I first became interested in Sarvodaya after my global health trip to Nepal was cancelled last May. The organization was helping with relief efforts after the earthquake and I tried to stay updated on what Sarvodaya was doing to help out and any fundraising events they were holding here on campus. One event in particular that I attended was a dinner to raise money for relief efforts. I got the chance to listen to various speakers talking about different projects Sarvodaya was currently involved with. One particular project I had never heard about had to do with the issue of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin in Sri Lanka. It was a health problem I had never learned about and I was instantly interested because of its difference from regular kidney disease for which we already have known causes.
After fall semester, I decided that doing some kind of global health internship would be a different but beneficial way of fulfilling my field course requirement for the global health certificate (what the Nepal trip would have counted for). I got in contact with Sarvodaya and was passed along to Maia Fitzstevens, who is currently coordinating the chronic kidney disease prevention project. After reading up on CKDu (chronic kidney disease of unknown origin) in Sri Lanka and speaking with Maia, I became even more motivated to help with the project. It is a growing issue that seems to have remained hidden from public knowledge. So I decided I really wanted to help and have begun to assist Maia from Madison while she is abroad in Sri Lanka implementing the project. I am helping with CKDu research as well as updates through social media and blogging to keep people up to date on the progress of the project going on in Sri Lanka.
Aside from my new work with Sarvodaya, I am a psychology major and work as a research assistant in a social cognitive development lab here at UW-Madison. We study how infants and children develop social categories and preferences. I love this area of psychology and didn’t really become interested in it until joining the lab but am so glad I did! My hope for the future is that I will at some point go to graduate school for clinical psychology and work as a clinical neuropsychologist in a hospital setting. This would allow me to interact with people on a regular basis while also getting to enjoy the research and science side of psychology as well. In addition to this, I could also see myself obtaining a Master’s in Public Health. Because of getting my global health certificate, I have realized I have a very strong interest in public health and could see myself working for an NGO one day as well. I have so many interests it will be hard to decide so who knows what my future holds!
I am also a part of a club called Psi Chi, an academic psychology club. We do some volunteer work as well as getting the chance to hear from many professors on campus and the research they are currently involved in. My favorite volunteer work that I am a part of is at an assisted living home and health center where I work with residents who have dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. I am a part of the Music and Memory Program where we sit down with a resident and listen to playlists they have previously helped to create. Outside of school, my hobbies/interests include reading, exercising, and traveling.