Global Health Major Excels in Leadership, Research, and the Boxing Ring

APRIL 12, 2018 - Hana Burkly (NHS’19, G’20) is majoring in global health at the School of Nursing & Health Studies. She has enjoyed the major and will earn her master’s degree in global health at Georgetown upon finishing her bachelor’s degree. Burkly enjoys academic research and editing, non-profit leadership, and competing (a title winner, in fact) in the boxing ring.

Question: Where are you from?

Burkly: I was born in California, but spent most of my life overseas in Peru, Brazil, and Moldova. I went to high school in Northern Virginia and spent a year working in Thailand before starting college.

Question: How are you enjoying the global health major and Georgetown? What aspects energize you?

Burkly: I am very happy with the major. My favorite classes so far have been epidemiology, political economics of health and development, and research methods. I am energized by my peers, who constantly challenge and motivate me. I also highly appreciate the small class sizes and availability of the professors to meet outside of class and share their experiences working in global health.

Another aspect about the global health major that I appreciate is the abundance of internship and research opportunities. The professors work with us as mentors to help pair us with organizations that are making an impact in public health both in the United States and abroad. This is an excellent opportunity to become familiar with organizations where we may work after graduation.

I also recently got accepted into an accelerated master’s degree program in which I will stay at Georgetown for an extra year and earn my MS in global health during that time. I am looking forward to the opportunities that will be opened up for me by having a master’s degree as well as a bachelor’s. Next semester, I will be working on my thesis and interning in DC, and during the second semester of my fifth year, I will be doing a research project abroad.

Question: Tell us about your academic and extracurricular activites.

Burkly: For my community internship, I work as a research assistant at the Women’s Interagency HIV Study. I also assist in the editing process for the Georgetown Medical Review, a journal published by medical students. This work is highly rewarding as it lets me see what the process is like on the publication side of academia. It makes me appreciate the work that goes into peer review.

I am the executive managing director of Learning Enterprises, an entirely student-run 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that partners university students with schools in underserved settings around the world to foster English-learning and cultural exchange. Learning Enterprises has a presence in over 20 universities in the United States and Europe, and sends volunteers to 12 countries in four continents. It averages 150 volunteers per year, plus approximately 30 staff members who promote the program on their campuses.

Heading this organization has shaped my view of education as a keystone in reducing inequities and bringing people out of poverty. In order to learn more about the educational system within the United States, I applied for and got accepted to Teach for America’s Accelerate fellowship, where I will be working this summer.

I also compete for Georgetown’s club boxing team, and won the 2018 USIBA national title in the novice 125-pound female division.

Question: What might you like to do in the future?

Burkly: I want to work in epidemiology after I graduate. I am especially interested returning to the Greater Mekong Subregion, where I worked for a year doing malaria research. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll become a professional boxer.