July 27, 2011
by Geena Haney
I entered USC as a business administration major with an international relations emphasis, but I’ve spent the last few semesters taking science classes to pursue a natural science minor with a pre-health mindset. You can tell, I’m the classic college student with dreams as far apart as becoming a business woman one day, policy maker another, and a health practitioner the next. So when I discovered that USC added a brand new class on global health to the Problems Without Passports program, I jumped on it.
So here I am, staying at the University of Oxford at Lady Margaret Hall with 12 other USC students to explore the many facets associated with global health. We’ll be studying and discussing a wide range of global health issues — maternal and child development, malaria, tuberculosis, nutrition, AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and non communicable diseases. As the only non-science or pre-health related major, I find it especially interesting to examine the economics and politics behind the challenges to providing people around the world with basic health care. Dr. Nair, specialist in maternal and child health, explained to us that to improve health for all people we really have to improve the system we develop from the ground up. The only way we can begin to tackle interrelated challenges to providing care in the form of adequate housing, a stable political environment, heating, clean water, food, and medicine is to enlist the help of professionals from many fields.
The last three years of college have been a journey of academic and personal exploration for me, but the past few days at Oxford have required me to draw on all three academic fields I have studied at USC. To me, the program presents the opportunity to link my studies of business, international relations, and science in a single course that requires interdisciplinary thinking to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues. I can’t wait to meet and learn from Oxford’s top medical experts, all united in their effort and desire to help others around the world. I am grateful to be among some of the world’s most renowned scholars eager to join this front to change the world.
Geena Haney is a senior double majoring in business administration and international relations while also working on a natural science minor.