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Undergraduate Leverages Research Opportunities as Global Health Major, Fellow

January 24, 2019Emily Graul (NHS’20) is a student at the School of Nursing & Health Studies and a former Global Health Initiative (GHI) Fellow. She has conducted research with global health professors Myriam Vuckovic and Alayne Adams; Rebecca Katz, director of Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Science and Security; NHS professor Michael Stoto and bioethics professor Kimberly Leighton.

Major: Global Health 

Concentration: Pre-med studies

Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska

Research Focus: As a GHI Fellow, Graul has examined qualitative interviews on community health worker (CHW) programs in Bangladesh from a larger UNICEF-funded study on maternal and child health programs. Under Adams and Vuckovic, she has been working on a manuscript on the best practices and insights in the formal implementation of CHWs into health care systems. She is now working with Leighton, an assistant teaching professor of bioethics to look at how different medical definitions can introduce stigma for identities or treatment options.

“I am considering the work of French philosopher Michael Foucault, examining and ultimately challenging the characterization of the transgender identity by the medical community, and the implications of the variance of this definition within medical communities in other countries, ” Graul explains.

What She Likes Best About Georgetown:

“The ability to explore what I am interested and passionate in, which doesn’t necessarily follow directly what I am studying in my major. The opportunities in my global health major, campus involvement and lectures and events have strengthened and broadened my understanding of how various geopolitical, legislative, socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors simultaneously intersect to affect health and well-being.”

Global Health Highlights: Attended the Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference held in Washington, DC. Research intern under Katz covering congressional seminars and DC conferences. Planned a Global Health Security Seminar Series and researched the historical implications and global governance of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Under Stoto, worked with GHI Fellows Grant Rosensteel (C’19) and Siona Sharma (SFS’20) to coordinate a university-wide influenza simulation. The research conducted by students on the 1918 influenza response and the response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic ultimately informed the campus simulation.

Campus and Community Activities: EMT for the Georgetown University Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) and leader for the NHS first-year pre-orientation program, CURA. Working through the NGO Child Family Health International, created a new healthcare immersion trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, for Georgetown’s Alternative Breaks Program run by the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service.

Career Goals:

“Conducting research for a summer at the Center for Global Health Science and Security, learning about community health worker programs as Global Health Initiative Fellow, physician shadowing, campus activities and medical scribing have all informed my decision to apply to medical school,” says Graul. “I am also considering applying to a master’s in public health program in the future. Ultimately, I am interested in a career in medicine involving both clinical practice and research, perhaps within primary care or infectious disease.”