Looking Back to 2015, Ahead to 2016

In the absence of a “Month(s) in Review” post for November and December, which saw mostly research and exam preparation for the Global Health Fellows, here’s a look at the year 2015, plus some hopes and predictions for the coming year.

2015 might have been the most eventful year yet for the Global Health Fellows program. In the spring, we welcomed the Class of 2019, the fourth cohort inducted into the program. The summer months saw the 16s and 18s travel together to Haiti, where they worked to implement an array of development, health, and sanitation projects. The 17s, on the other hand, traveled north to Washington for a look at the policy-based side of global health.

Arguably the highlight of the summer, however, was our first all-Fellows retreat, which took place in August. Fellows from all four classes convened at Norfolk Academy, from whence they set out to explore healthcare and health research around Hampton Roads. A trip to Charlottesville, where GHFs were warmly received by the UVa Center for Global Health, the Frank Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy, Mr. David Dusseau of MadiDrop, and Dr. James Smith of the UVa School of Engineering and Applied Science, followed shortly thereafter.

When we returned to school, we quickly jumped into preparations for our first-ever Global Health Day, which will be structured around the recently-released Global Goals for Sustainable Development and serve to educate and inspire our classmates and teachers. In preparation for that event, each Fellow chose one of the Global Goals to research and present to his/her colleagues. Presentations dominated our schedule in the fall and just recently concluded.

The following year promises to be equally — if not even more! — eventful and exciting. Global Health Day is scheduled for April 4, and will see the Fellows working in collaboration with Norfolk Academy students of all backgrounds and interests to create the most engaging, exciting day possible.

At the 5th annual Center for Civic and Global Leadership symposium in May, four classes of Fellows will be presenting on their work and research. Sometime later this spring, the program will send its next delegation to Haiti. Plans for the trip remain tentative given recent turmoil surrounding the Haitian presidential election. The 19s, who have not yet had the opportunity to experience the global health and issues they’ve studied firsthand, remain very excited about the prospect of traveling to Haiti and forming the deep, lasting human connections about which they’ve heard so much from their peers.

And in June, the inaugural cohort of Global Health Fellows – the Class of 2016 – will graduate from Norfolk Academy! We are all looking forward to spending the upcoming semester and preparing to pass the baton to the Class of 2017. Needless to say, we are not looking forward to leaving the school and program that have nurtured and encouraged our intellectual passions, pursuits, and visions. But we know that our work in global health, development, and progress will not end with our careers at Norfolk Academy!

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