In June, UC Berkeley launched a new blog, Berkeley in the World, which features first-person accounts from Berkeley students about their experiences in the field across the globe. Through regular posts and photos, students tell the stories of what they're seeing, doing, and learning—and of how UC Berkeley is contributing to the nation and the world.
Three of the students currently contributing to the blog are School of Public Health students:
Elisabeth Powelson, a student in the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, shares updates on her work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, helping to lay the groundwork for a prison-based syringe exchange and condom-distribution project. She writes: “What's interesting is that the community here has been implementing methadone clinics and syringe-exchange programs, as well as services in prison—very quickly rolling out major harm-reduction interventions. Stigma around HIV seems much greater than in the U.S., however.”
Leah Rorvig, another Joint Medical Program student, writes about interviewing transgender women in San Francisco about their experiences with the health care system. “Most of us would agree that no matter your gender, you are entitled to basic human rights to live with dignity and free of discrimination on the job, at school, and at the doctor's office,” she says in her first blog entry. “My belief in this right led me to my current project.”
Jennifer Wang, an M.P.H. student in global health and environment, writes about her research on the effects of climate change on people's health in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. “The first time I visited Mathare, I was moved nearly to tears, perhaps not unlike other first-timers,” she writes. “But then I quickly realized that what I was seeing was as much an indignity as a tragedy, and that action was much more powerful than tears when it comes to making improvements.”
By Linda Anderberg