Sampling farmworkers' homes for pesticides along the US-Mexico border, in Yuma County, Arizona, not only allowed me to have a hands-on experience in field sampling, but it allowed me to engage with a unique community over an extended period of time. This really helped me understand first hand what public health is all about.
Sharing the results of my study in Switzerland was also a great experience. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and even found that there are researchers doing similar work in Mexico and Korea. I have been able to maintain several of the contacts I made since the conference, ranging from other students to higher-ups.
Through the EHS program, I had the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in China for four months with a research institute specializing in schistosomiasis. During my time abroad, I learned about other questions that are being studied and answered by experts in the field. I was also able to observe laboratory and field techniques that I would have otherwise never been exposed to in the U.S. Not only was this a chance for me to gain knowledge, but it was a way for information exchange to occur, leading to collaborative research efforts. This invaluable experience solidified my enthusiasm for infectious disease research as well as allowed me to create a network of contacts that I will be working with in the future.
Microscopic examination of slides for evidence of cercarial attachment during field testing of the Schistosomiasis Environmental Surveillance Device prototype.