, a 2014 MPH Community Health Sciences graduate with a Global Health Concentration, received the Douglas Passaro Global Horizons Scholarship and traveled to Panajechel, Guatemala during summer 2013 to complete her practicum. She worked for the Naturopathic Medicine for Global Health (NMGH), which is a medical clinic and public health education organization that views health from a holistic viewpoint. Adrienne worked in the clinic and researched indigenous plants in the area that could be used as medicine in the clinic.

What about the Global Health Concentration at UIC made its greatest impact on you and how did it prepare you for a global practicum? 

The Global health courses with Dr. Janet Lin were amazing! They definitely helped me to become an informed global public health practitioner.

What was the most valuable thing you learned through your global professional experience?

Stay open-minded about this field of work. Learning about global health is just as valuable for your public health work abroad as it is for your public health work domestically. Always be thinking globally and it will help you be more successful in the public health field.

How did this experience prepare you for work in public health?

It gave me a broader understanding of the public health field. We live in a country with a mix of many different cultures. Having completed the global health concentration helped prepare me to work with many different types of target populations.

How did your perspectives or worldview change as a result of this experience?

It made me realize just how important understanding global health issues is to doing productive domestic public health work in the United States.

In what way did this experience enhance or change your career goals?

It enhanced my ability to work with different populations in a sensitive, humble, and conscientious way.

What advice would you give to current global health students?

Push for exactly what you want to get out of this experience. If you don’t know what that is take some time to get clear vision of what that looks like for you. You have limited time and you’re paying a lot of money; make your experience benefit you as much as possible. If want to learn about doesn’t exist within the program, ask professors and staff to help you figure out a way to learn about whatever it is that interests you. I was the first public health student to intern at an alternative/holistic health organization. I had to speak up regularly to help make that a reality for me, and I’m really glad that I did.

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