Batten Civic and Global Leadership Program Retreat – GHF Welcomes the Class of 2021!

Morning Welcome and Team Builder with the 2021s by Anaiya Roberts (2021)

On Thursday, it was the first day of our Fellows Retreat. For the first day, all of the new entrees from the class of 2021, had their own day of initiation. The first activity of the day was supported by a prompt on saving the world from a zombie apocalypse. The entire group of 2021’s was divided into 2 teams of about 8 people of mixed Fellows groups, and we were given a box full of a variety of supplies. We were challenged with building something that would take the “anti zombie pill” and a roll of toilet paper across the “Pit of Misery” (the pool). We were on a clock of about 30 minutes to build the craft and get it across the Pit of Misery without touching it. Once we made it across the Pit of Misery, we then had to wrap a team member in the toilet paper and give them the anti zombie pill. During this activity, we as a group, and myself personally, learned that to be an efficient member of any team or group, you have to work together. That is the only way, and really, the easiest way that things will get done. What worked for our group was coming up with a plan, splitting up into groups, and carrying out the plan. Another key part, is the level of communication within a group. If only one person is talking, your group may be missing out on an idea that may be more efficient and quicker to carry out. Overall, the activity was a success among all of the 21’s, and I can say that it was a fun and exciting way to teach us these lessons.

 

GHF 21s Maddie and Anaiya help their group plan for the attack of the zombies in their team builder with Coach McMahon.

 

Intro to Global Health Terminology by Erin Clayton (2021):  

As we transitioned into the academic portion of our day, the 21s and Mrs. Hall, Mrs.Goodson, and Ms.Nasimiyu gathered in the Catapult Press/Old Fellows room in Batten Library. We began our global health education by watching Hans Rosling’s 200 countries, 200 years, in 4 minutes. We were able to track with the infographic how life expectancy and income were related across countries and their status in the world. Next, we watched an informative video by the Kaiser Family Foundation featuring Kellie Moss. In the video, we learned about some terms including prevalence, incidence, morbidity, mortality, the burden of disease, and DALY, or disease adjusted life expectancy. These terms are important as we discuss global health in Case Studies and in general conversations. Afterwards, we ate a delicious lunch of TASTE and discussed tips for Saturday’s case study on Obesity in Mexico. 

Reflections on our Trip to Operation Blessing International by Ella Davis (2021)

As we piled into two cars prepared for our first field trip, our groups worked on individual “elevator pitches” during the 40 minute drive. While heading down just above North Carolina, there were many long discussions about the elevator pitches and how to describe what the Global Health Fellowship is. After a fun-filled journey, we arrived at the Operation Blessing Mosquito Lab where we were greeted by Holly Beistline. She showed us into a conference room and introduced many issues related to global health. In Kenya, there are problems involving childbirth for women in villages with no technology and the nearest health clinic a 4 hours walk away.

We were welcomed to OBI’s Mosquito Lab by Holly Beistline, Program Manager in International Health.

Holly told us about her experience with a woman named Naomi who had preeclampsia during labor. Her limbs were swollen, however the Community Health Worker (CHW) who was trained by Operation Blessing was able to refer her to go to a health clinic (instead of eating goat fat) where she was able to successfully give birth to twins. Without the assistance of the CHW and Operation Blessing, the death of Naomi and her twins was very likely, and it showed us the developing countries’ daily struggles to survive without resources we take for granted here in the U.S.

GHF 21s were given a tour of the Mosquito Lab by OBI’s President Bill Horan and insect expert Tim!

After that impacting presentation, we were introduced to the dangers of mosquitoes who carry Zika. We were taught that mosquitoes carrying Zika are able to penetrate a pregnant woman’s placenta, giving the disease the ability to deform the child. There was a huge breakout in Brazil, and Operation Blessing has spent the past years coming up with ways to reduce the amounts of mosquitoes in places such as Brazil and Haiti. We learned that they raise turtles to eat the mosquito larvae while they are growing in the water. It was really interesting being able to see the tiny little larva under a microscope. We then concluded our trip with a few closing statements, and it was all in all a fantastic way to start our journey with the Global Health Fellows.

BCGLP Winter Retreat – Day 2

2018 Global Health Fellows’ Retreat: Friday Morning Blog Post by Andrew Thetford

Dr. Malkin introduces himself sharing how he ended up in global health and the birth of GPSA!

Our first Global Health Retreat of 2018 began at 8:15 sharp, when the ‘18, ‘19, ‘20, and brand new ‘21 cohorts met on the upper floor of our new Massey Leadership Center with Mrs Goodson, Mrs. Hall, Ms. Nasimiyu, and our mentor and friend Dr. Bob Malkin, a professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University.  We met Dr. Malkin in the summer of 2016 during our retreat to Duke and UNC, and Dr. Malkin has since proven to be very helpful in designing and helping to shape our intervention in Belize.  

Previous to this retreat, the three older cohorts had split up into groups of different interests in an effort to cover all the different fields of aid that our projects in Belize could tackle.  Groups included community enrichment, female empowerment, health and well-being, hygiene and sanitation, and technology.  Each group had already presented to all of the older fellows, but the new ‘21s and Dr Malkin had yet to hear from any of the groups.  For the older fellows, these presentations served to hone their public speaking and presenting skills and to receive feedback and constructive criticism from a public health expert; for the ‘21s, the presentations served to show them what the GHFs have been up to over the past few months and to introduce them to what the program is all about; and for Dr. Malkin, the presentations also served to enlighten him on the goings-on of the program.  After each presentation, there was a brief Q&A session for each group, with Dr. Malkin providing very thoughtful insight with positive feedback and things to consider for each presentation/theoretical intervention.

Dr. Malkin had to be back at Duke by around 2 in the afternoon, so our time with him was brief but filled with lots of learning and important takeaways.  After this rather intensive educational session, we played an icebreaker that involved gathering in a circle and passing around a beach ball that had questions written all over it.  Questions ranged from “What’s your favorite toothpaste flavor?” to “What’s your favorite karaoke song?” and really helped to diffuse any discomfort that might have been present, especially in the ‘21s.  To cap off the GHF morning, we split into groups: the ‘20s led the ‘21s in a discussion of the book Better by Atul Gawande- a classic introductory read for new GHFs, and the ‘18s and ‘19s discussed Dr. Malkin’s feedback and plans for the future until lunchtime.

Better Discussion Groups by Leila Jamali (2021)

Our Class of 2020 leads a book discussion on Better by Atul Gawande with our newest Fellows!

After reviewing the presentations with Dr. Malkin, the sophomores and freshmen separated from the juniors and seniors. In the lobby of the Massey Leadership Center, we discussed the book Better by Atul Gawande, a surgeon who narrated about his experiences in the field. The sophomores and freshmen split up, each group with 2 freshmen and 2 sophomores, who had split up by section of the book. The sophomores asked us debatable questions about their specific sections and quotes, and our general thoughts on certain topics relating to the events in the book. When I was in Courtney and Ells’s group, we talked about the different ways doctors performed surgery during a war setting and how they were able to accomplish it as cleanly as possible. This topic really interested me, especially reading about the amazing things doctors are able to do in the field. The freshmen rotated through 2 of the 3 groups. We only did this for about 10-20 minutes before we had to go to lunch and continue the rest of our first retreat as Global Health Fellows.

 

Batten Civic and Global Leadership Program Focuses on Sea Level Rise by Ingrid Benkovitz (2019)

All members of the Batten Civic and Global Leadership Program gather to discuss sea level rise.

After enjoying lunch with one another, we ventured back to the Massey Leadership Center for the afternoon activities relating to sea level rise. It began with Mr. Nelson’s remarks and introduction to a short documentary, On the Chesapeake, about the effects that climate change and sea level rise has had on coastal areas off the Chesapeake Bay. The film had not only beautiful pictures and videos of our bay, but was also filled with shocking and often upsetting facts and statistics of what the future of our society could look like without change.

We then broke up into small discussion groups of about 10 students from all different grades and Fellows groups. We discussed a variety of articles that we had read, each outlining a different implication of sea level rise. We came back together and each group shared their major takeaways in front of all of the Fellows, directors, and a panel of adults with experience working to change the state of our environment and bay. My group, for example, explained the difference between a proactive and a reactive culture, as well as lifestyle changes we saw necessary. Others mentioned the extensive consequences of sea level rise or the difficulty of successfully implementing projects in places where many people do not believe in the cause. Each student was more enlightening than the last and the points brought up were thought-provoking, leaving me questioning and ready to learn more.

The panel that was present consisted of men and women from a wide range of occupations, from government workers to engineers, and they were eager to answer questions and help us understand what we can do to make change and inspire others to make change. Mr. Wetmore concluded the day with some closing remarks as we look forward to more work tomorrow!