The program is designed for undergraduate students to increase interest in and knowledge of public health and biomedical science careers. It includes public health course work at Columbia University, hands-on field experience and immersion in a diverse, economically disadvantaged urban environment, seminars with public health leaders and mentoring by faculty members.
Xiong says she is excited for the opportunity of a lifetime to gain firsthand experience on public health issues.
“I am looking forward to helping communities who are at a disadvantage and who are experiencing health disparities that prohibit them from achieving equal and quality health care,” said Xiong. “I am extremely thankful and appreciative to everyone, especially members of the UW-Green Bay American Intercultural Center, who have helped guide me on the journey to my success.”
American Intercultural Center interim diversity director Mai Lo Lee helped Xiong seek out summer programs. AIC multicultural advisor Rosa Serrano assisted in the application process. Last year, she spent the summer at the University of Michigan in its summer undergraduate program. Xiong thinks it was a stepping stone to the Columbia University experience.
The 42 students selected to participate in the program will have the opportunity to visit various communities throughout the New York City metropolitan area to observe public health interventions and programs in operation. At the end of the program, each student will produce a final paper and deliver a presentation to Columbia University Medical Center staff, faculty and invited guests.
“Essentially, members of the AIC, especially Mai, have really pushed me to become involved in such wonderful and once in a lifetime opportunities,” she said. “Without Mai, I never would have been able to accomplish all that I have.”