February 2015 GHP Student Spotlight

For our inaugural Student of the Month award winner, we have chosen Talia Delamare!

taliaGHSOTM

Talia is a fourth year transfer student, majoring in Biological Anthropology and minoring in Global Health.

She is one of the leaders of the Gun Violence Intervention Group, which is a student organization on campus geared towards having open discussions about the cultural roots of gun violence and how best to tackle this epidemic outside of the divisive channel of politics surrounding guns and the control of them. Talia and the Gun Violence Intervention Group have made waves recently, as their initiative  to develop an anti-gun violence educational program and present it to every middle school in San Diego has been accepted to the Clinton Global Initiative-University (CGI-U). Run by Bill and Chelsea Clinton, CGI-U brings student innovators, topic experts, and world leaders together to develop solutions for pressing world problems.

Why did you choose to pursue Global Health as a field of study?

I chose Global Health as a minor because of its multidisciplinary approach to addressing some of the world’s most persistent issues- health and inequality. With this minor, students of all academic backgrounds can tailor their majors to coincide with the public health sector. The Global Health minor has allowed me to use my Anthropological background as a foundation to approach issues of health inequality.

What Global Health related activities/projects do you have going on right now?

In addition to my work with the Gun Violence Intervention Group and the upcoming CGI-U conference in March, I am also assisting a consultant in the public health sector, providing adequate supplies to health care facilities. For the past two years we have been working in conjunction with US Aid in Benin, Senegal, and Mali supporting organization and process improvements for various Health Care initiatives. In Uganda, and in Congo we help develop new strategies for the distribution of medication and other important resources. Within our time spent there we have been working closely with local communities in order to improve the way medication is not only distributed and stored but also resourced to various  health care facilities.

Do you have a favorite professor in the department?

Of the many amazing professors in the department I would have to choose Prof. Gere as my favorite. I took her history of public health class (HILD 30) and learned about everything from eighteenth century colonialism to modern diseases of affluence. Her lectures always captured my attention and her encouragement in discussing our opinions with each other created an environment that fostered curiosity.

 What are your future plans/goals? Academically/Professionally?

I plan on combining my Anthropological and Global Health background to become a passionate advocate for the reformation of health strategy and policy to reduce global health inequity. My academic goals include a masters program in either conservation medicine or anthrozoology, which I hope to use in conjunction with my anthropological and global health background in addressing the future of our expansion on this planet. I hope to work with local communities in reducing the impact that humans have on their environments, and the species living in them. Analyzing the zoonotic transfer of disease can help us live in harmony with the species in our environment, and can reduce the public health threats that are created with human encroachment on wild habitat. Using this multi-pronged approach, I plan on creating a world that values biodiversity, health, and culture.

 What advice do you have for young Global Health students or students considering Global Health?

I would advise any current or prospective Global Health students to explore as many opportunities as the program has to offer. More specifically, it is important to get to know your professors and ask them about the research they have done. There may be areas within the field of global health that you weren’t aware of, and these may help tie in areas of your academic and personal interests that you thought were irreconcilable. The work and research you do outside of school are the ones you will never forget. Take advantage of the field work opportunities and use your professors as allies in your professional endeavors.

 What is the most interesting book/article/blog you’ve read lately?

One of the most interesting books I’ve read lately was “Crazy Like Us:The Globalization of the American Psyche” [by Ethan Watters]. This book addressed the issues that westernization can have on disease diagnosis and illness experience. Using individual case studies, this book reveals the factors that lead to failed health initiatives, and stresses the need for a more culturally relative approach to global health strategy.

 

Tell us one: favorite movie, favorite song, or favorite part of campus.

Favorite part of campus: Home Plate – good food, good beer, and good place to blow off steam or discuss/debate with fellow classmates.