July 18, 2019 - Four students and a faculty member from the School of Nursing & Health Studies attended the recent Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network’s (JUHAN) Student Leadership Conference, which was hosted by the University of Scranton. 

Dr. Myriam Vuckovic, associate professor of international health, attended along with students Julian Marable (NHS’20), Tara Mathias-Prabhu (NHS’20), and Dahye Yoon (NHS’20), all senior global health majors, and Heerak Kim (G’20), a master’s-level student in the Clinical Nurse Leader Program.

“All four students gave oral presentations, and I moderated one of the panels,” says Vuckovic, whose session focused on “global action.” “My main role was of course to accompany the students and also to represent Georgetown. JUHAN is truly a nice environment, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the speakers, participants, and hospitality of the University of Scranton team.”

Professor Myriam Vuckovic poses with three of the students during the Jesuit conference.

Dr. Myriam Vuckovic poses with three of the Georgetown student participants at the conference.

Student Presentations

The Georgetown group – which was supported by the university’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service – joined about 80 individuals representing the College of the Holy Cross, Fairfield University, St. Louis University, and Xavier University.

And the conference, according to organizers, focused on humanitarian challenges around the world, approaches to action in this domain, and networking among attendees.

The Georgetown students each had the opportunity to present during various sessions:

  • Kim: “Providing Juvenile Diabetes Prevention in Poor Urban Communities as a Health & Humanitarian Service in the Jesuit Tradition,” 
  • Marable: “Open Hearts, Open Borders: An Analysis of Health Services for Refugees in Jordan, Bangladesh & Uganda,” 
  • Mathias-Prabhu: “Adolescent Incarceration: A Catalyst for Mental Health Degradation & a Product of Social Ambivalence,” and 
  • Yoon: “Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases in Urban Areas: A Review of Challenges, Strategies & Research Directions for Successful Mass Drug Administration.” 

‘Create Positive Change’

“JUHAN was a wonderful opportunity to connect with humanitarian leaders in the Jesuit community and to learn more about service and career programs available to us,” says Mathias-Prabhu. “We were able to learn from and share with our peers through facilitated panels and discussions covering some of the world’s most pressing issues. Though we talked about seemingly intractable global humanitarian crises for most of the conference, I left with a sense of hope and the continued impetus to create positive change.”

She adds that being able to present a paper as an undergraduate was an energizing experience. 

“I felt incredibly lucky to share my research and thoughts on a topic that I’m passionate about, in a supportive, yet professional environment,” she says.