An Insider Outsider Perspective

“Community used to be a central unit where everyone was concerned about well-being but now we become more centralized and don’t know what is happening with our neighbors”-overheard at our community presentation in Cleveland, MS Coming into Clarksdale, I caught myself enthralled in the rich blues history and culture here. I was excited to explore…

Stop, Look, Listen

After a long day of travel on some less than smooth flights, I’m safely back in Ann Arbor. Back to my own bed, my own couch, and to be honest – my own safety net.  Spending the last seven days in Mississippi has certainly changed me for the better, and certainly pushed me outside of…

Poor on Paper, Rich in Experience

“People may not be aware that they are in poverty if all they have known is struggling”-overheard at our community presentation in Cleveland, MS These words bounced around in my brain, hitting all the right notes, as I scribbled quickly trying to capture the nuggets of information shared at our roundtables. I was pleasantly surprised…

Raised on Delta Dirt

Before we role up our sleeves and delve into working with the communities. I took ample time alone, wandering the city with little agenda, trying to take it all in, rather than me go after it all. It was in these moments that the most spontaneous and insightful conversations arose with locals, it was then…

Lightbulbs and Wellness Centers

Today I had an “ah-ha” moment. I was the equivalent of a cartoon character with a lightbulb over my head. And let me tell you, I’ve been waiting for this moment since the beginning of my studies at the School of Public Health. Let me back up. Today, we visited the James C. Kennedy Wellness…

Population health – what does that mean again?

My many classes at the University of Michigan School of Public Health have taught me how public health researchers identify and evaluate determinants that influence population health outcomes.  This term population health outcomes is one I’ve seen broadly applied to the problems and issues people experience in their everyday lives, and it’s a term I’ve…

Trying not to “go, go, go!”

We are around a week away from beginning our Mississippi adventure! While I’m excited for the new experiences and new people I will meet, I’m also fairly nervous. Mississippi’s demographics are distinct from  the Midwest. The racial makeup is different, yes, but there are many cultural differences that I will need to adjust to also.…

Mississippi, You’re On My Mind

Although I recently graduated and have a lot of great memories from my time at the School of Public Health, the “cherry on top” of my graduate school education is the trip I am embarking on to the Delta Region of Mississippi with several other University of Michigan students. I see this experience as a…