Senior Enjoys Research Practicum in the Republic of Congo

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 – This semester, global health major Laura Chant (NHS’18) is in the Republic of Congo, where she is completing her 12-credit research practicum abroad at the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa.

The senior is pursuing her passion for health promotion and women’s health – two areas of interest she has been able to cultivate through the major.

“I have loved my time at Georgetown so far,” she says.  “Being a global health major is a huge part of that. I feel lucky to have been able to take such a diverse array of courses on topics ranging from maternal-child health to epidemiology, taught by professors who are experts in their fields.”

Field Experience

In addition to her global work this term on reproductive health, Chant points to her major’s internship experiences as being formative ones.

“Besides fostering such a rich learning environment, the global health major has provided me with such unique experiences that have both enriched my education and helped pave the way for my career in the field,” she says. “Because of the commitment of the department to providing hands-on experience in public and global health outside of the classroom, I have been able to take advantage of several internship opportunities, which have bolstered my interest in health promotion and women’s health.”

She has worked at places ranging from Mary’s Center and Save the Children, to the World Health Organization.

‘Shared Values’

Chant says the community-oriented environment in the School of Nursing & Health Studies has been a benefit.

“The fact that the global health major is part of the [school] is just another reason to love the major, as the NHS has such a strong sense of community and shared values,” she adds. “The professors and administrators truly care about the students, and they are always challenging us to do our best. All of the students are also extremely supportive of one another.”

She notes that her classmates collaborate regularly, study in groups, and support one another in “stressful times.”

Empowerment, Health, and Justice

On the Hilltop, Chant has “. . . largely been focused on global health, social justice, and youth empowerment.” She is co-founder of DC Leadership Workshop – an organization that allows students and faculty to mentor DC-area high school students related to leadership skills.

“Working with local students and encouraging them to work to give back to their schools and communities has been such a transforming and rewarding experience,” Chant says.

Additionally, she is an executive board member for GlobeMed’s Georgetown chapter – an activity that allows her and fellow participants to collaborate with a maternal-child health clinic in a rural area of Guatemala.

Thinking Ahead

During this semester in the capital city of Brazzaville, Chant says she is reflecting on ways to build upon the unfolding global experience to inform her next steps.

“In the future, I would like to earn an MPH in health promotion or behavior change communication and later work for an NGO that seeks to mobilize communities to adopt healthier behaviors, particularly in regards to women’s health,” she says.