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Self-initiated civic engagement activities&Research experience;Public Health(MASTER)

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Jan 12, 2010   #1
Not sure how much detail I should go into with my Community Health Projects...
I think it is my self-initiation, my interest in Native Americans and my research experience that would make me a great applicant. I'm not familiar with the nature of grad-admissions essays.

my accomplishments that I think i should put in:

--psych research in zimbabwe
--created and implemented injury prevention program in Jonestown, Minnesota
--writing honors thesis
--volunteer in Yale Hospital Cancer Outreach program. I teach people in the Oncology waiting room how to knit, crochet and draw. Any idea how to put this in?

Please provide feedback! Thanks!

Please write a brief essay describing your research interests and career goals, and the reasons you wish to pursue graduate work at Jones College. Include any special information that does not appear above that will help us evaluate your application.

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Throughout my time at Yale I have actively pursued a number of outside community health opportunities. It is these self-initiated civic engagement activities coupled with my research experience that I believe make me a well-prepared applicant. Through my independent projects and experiences I have become interested in pursuing a career in Native American Healthcare or rural public health. As a College founded to educate Native Americans, Jones has always stood out as one of the leading institutions for Native American education. The Jones MPH program will provide me with the tools and knowledge necessary to continue my PH career and implement public health changes in a professional manner.

I will be graduating with a B.S. in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy . This is a unique department at Yale providing an integrated and research-based academic experience. The courses focus on not only the natural sciences but also on how humans fit into the world in an evolutionary perspective. All aspects of humans are studied: anatomy, genetics, anthropology, behavior, physiology, ecology, sociology and many more areas of humans and primates. Throughout my comprehensive studies in BAA, I have learned about today's human as well as yesterday's human and most importantly the vectors and networks connecting the two.

As a undergraduate sophomore, I was able to work closely with a faculty member on an Independent Study in Psychology. Our research focused on schizophrenia and spirituality. We researched how different cultures utilized spirituality and religion in their coping and treatment of schizophrenia. Throughout the semester I wrote a number of grants, and during the summer of 2008 we were able to travel to the small town of Janai, Zimbabwe for two months. I spent approximately eight hours per day in the Whitten Christian Medical Center Hospital and the villages of Zimbabwe. I interviewed schizophrenics, their family members, health-care workers and religious leaders. I went into the community and networked from multiple sources, in order to gather information. I was able to coordinate interviews, focus groups, and maintain organization despite the many obstacles I encountered. We often had weather issues, electricity problems, non-cooperative participants, and even government regulations that stood in our path. But with much persistence, and a great deal of patience, we were able to complete our goals. It was not only an eye-opening experience into the world of mental health, but also a great cultural experience. Many important and expensive tools frequently found in US hospitals, are completely absent in the African hospitals I visited. These lacking materials technically weaken the quality of the services, but not the quality of the care. The warmness and enthusiasm was present in every face and voice of the healthcare workers there. It is communities like Janai that have the motivation but may be lacking the knowledge or tools to effectively deliver current and necessary medicine.

I spent my junior fall semester studying and researching Tropical Biology in Costa Rica. I have thoroughly enjoyed my international experiences of the third world countries in Africa and Central America, however upon returning to the states, I realized I had not spent much time in the disadvantaged areas of my own country. As I was visiting my father in Arizona, I read a newspaper article about a doctor who travels to Indian Reservations in his spare time to educate health care workers about new trauma practices. Often, these remote areas are void of the most recent technology or funds for staff development. The article went on to explain about the abnormal health disparities on Reservations. Trauma-related fatalities are four times higher on Native American Reservations than in the rest of the United States. Alcohol related deaths are six times the national average. These two issues contain unacceptable numbers for the year 2009. Trauma related deaths should not be a problem in this century, however rural emergency services are one of the highest causes for fatalities on Native American Reservations. My university offers a great opportunity to travel anywhere in the world and participate in a civic engagement project. After learning of the abnormally high number of injury-related deaths on Indian Reservations, I applied to the program and created my individual project. Rather than simply conduct research, as I did in Zimbabwe, I truly wanted to be part of the community and hopefully, part of positive change in the community. I contacted the doctor I had read about in the article, and he quickly put me in touch with Dr. Tom James, the National Trauma Coordinator for Indian Health Services. With his guidance I created a community health project centered on Injury Prevention.

[where do i put this sentence:]
For two months I lived on the Blackfeet Reservation in the town of Jonestown, Minnesota.

Requiring two planes, three shuttles, a train ride and a rental car to eventually reach Jonestown, I quickly learned my project would need to be quite flexible. Day one had three important lessons: 1) Jonestown is a small town of approximately 3,000 people, 80% of which are unemployed. 2) The Injury Prevention Specialist who I'd be working with also held four other job titles: Environmental Health Specialist, Sanitarian, Occupational Health Specialist and Hospital Fire Marshal. 3) I was not allowed to ride a bike or go jogging. The stray dogs enjoyed chasing and biting energetic pedestrians. At first this fact simply annoyed me. But as the weeks went on, and a second child died from the dog attacks, I began focusing my efforts in this area. I spoke with community members, ER staff, other Indian Health Service branches in Minnesota and created a small focus group to discuss the issue. I held health fairs where I provided important preventative health information and surveyed the community about dog bites. After the outstanding results of the surveys, I knew the town needed an Animal Control Program. However, as I began contacting the leaders in the area, none of them wanted to be a part of addressing this issue. Unfortunately- what they meant was they did not want to help fund the issue. The mayor said he did not want to be a part of it, nor the tribal councilmen. However all of them agreed (in accordance with 99% of the community that an Animal Control Program was needed. I spoke with a Native grant writer and just learned last month that some progress has been made.

I learned about the challenges in a government-run hospital and the local diseases of the area. These hands-on community health experiences have shown me that this is where I want to be. Public health is always in need of more attention, especially in communities like Jonestown. I had the chance to construct and implement a public health project on my own last summer, but the most important thing I learned from my time there, was that I still had a lot to learn. I know the MPH program at Jones College would provide me with the resources and knowledge to continue my public health career, research the needs of communities correctly, and truly be able to implement positive changes to healthcare.

I am currently conducting research and writing my honors thesis with my professor, Dr. Rebecca Smith. We are examining the influence of soil erosion intensity on the evolution of Suidae teeth in the Great Rift Valley during the Plio-Pleistocene era. My background and research in Biological Anthropology has given me incredible hands-on understanding of the research process and accurately displays my academic ability.

Upon completion of my MPH, I am hoping to be able to work for Indian Health Services, the Public Health Service or continue on to receive a doctorate in Public Health concentrating in Native American studies, rural communities or international health. I have always considered attending medical school as well, and as I continue to understand the public health sector more I may consider medical school upon completion of my MPH. Whether I attend medical school, return to get a doctorate or immediately begin working in rural communities as a health educator or coordinator, I know an MPH is necessary to help me continue. As an institution founded to educate Native Americans, I know Jones College is the perfect match for my career goals.

DSG 2 / 5  
Jan 13, 2010   #2

i am non-native speaker so here are just my 5c about the content presentation:

- a bit difficult to read, lots of information. it seems like you are trying to tell everything in one essay. many long sentences
- perhaps you need to make ideas flowing more logical between paragraphs for a reader to grasp them easier
- if you follow quite formal writing style, may be you should avoid presenting ideas in a form of "he said...i spoke..."

just some ideas
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jan 18, 2010   #3
As a College founded to educate Native Americans, Jones has always stood out as one of the leading institutions for Native American education.

I think you can use this space taken up by these words to say something more substantial and meaningful.

The Jones MPH program will provide me with the tools and knowledge necessary to continue my PH career and implement public health changes in a professional manner.

---- same here. I think you want to say something more meaningful than "implement... in a professional manner." Introduce a specific plan with specific components. Put some pressure on the reader by making her aware that it is necessary for you to attend this particular masters program in order for your plan to be carried out.

For two months I lived on the Blackfeet Reservation in the town of Jonestown, Minnesota. When I first traveled to Jonestown, I required two planes, three shuttles, a train ride, and a rental car to get there. I quickly learned my project would need to be quite flexible. Day one had three important...

As you continue to revise, refine this by cutting out unnecessary sentences and phrases. Pretend you are required to cut at last 10% of th players on this team, the weakest 10%... the 10% without which everything would still be complete.


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