In the second year of my undergraduate career, I worked with faculty to develop a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration of “Global Health and Sustainability.” We designed this degree to illuminate how political, social, and cultural factors intertwine to shape the health of individuals, communities, and the environment. As a capstone project, I partnered with the North Carolina Division of Public Health to help develop a network of community leaders willing to disseminate critical emergency messages in their religious and civic groups. My activities included developing a high-level proposal, presenting the proposal to regional public health officials in a teleconference, researching religious and civic leaders who might serve as partners, and developing a prototype for the database that would store information on the network. The project was rewarding because it allowed me to take concepts about sustainable solutions to problems of health from the classroom to the field in a way that helped an organization carry out potentially life-saving work.
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