Even though I didn’t have any classes this week, I learned so much. I got to relax in a beautiful place, experience a new culture, and contribute my input to critical public health issues in Grenada.
A lot of times, when I present research, it feels a bit open ended. I show the numbers and graphs, share how I interpret it, and recommend next steps; what happens next is typically out of my hands.
For our projects in Grenada, it doesn’t quite work that way. It presents a unique challenge. Our partnered organizations seem to really value our input. As we depart, we have to leave with more concrete recommendations. We have to leave them something tangible, with changes they can make in the short term to improve on the issues we explored. It’s not like the typical ending to a journal article, where most recommend “further research.”
So it was really nice to spend spring break stepping out of my comfort zone. I worked with unfamiliar organizations in an unfamiliar place. I collaborated with students from other departments and we used our unique expertise to creatively tackle these problems. It feels like we contributed something real and something that will continue, as more students will be continuing work on our projects in two weeks.
Now, it’s back to the classroom. But, I’m coming back refreshed and enriched by this amazing experience.