Health Studies, Statistics
What was your favorite class and how has it influenced your further course of study?
My favorite course this semester is Critical Disability Studies: Theory and Practice taught by Professor Kristin Lindgren at Haverford. In this course, we discuss many of the critical topics in disability studies in class and we also worked with artists with intellectual disability from Center for Creative Works (CCW) and kids from ACLAMO Family Center on two projects. I really appreciated that at the first day of the course, Kristin told us that nobody is going to be “the language police” in this course. This “rule” has really encouraged me to engage more in the class and made the discussion a free and safe space. Among the two projects, I’m majorly involved in teaching photography to the CCW artists and working with them on a photo book for the Haverford arboretum. I had a lot of fun this semester collaborating with the CCW artists as we wandered around Haverford and took photos of trees together. This course has also brought me to think about accessibility and how I can improve that at Haverford, in the lectures, and in the labs. Even though most of my courses in the future might not include any traces of disability or disability studies, I will be thinking about what roles disability may play in those fields.
Why did you choose your major/minor/concentration? What influenced you to pursue this course of study?
A lot of courses I took in the past two years at Haverford really helped me to shape my interests and directed me to my current major and minors.
I’ve always knew that I want to study fields related to Biology in college since high school and the Chemistry courses and Biology courses I’ve taken so far have only increased my interests in biology, so deciding a Bio major was not a struggle.
My first year writing seminar Portraits of Disability and Differences taught by Professor Kristin Lindgren brought my attention to the Health Studies Minor. Besides introducing me to disability studies, this course showed me that scientific research is only part of the solution to any medical or health problem. After this course, I took two courses with Professor Christopher Roebuck in the Health Studies minor (Bioethics and Social Justice and Anthropology of HIV and AIDS), and again was intrigued by the discussions around public health issues and all the aspects that we need to consider to solve any health or medical problems. In the second semester of my first year, I got funding from CPGC and had the opportunity to attend the Global Health Conference at Yale University to listen to talks and meet with people working in the public health field. This valuable experience and all the course I’ve taken have led me to decide to minor in Health Studies.
At the end of my first year, I became very interested in Math and considered to double major in math. I took one of the math major core courses and found that pure mathematics is not where my passion lies and I’m more interested in statistics and playing with data. The health studies minor courses have also shown me the importance of statistics in public health and biological research, so I decided to minor in Statistics.
Did you have a summer experience (research, internship, travel) that was connected to your classwork or thesis project? If so, how did that experience change what you thought about your course of study or influence your plans for the future?
Last summer I was shadowing with a neurologist and doing research at a hospital in Beijing. I helped to organize and build up a database for the clinical data collected from patients with Becker Muscular Dystrophy and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy over the past decade. This experience brought my interests to researches in genetic diseases and the appliance of biostatistics. Prior to last summer, I took a course on Bioethics and Social Justice with Professor Christopher Roebuck at Haverford. This summer experience also helped me to see some of the issues we discussed in this class (like informed-consent, health insurance policy, and autonomy) in practice on medical practices and patients in the cultural context I came from.
What do you hope to do after graduating from Haverford?
I am still exploring a lot of things right now so I cannot be entirely sure. But I’m pretty sure that after graduating from Haverford I want to go to graduate school on subjects related to genetics, public health, pharmacy or biostatistics. I hope this coming summer and this coming year of classes can help me to narrow down my interests.