Journals of Me Rambling

Just a wee bit left!

posted Dec 8, 2011, 6:36 AM by Unknown user

Somehow my journals got messed up and I thought I had posted on about my recent activities. However, I met with April a week ago and she asked if I would be willing to make Thank You cards for the Center for Global Health, along with an updated informative brochure. I agreed to make a few different formats and run them by her to see which one she believes will work better. Then this Tuesday I met with a group of mainly third-year engineering students who are collaborating on a fundraiser to raise money towards the implementation of slow sand filtration in Limpopo.  This summer they are taking a trip to Limpopo where they will educate the locals about the filtration and build facilities where they can conduct water filtration.  With the group I will be learning about web presentation, writing grants, and the big & small details that go into putting on a big fundraiser.  There has not been a decision as to what we will actually do, but there has been lots of brainstorming. 

I am worried I will not have enough to present before local presentations but I will definitely have enough before final presentations in May.  Over Winter break we will be communicating via e-mail but I am nervous because I gave graduate student who is leading the group (Sid) my e-mail but have ceased to receive the e-mail I watched him send at what I thought was the correct e-mail so maybe there was a period left out somewhere? If I do not receive an e-mail soon I will ask April for his number, and hopefully be put on the e-mail list.  

Today I plan on going to Alderman to drop off my books (that are over-due) and to get new books out that focus on the political aspect of helping third world countries, and more specifically water sanitation.  I really need to finish doing my research since I changed my topic a bit I have slacking getting the research I need.  I also need to  communicate with some contacts for an interview, I think I am going to interview my mentor, and hopefully Dr. Dillingham. 


posted Nov 28, 2011, 11:53 AM by Unknown user

This week was thanksgiving so it was not very useful, I have trouble meeting with my mentor because of conflicting schedules. This week I will and I also plan on going to Alderman and will finish my paper. Not much more to tell unfortunately.

Community Service :(

posted Nov 21, 2011, 9:19 PM by Unknown user

So I am very stressed because I do not know where to begin with my community service,  I want  do a 5k but I am very nervous because I do not know how much time ts will take.  I think this could be really great, and I want it to be but I am very nervous that I will not have enough time to make it really good!  I understand past students have not been able to pull it off so I am thinking about seeking the guidance of someone who has planned them before. 

My paper feedback for the most part was positive I need to do an abstract, my interviews and FINISH my paper, since I only have 6 pages.  I would like to determine WHY it is important for 1st world countries to help 3rd world countries develop.  How it can benefit us regardless of the humane role we would be playing.  Tomorrow I meet with April Ballard and we are discussing way to beef up the Center for Global Health website and work on the prezi presentation that has already been developed but hopefully I will be able to add to.   I really hope I am not pitifully lost, before I go meet her I need to have alist of possible ideas and where they can be found. I heard about Wix today and I would love to conduct that kind of site through the CGH at UVA.

Community Service & Cram Work

posted Nov 7, 2011, 12:29 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 10, 2012, 2:22 PM ]

First off I will not lie, this past week and this upcoming week are very stressful due to the fact that our rough draft is coming up and my topic is so broad, it is difficult to determine where to start. I understand my outline is supposed to help me but I feel like I keep jumping around both on research and in my writing. I have no definite timeline/process that I am going through. So, in conclusion I am just very nervous as to what my rough draft will look like. I need to make appointments for interviews soon but I would actually like to have my rough draft done prior to that so I can be aware of what direction I would like to take my interviews. 

On the topic of my internship I just came into contact with April again today and we will probably meet on Thursday and I pushed for Tuesday but am unsure of whether that will work out. Before I meet up with her I should review the website and see if anything specifically should be changed.  I would also like to locate the surveys that I do not believe I returned to her which I am sure she would appreciate back.  I also need to make sure my time log is completely filled out so she can just sign it.  Which means I need to go back to all my e-mails and get dates for the events.  

The website, after Mr. Morrison so kindly showed everyone my lack of creativity, did catch my attention of needing work.  So, kudos Mr. Morrison it looked like your tactic worked.  I should probably change the logo on the corner, hopefully find a more suitable background? I honestly think with international health I could go in many different directions with my website so I am once again not sure which direction to take-maybe infectious disease or water-borne pathogens?  

My community service has been puzzling me for some time now and I think I have finally decided on holding a fundraiser for either The Water Project or the UNICEF water program.  I need to look into both of the programs more intently soon and decide which I would like to do.  I was planning on holding a 5k and I am very nervous about the amount of time and energy that will take but hopefully if I can incorporate enough companies and receive enough guidance from people who know what they are doing then I believe I can defiantly pull this off with a good profit.  I would like to contact Ragged Mountain running shop and perhaps do research on some people in the Cahrlottesville community that have held successful runs before.  I thought about doing a walk as well and taking the "Walk for Water" approach, which would in theory give people the perspective and provide empathy for all the people who have to walk 10 miles everyday just to receive water.  This week I should do some research on contacts and perhaps getting in contact with a few people to start brainstorming.  The run/walk would definatley have to take place in the spring but allllll the organizing should be done this fall/winter.

Stagnant as a disease infested marsh...

posted Oct 31, 2011, 11:58 AM by Unknown user

So as you probably know I have not been able to do anything this week. I would love to think of a new community service because my boat is not rolling.  I would love to join an organization that is promoting clean water in Virginia or direct community since people in Virginia are still living without running water.  International health organizations emphasis  clean water and when we have the facilities and knowledge to prevent it here in America there is no excuse except chosen ignorance.   So this week I will finalize my community service.

I have not been in great contact with my mentor but I will catch back up with her this week and I intend on making sure all my hours are logged. I will also begin on my rough draft for my research paper. I will also attend to my resume. Good plans Kirsten...

The History of Malaria & The Global Health Symposium

posted Oct 24, 2011, 9:26 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 24, 2011, 9:30 PM ]

I missed a journal entry last week, so as an update for this week I have not done much with my internship but I intend to start planning my community service at a more rapid pace.  The PREVIOUS week was very eventful though, on Tuesday I attended a lecture conducted by Johns Hopkins University Professor Randall M. Packard.  It was The History of Malaria, for the UVA medical students held in the Special Collections in the Claude Moore Health Sciences library. He began with the onset and problems of Malaria then led into the American funding we had initiated and then discussed the effects of not immediately finding a cure.   Funding for Malaria dropped dramatically after the U.S. government did not see immediate results and individual businesses retracted their funding because they would not make a profit from a disease consuming poverty stricken areas. I ironically checked out his book from Alderman this past week because I thought it may have some beneficial studies for my research paper and was surprised to see the book was written by him.  

On Friday I also left school early to attend the Global Health Symposium held in the Special Collections of the Harrison Building.  Since the event began at noon, when I arrived I helped April set out all the food and drinks we were providing.  Then as the time approached for the speakers to present I asked April where I should sit and she suggested next to Dr. Guerrant but when I went up to the front row, directly in front of the podium to put my belongings he already had someone sitting beside him.  So, I placed my things directly beside that person. Now when everyone took their seats and Dr. Guerrant began his opening speech I was embarrassed to see that my high school intern self was sitting directly next to Dr. Rebecca Dillingham (Associate Director for the Center for Global Health), and Dr. Maria C. Friare (the President of the Lasker Foundation).  I could feel my face going red as I sat front row and tried to comprehend everything that was discussed.  However, by the end of the symposium and after many awkward moments from the ever so smooth Kirsten, I was comfortable enough with my surrounding to ask Dr. Friare about what I, as a highschoool student pursuing Global Health should do besides take rigorous courses, for example, my community service coming up is difficult for me because I could go in so many different directions with it.  She told me that it didnt matter what I pursued in global health because there were so many opportunities to help people in need. There is no distinct up and coming focus but whatever I chose I should be willing to throw a lot of my time and energy into it, therefore, I should love whatever I am doing.  She said I would never suceed if I ws not in love with what I was doing. 

At first I was dissapionted with the round about answer that I felt left me exactly where I started but I realized she did not want to lead me in a certain direction, naturally she is inclined to many of the programs the Lasker Foundation is supporting but that does not mean I will have the same interest in love for these particular issues.  So recently I have been pondering what I would like to do and what I really love doing and what career and majors I am going to want to put an entire careers worth of work into.  However, I have time to ponder.  While at the symposium I also requested an interview time with Dr. Dillingham and she said she would be willing to sit down and discuss water filtration and pathogens.  One of the medical students, Molly, also said she would be willing to spend some time talking to me about her trip to South Africa this fall to build a facility where the natives could produce their own water filtration system which would be very beneficial to discuss as well. 

As for this upcoming week my mentor is extremely busy and will not be able to meet with me so I am going to focus on my community service and working on the outline for my research paper. I will probably try an think of some creative things I could do for my website too. 

Dillingham Lab Shot
Dr. Dillingham
Maria Freire

October 3rd Panel Discussion

posted Oct 3, 2011, 12:38 PM by Unknown user

Today I left school at 11:00 to meet April (she demanded I call her April today after many "Ms. Ballard" 's) at the Claude Moore Nursing Education Building for a panel discussion put together by Pranay Sinha.  I originally heard about Pranay from his blog (from his summer project in India) April directed me to even before we had met. ( When I first read his blog I had to force myself to keep reading because I found it very upsetting, but it is very influential and I suggest you take a look at it.  Today Pranay gave an brief introduction to the topics he would like to focus on including the priorities of people in poverty stricken areas,  Then he confronted Dr. Guerrant, Leigh Grossman, James Forest Calland, Christopher C. Moore and other influential figures in the University of Virginia Health System.  Questions included how western doctors were supposed to influence traditional medicine makers, and how to encourage those being helped that doctors were not trying to profit off of the services they provided.  The panel discussion was very interesting to hear about the various doctors perspectives and individual experiences.  I was impressed by how much they had all promoted student initiative. 

This week I had just been typing up the surveys April had asked me to compile into one document. However, she was in Guatemala all week so I did not get to meet with her besides today.  Next week we hope to meet twice and this week I will be doing research for my research paper. I will also try an get in contact with people for my community service. 

TB research

posted Sep 26, 2011, 11:37 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 10, 2012, 2:48 PM ]

This week when I went to my internship with Ms. Ballard I met an woman from Tanzania, Sheliah George (my spelling may have completely butchered her name).  She was visiting the University of Virginia for a week to assist and collaborate on TB research.  She was very interesting to talk to because she enlightened me to a lot of cultural similarities I was not aware of and some that surprised me.  For instance, all her classes have been taught in English since secondary school. She also said the facility she did all of her work at in Tanzania was laid out very similiarly to UVA's facility, however, unlike UVA the security was almost non-existent.  She said everyone in the facility knew each other and that was simply all they had.  She was very cheery and I was glad to be able to spend time talking with her.  For the next week I will be doing "homework" for Ms. Ballard.  She will be in Guatemala so I cannot meet with her but I will be compiling surveys in a comparable format for when she returns. 

No Progress!

posted Sep 19, 2011, 11:01 AM by Unknown user

This week was completely stagnant except I did my Letter of Intent.  My letter included: what kind of interests I had as a student and a person, my mentor, how I will follow the honor code, my community service and my research question.  My research question was a bit broad but I hope to make it a wee bit more specific as I continue to do more research.  Tuesday I am meeting with my intern mentor and I am trying to Thursday as well.  Friday I plan on going to Alderman to research for my paper.

Senior Kickoff & First Meeting.

posted Sep 6, 2011, 5:56 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 17, 2011, 11:43 AM ]

    Yesterday we had our senior kickoff with some of the other schools and as soon as we got back I left for my internship with Ms. Ballard.  I met her at her office in UVA's corner building.  The office was far different from MR6's new facilities (where the other Global Health offices are) but it was how I kind of expected a Global Health Center to look.  It was a small facility on the ground level of the building with not much space for all the storage they needed but lots of character!  The main area has a few chairs and lots of brochures advertising many career paths or short interest projects: For example, the random brochure I picked up was a continuing education in the peace core informational sheet.  Then there is a short hall with two doors, one to the left and the other to the right, opening up into individual offices.  As you continue down the hall, there is a large wooden table with heavy wooden chairs surrounding it where Ms. Ballard said they held many student meetings.  The books were my favorite part- there were built in bookshelves on the far wall behind the table holding all types of books focusing on health related problems faced in poverty stricken areas.  I'm pretty sure every health related book I have ever heard discussed on NPR was in that one room. Then across from the table and bookshelves was a small kitchenet and further to the back lie more offices that were not currently being used. 

    After becoming aware of the office space Ms. Ballard and I discussed the first project I would be working on would be to improve the current Global Health Center website under UVAs international medicine site.  The website is in need of data and graphic updates.  This week Ms. Ballard has asked me to look at and research aspects of other websites that I like and wish to implement into UVA's.  She showed me the software they used and I was pleased to see the basic concepts reminded me of Google sites.  I was worried about the intensity I would need to study basic html before seeing the program they use and am now relieved how much easier this task will be since I am more familiar with the software than anticipated.  

    Around 4:30 Ms. Ballard gave me a quick look into the new nursing school building and the new building for medical students at UVA.  The facilities had extraordinarily technology  in the classrooms.  Then we walked across the street to the new medical student building and I sat in on Sheila Davis's talk.  I was impressed by how easily she could present on the HUGE screen placed behind her.  Sheila Davis is the Director of Nursing for Partners in Health, an NGO concerned with helping mainly in Haiti but with facilities all over the world.  Her talk was very interesting and I really appreciated Ms. Ballard taking me, I think it really confirmed how excited I was to be working with the Global Health Center at UVA.

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