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Medical Volunteer at Meeting God in Missions, Haiti – Margaret Weber

For three weeks in rural Dominican Republic, I helped provide medical care to sugarcane workers and their families who due to exploitive circumstances lack access to many necessities including healthcare.

 

For three weeks, I stayed in a dormitory on the Meeting God in Missions’ compound about half a mile outside of Hato Mayor del Rey, the capital of the Hato Mayor Province in eastern Dominican Republic. Surrounding us for 100 miles in every direction was a sea of sugarcane—sugar that once cut, processed and packaged would end up on shelves in the United States. Turning off of the main government paved roads onto dirt paths that led us deeper into the fields, we came across villages known as bateyes that almost exclusively were Haitian. The men in these Haitian families would work up to twelve hours manually cutting sugarcane with machetes earning 5-10 USD a day—barely enough for one meal for a family. Lacking documentation and money, most batey residents lacked access to any form of healthcare.

While in the Dominican, I traveled to a different batey each day with a team of local translators, American and Dominican doctors, nurses and other volunteers to provide basic medical care. Using my experience as an Emergency Medical Technician, I triaged patients based on their vitals, symptoms and medical history. Working with limited time, medications, and equipment in less than ideal circumstances gave me a new level of appreciation for the complexity of global health issues. It also frustrated me. Science and technology are pushing modern medicine forward at a faster rate than ever before and yet entire villages suffer from unmanaged hypertension and diabetes—diseases that can be easily controlled. Barriers from access to medications to cultural differences prevent improved care for these patients, yet improved living and working conditions alone would rectify most of the situation.

Despite my desire to separate myself from hardships faced in the Dominican Republic, I came face to face with America’s role during my research. After significant pressure from NGOs and advocacy groups, the US Labor Department recognized in 2013 that the conditions in the bateyes violated the free trade agreement between our countries and committed $10 million dollars over the next four years to improve the worker’s lives. Four years later and the bateyes look the same. I found myself questioning what role I as an American citizen, as a consumer of Dominican sugar, and as a healthcare provider play in enabling the continued exploitation of sugarcane workers. I am still asking myself the same questions and most likely will be for a while as I continue to reflect upon my experience.

 

“While in the Dominican Republic, I was exposed to global health problems and medical care in a much more blunt and raw form than I previously have. It has reinforced my desire to go to medical school after Middlebury and hopefully in the future be able to return to the Dominican with MGM as a doctor.”

 

 

Read more at my blog: http://uniendolasmanos.middcreate.net/

This project is supported by funding from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Cross Cultural Community Service Grant.

MiddView Internship Applications Now OPEN! Apply via the SEO

MiddView is Middlebury College’s fall new student orientation program and will include a five-day on campus orientation and three-day trips program.

MiddView Intern:  The MiddView Interns are integral members of our MiddView Steering Committee and serve as critical links between student leaders, staff, faculty, new students (first-years, transfers, and exchanges), families, and the Middlebury College community. They are ambassadors of the College and the faces and voices of MiddView. Key responsibilities include developing a vision and schedule for MiddView 2018, communicating with new students and their families, managing the MiddView website, social media, and other communications, planning and assisting with events, managing complex logistics, and training and supervising other student staff. These positions offer employment from March through September 2018. MiddView Interns are expected to work 4-8 hours per week during the academic year and then transition to 37.5 hours per week during the summer (with over-time virtually assured during the week of MiddView).

MiddView Trips Intern: MiddView Trips Interns serve as critical members of the College’s MiddView planning team. They help to design and coordinate all aspects of the MiddView trips; Middlebury’s three day, two-night off-campus adventure that explores Vermont’s cultural, community or outdoor landscapes, providing small-group connections amongst first-year students to ease their transition to college. There are three positions available. Each intern will work on one kind of trip topic: Wilderness trips, Vermont Explorations trips, or Community Engagement trips. All three interns should expect a lot of collaboration between trip types.

Interested? Click on the links above to learn more and apply via the Student Employment Office.

Middlebury Women’s Leadership Symposium

The Center for Careers and Internships is delighted to serve as a co-sponsor for the upcoming Middlebury Women’s Leadership Symposium.

More information is available at https://mwlsymposium.wordpress.com/.

Schedule of Events

Thursday January 18, 2018

4:00pm – 6:00pm Conflict Mediation Workshop with President Laurie Patton (in Hillcrest)

Have you ever felt ‘stuck’ in a difficult situation? Do tough conversations give you anxiety? Negotiations don’t have to cause stress. Come hear from the President of Middlebury College, an expert in national and international conflict mediation. In the past, she has trained students at Emory University and Duke University. Don’t miss the chance to learn from her at Middlebury.

Friday January 19, 2018

12:00pm – 1:30pm Lean In Discussion (in Hillcrest)

Join female students, faculty/staff, townspeople, and alumnae in a College-wide discussion on the role of women in 2018. Modeled after a “Lean In Circle,” we will discuss whether women need to lean in to the workplace or if opting out is a better solution for today’s feminists. We invite women from all generations and backgrounds to join this conversation so that we may have a range of perspectives – networking encouraged too! Light refreshments will be provided.

5:00pm – 6:30pm Keynote by Nancy Gibbs (in Wilson Hall)

Nancy Gibbs is the most recent Editor in Chief of TIME Magazine. She was the first woman to hold the position, and has written more cover stories for TIME than any other writer. In the last year at TIME, Ms. Gibbs started a project called the FIRSTS project, which features women who have changed the world by being the first females to receive notoriety in their field. She interviewed women such as Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, Sheryl Sandberg, and Aretha Franklin – among others. She has co-written two best-selling presidential histories, and she oversaw the domestic, international and tablet editions of TIME. Gibbs graduated from Yale summa cum laude, with honors in history, and has a degree in politics and philosophy from Oxford, where she was a Marshall scholar.

Please join the community for a dialogue between Middlebury Women Leaders President, Erin Van Gessel ’17.5, and Ms. Gibbs, followed by Q&A with the audience. Ms. Gibbs will speak about her career and discuss what it takes to get ahead as a woman in the workplace.

Saturday January 20, 2018

4:00pm-5:00pm Women’s Rights Discussion with Abenaki Women (in Hillcrest)

Join Middlebury Women Leaders for a discussion of women’s rights with women from the local Nulhegan Abenaki Native American tribe. Our hope is to host a conversation that compares and contrasts Western feminism with other traditions of feminism. We will explore differences in matriarchal vs patriarchal traditions with our Abenaki guests.

8:00pm-9:30pm She Should Walk Fashion Show (in Wilson Hall)

Today, only 20% of seats in U.S. Congress are held by women. That ranks the United States as101st on the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s list of female representation in legislatures around the world. Organizations like She Should Run are trying to change that. She Should Run is a non-partisan 501(c)3 based in Washington, DC that recruits and trains women to run for political office. Since the 2016 election, more than 15,000 women have contacted She Should Run interested in entering government.

Please join Middlebury Women Leaders and the College community at our “She Should Walk” Fashion Show, where we will fund raise for She Should Run before the 2018 midterm elections. Cheer on our female students who walk the catwalk in outfits from Middlebury’s female student-run business, Share to Wear. The event will also feature appearances and statements from local female politicians, in addition to young women in the Middlebury community.

There is no charge to attend the event, but we will be accepting suggested donations and facilitating the sale of She Should Run gifts and apparel.

 

Saha Global Field Representative – Alexie Lessing

“You can never understand development work until you are actually on the ground and can understand the opportunities and limitations for sustainable projects based on local communities.”

Thanks to the CCCS Grant, I was able to work with Saha Global this summer to bring clean water to the rural village of Gbunja in northern Ghana! It was an amazing experience to train community women to use local and sustainable technology to treat their water. We used chemicals and supplies found in markets to clear and clean their water to make it safe for drinking. They now sell it to their community for an affordable price and use their profits to continue treating water for many years to come.

My goals were to build upon my experiences from Saha last year and really delve into my work and the culture. Without the culture shock I experienced last year, I felt like I was really on top of everything I did this year. I learned a great deal about how to interact in a similar setting with very different people, and lead my group in a way that was collaborative and effective. This trip I was really able to focus on the nuances of the culture around me and the different power dynamics that existed. As an anthropology minor who took an African anthropology class this past year, it was really cool to use my new analytical lenses in real life. I was also able to use the critical thinking skills I’ve gained at Middlebury through group projects to solve problems.

 

 

For more information and photos from my trip, please visit my Facebook page: facebook.com/lexiegoestoghana and my blog: http://lexiegoestoghana.wordpress.com

J-PAL Research Assistant Positions in Handshake

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a network of 158 affiliated professors from 51 universities. Their mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. They do this through research, policy outreach, and training across six regional offices worldwide.

Their affiliated professors conduct randomized evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at reducing poverty.

J-PAL and its partner organizations recruit for hundreds of positions on a regular basis. Positions may be located at universities, research centers, and non-profit organizations connected to the work of their affiliated professors and partners around the world. They are available in field research, project management, and data analysis, as well as policy outreach, training, and finance & administration.

There are currently a number of positions posted in Handshake:

Alumni of Color Weekend Career Exploration Lunch

Students!  Come meet with alumni over a delicious lunch to learn about their varied, purposeful, and dynamic professional careers.  Organized into career and industry roundtables, you’ll have the chance to speak with Midd alums to get career advice, ask them about their field of work, and discuss other post-graduation topics.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet and connect with Midd alums.  All class years encouraged to attend!

This lunch is a special collaboration between Alumni of Color Weekend and Alumni and Parent Programs, Anderson Freeman Resource Center, and the Center for Careers and Internships (CCI).

Register in Handshake or just show up!

Saturday, January 13, 2018, 12:30-2:00 pm, Atwater Dining Hall. 

Have A Transformative Experience at the Frontiers of Science and Technology: Summer@Station1

Apply to Be in the First Cohort of Pioneering Station1 Fellows!

Are you a bold and creative thinker and an aspiring changemaker who is passionate about applying science and technology to create a more equitable, creative, prosperous, and sustainable world?

Station1 is looking for you!

You are invited to apply to be in the inaugural cohort of Station1 Fellows who will participate in the Summer@Station1 program – a unique and exciting residential science and technology-focused educational, research, and internship program with a focus on societal perspective, social innovation and impact. Fellows will come from near and far to work together throughout the summer of 2018 in the Boston region of Massachusetts in the United States.

As a Station1 Fellow You Will:

  • Be awarded a valuable fellowship that includes: a competitive living expenses stipend, housing costs, a stipend for transportation to and from Station1, instructional and program costs;
  • Gain authentic, hands-on experience through a paid internship in a leading science and technology startup, company, or research laboratory (4 days per week);
  • Participate in exciting, state-of-the-art, team-based projects in science and technology applied to social impact;
  • Drive forward a project you are passionate about with potential to make a positive difference in the world;
  • Create a showcase portfolio of your project which you can show to potential employers and/or applications to graduate school;
  • Engage with a blended, shared curriculum that draws together critical perspectives on science, technology, society and social innovation and gain interdisciplinary experience by interacting with guest instructors and mentors from a diversity of fields (1 day per week);
  • Have access to a creative co-working, collaboration, and prototyping space;
  • Develop and learn how to build professional and personal skills such as: critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, communication, and creativity;
  • Build long-lasting mentoring relationships with world experts in science and technology for networking, support, and potential future letters of recommendation;
  • Receive individual counseling on academic and career pathways; and
  • Become part of a network of exceptional professionals in the Station1 community beyond completion of the program.

Interested? Learn more on their website.

Apply Now! – Applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled full time in a undergraduate degree-granting program at an accredited postsecondary institution;
  • Have a genuine interest in science and technology applied to societal impact;
  • Be available for the entire duration of the Summer 2018 program (academic or family obligations may be excused with advance notice); and
  • Submit completed application in English. All components including letters of recommendation, CV, etc. must be completed in English.