GlobeMed presents IMPACT, 2nd Annual Art Gala

By Rachel Goldstein ’13
University Communications

What is your impact on the local community? How do your actions impact the world? GlobeMed, an undergraduate organization at the University of Rochester, asks these salient questions of the Rochester community with its second annual art gala, IMPACT.

The public exhibition, presenting juried artwork for viewing and for sale, will be held at the Art Museum of Rochester, 610 Monroe Ave. on December 6 with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests can expect a showcase of Rochester talent–great art, musical entertainment, refreshments, a raffle featuring products from local businesses, as well as an opportunity to learn more about what GlobeMed does abroad and in Rochester. There is a suggested five dollar donation.

The gala is part of an on-going fundraising campaign for GlobeMed’s partnering organization, Kallpa Iquitos, a grassroots nonprofit aiming to empower youth and enhance opportunities through youth development projects in Iquitos, Peru.

“We want our fundraisers to reflect the values of our partner while also engaging the Rochester community–not just UR students, but the community at large,” says Art Gala co-coordinator, Alysha Alani ’15. The gala was pioneered last year as a way to tie Kallpa Iquitos into the local picture. “They use art as a public messaging forum,” explains Alani, “a way to promote healthy lifestyles and empower the community.”

GlobeMed, a group that addresses health equity and social justice, has partnered with Kallpa Iquitos since 2010 when founders Anupa Gewali ’12 and Rohini Bhatia ’13 applied to be a chapter. Part of a national organization comprised of 55 groups in total, the GlobeMed chapter at the University is working to achieve global health equity through local efforts and long-term partnerships abroad.

Kallpa Iquitos and GlobeMed co-construct a memorandum of understanding, which outlines how much money GlobeMed can commit to raising and how that money will be used. “We believe that Kallpa is an expert on the community they work and live in,” says Alani. “They know best how to sustainably address these self-identified issues and how GlobeMed can best use our resources as University students–not only financially, but time and knowledge–to help.”

Kallpa Iquitos is currently focused on empowering youth to take ownership of their communities through establishing youth centers and facilitating the development of academic enrichment programming, sexual health classes, and employment opportunities, among other projects. They are currently working with nine neighborhoods within the Pampachica area of Iquitos.

Locally, GlobeMed engages in community service and strives to educate the Rochester community about public health issues and disparities. “We cannot turn a blind eye to marginalized communities,” says Alani, “whether they are in our own backyard or 3,000 miles away.”

GlobeMed held their 2nd annual 5K walk in partnership with two Rochester non-profits in October 2013. They are planning their 3rd annual benefit dinner in mid-February, last year’s theme being “Hope in Health: Youth in Action.” Additionally, GlobeMed hopes to organize an educational debate on public health topics for the spring semester. Past events have included a panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act that featured a public health professor, physician, theologian, and economist, as well as a debate on cultural relativism and family planning co-sponsored by the debate team.

“I especially value the educational curriculum that GlobeMed incorporates,” Alani explains, “topics such as why health is a human right, the history of global health efforts, and models of foreign aid. It is rare to find a group of students as passionate and willing to learn.”

Alani attended two GlobeMed conferences in the past year–one regional and one national–that bring together university chapters and GlobeMed alumni. They were a reminder of the immense tasks at hand, but also the small changes that can go a long way.

“I am continually proud and impressed,” Alani states, “with what a group of undergraduates can do when we put our minds to it.”

For more information about the gala, visit, e-mail at, or see the event Facebook page



Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Heidi Knoblauch

knoblauchName: Heidi Knoblauch ’08

Education (UR and additional): BA (History & Health and Society), University of Rochester 2008; MA in Public Humanities, Yale University, 2011; M.Phil. (History of Science and Medicine), Yale University, 2012; PhD (History), Yale University, 2015

Current city/state of residence: Brooklyn

Job Title: Doctoral Student and Teaching Fellow

Employer: Yale University

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?  

1)       Librarians. The librarians at the University of Rochester are an invaluable resource and are totally underutilized. They can point you towards sources you would have a hard time finding on your own and teach you how to do research more effectively.

2)       The Writing Center. The Writing Center and Writing Fellows are wonderful services that can help you make papers you are currently writing for your courses better and help you become a better writer. Writing is a crucial skill and college is the time to develop that skill.

3)       The Career Center. The career center is great resource for helping you make your first resume, reading over cover letters, and finding internship opportunities. Go see them early, do an externship, and learn what internship opportunities are available in Rochester.

Who were your mentors while you were on campus? Have you continued those relationships?

My mentors at the University of Rochester were Ted Brown and Dean Harper. They were integral to my college education and have continued to be very influential. I see Professor Brown once a year at the American Association for the History of Medicine conference and although I have not seen Professor Harper in a few years, we kept in touch via phone. My advice for students is to meet with professors and listen to them. That sounds really simple, but to actually listen to professors is hard because they normally ask you to do more research, studying, writing, revising, editing, presenting and applying. Essentially, more work. My advice is: do the work. It is worth it.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

As an undergraduate, I did not think that I wanted to be a historian — I actually was sure I was going to work in public health — and took a very circuitous route towards my current career path. Immediately after graduation, I moved to New York City with my freshman year roommate and started working in an East Village coffee shop as a barista. After working there for a while, the owner decided to sell the business and my co-worker and I made an offer to buy it. To make a very long story short: it didn’t work out, but it was a great learning experience. After that, I began working in another coffee shop and thought I was going to make a career in coffee. I had a secret love for medical history and, unbeknownst to my friends, read extensively about the history of health care reform and went to academic conferences on weekends to get my history fix. At these conferences, I realized I wanted to be a professional historian so I applied to Ph.D. programs.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in the History of Science and Medicine Department at Yale University. At the University of Rochester, I became fascinated with the history of health care in America and wrote my Health and Society senior thesis on cartoons that opposed health care reform over the course of the twentieth century. I chose to follow my fascination with medical history and become a historian because history, unlike other things, is something that has continually excited me. In addition to history, filmmaking has been a passion of mine for a long time and I have recently begun to combine my love of history and film by writing and producing historical documentaries.

Where would you like to be in five years?

In five years, I hope to have my Ph.D., be living in the New York City area, teaching at the college level, and making historical documentaries. Additionally, since that will be a few years after I finish my Ph.D., I also hope to have published a book with an academic press and completed at least one feature length documentary film. 

What advice do you have for current students?

Do not pick courses based on what you, or others, perceive to be their immediate impact on a potential career. The University of Rochester has a rich liberal arts culture with a cluster system that allows students to take a wide variety of courses. Take advantage of it. Especially, take language classes, writing intensive classes, and classes with labs. The things that will stick with you forever are the skills you develop, not the information you memorize. Learn how to study, write, research, and present your thoughts. Most importantly, in the first days of April, when the sun finally comes out, forget all this academic advice and go sit on the quad with your friends.

Spotlight on Natural Sciences Alumni: Rebecca Kanter

image1_1Name: Rebecca Kanter ’05
Major while at UR: Biochemistry and Health & Society
Occupation: Researcher at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP)
Education (UR and additional): B.S. Biochemistry, B.A. Health & Society, Take 5 in “Understanding Latin American Culture, Identity, and Values;” PhD in International Health & Human Nutrition
Current city/country of residence: Guatemala City/Guatemala
Community activities: Media officer (volunteer) for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF)

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

So many reasons. But learning that University of Rochester’s motto was MELIORA sealed the deal for me to apply early decision.

When and how did you choose your major?

I entered UR interested in bioethics, but because I knew that wasn’t available I settled on Biochemistry. My sophomore year I took Professor Brown’s classic HLS 116 (then Introduction to Community Medicine). After instantly learning about socioeconomic disparities in health, I knew I wanted to major in Health & Society. And soon after that, I knew I also wanted to continue with Biochemistry because it is the basis of human nutrition.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

As a student, I was involved with Varsity Field Hockey, Club Ice Hockey, and UR Cinema Group. My passion is field hockey and it continued to give tremendous balance to my life—especially while doing a double degree (B.S. Biochemistry & B.A. Health & Society) at UR. There is nothing like having fun playing your favorite sport outside, on a beautiful surface, in beautiful crisp fall weather or night-time flurries. The early morning practices were physically tough but were life lessons. Trekking to the ice rink shin-deep snow in the early morning was also priceless. All activities provided me with an eclectic group of friends and awesome teammates.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

Hands-down the critical thinking skills I took away from UR have been most useful to me since graduation. To have been constantly surrounded by peers, professors, and friends with intangible critical thinking skills (and ways of teaching these skills) was a true privilege.  Soon after graduation, I entered into a PhD program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It was here that I realized that the critical thinking skills I gained from nearly all my classes at UR was such a privilege and of essential use in public health.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

Right now, I work as a (public health nutrition) researcher in Guatemala City at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP)—whose founding director was coincidentally a UR Medical School Alum, Dr. Nevin Scrimshaw. Why did I choose this career? I told you its founding director was a UR Medical School Alum, right…?. But seriously, since taking HLS 116, I more or less knew I wanted to do public health nutrition research in Latin America.

What advice do you have for current students?

Follow your heart, try not to stress about the future (whether it is tomorrow or two years from now or decades from now), and always remember: MELIORA.

Spotlight on Natural Sciences Alumni: Anjali Chandra

Name: Anjali Chandra
Age: 24
Occupation: Teacher and College Adviser
Education (UR and additional): B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in Health and Society, University of Rochester, 2009; M.S. in Special Education, CUNY Hunter, 2011; This fall I will be joining the MD class of 2016 at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Current city/state of residence: New York, NY
Community activities: Volunteer in children’s center

Who were your mentors while you were on campus? Have you continued those relationships?

My freshman biology professor was always very open and supportive to our class. He was always willing to help with getting us to understand the material or just reassure us while we were getting used to college. As I became older, he continued to check up on me and was always willing to listen and give advice. Three years later, I still keep in contact with him, and I know I owe a lot of my success to his support over the years.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

During my senior year at Rochester, I realized I wanted the opportunity to actually see the ideas and theories in practice. I felt like my Rochester education charged me with the knowledge and had sparked my interest in working in urban areas, and I wanted to explore this area full time before continuing my education. I decided to apply to Teach for America (TFA), along with other Americorp programs and decided to join TFA. My experience as a Rochester student really prepared me for this experience. The workshop program put me ahead of my fellow corp members in working with students in an effective way.

What do you do now, and why did you choose this career?

I am currently finishing my third year at my TFA placement school. Last year, I co-created a college cafe program so that my students would have the opportunity and support to continue education after high school. Staying a third year allows me to ensure that the program continues at my school. Looking forward, I am attending medical school this fall so that I may study medicine and return to the same community to treat and provide positive support to children in underserved areas.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

Both the content knowledge and perspective I gained at Rochester have been useful. Most of all my experiences in extracurricular activities have allowed me to transition to the community with ease. I think the manner in which students are encouraged to explore and ask questions has allowed me to be a truly effective teacher and advocate for my students. Going forward I know Rochester also prepared me as a student for medical school.

How are you still connected with the University?

I still maintain contact with my friends, students, and professors at the university that I worked with through organizations and courses. I often attend the alumni events held in my city, and I also maintain close contact with my mentors that I met while studying at the UR.

What advice do you have for current students?

Never say never. Study what you want. This is the time to explore and embrace being a student.

Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Lee Helmken

Name: Lee Helmken
Age: 25
Education (UR and additional): B.A. in Health & Society, University of Rochester, 2009; M.P.H. in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, 2011.
Current city/state of residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Job Title: Project Coordinator
Employer: Emory Center for Injury Control, Emory University School of Medicine

When and how did you choose your major?

I started UR as a pre-med/biology major but quickly realized I wasn’t interested in the science of healthcare. In my freshman year, I took a Peer Health Advocacy course and switched my major to health & society. This became an amazing opportunity to take inter-disciplinary courses that addressed health at all levels. I got a better idea of what the field of public health looked like, and I was hooked.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, and it taught me a lot about finding a balance between social life and academic/work life. Also, I worked in the Health Promotion Office where I taught health education programs for student groups. This experience ultimately led me to want to pursue a master’s degree in Health Education.

Who were your mentors while you were on campus? Have you continued those relationships?

My Peer Health Advocacy professor became a mentor, and my supervisor, at the Health Promotion Office. She helped me see the opportunities available in my field and work through whether I should go to graduate school or look for a job after graduation. She no longer works at UR, but we still keep in touch.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I came straight to Emory University to get my Master of Public Health degree. My education at UR provided perspective on population-level health and the understanding that a person’s environment can have an immense impact on their overall health. I realized that in order to get the type of job I wanted, I needed to go back to school to enhance my skills, knowledge, and understanding of public health.

What do you do now, and why did you choose this career?

I am a coordinator at the Emory Center for Injury Control. We provide training, outreach, and resources to build the capacity of those who work in injury and violence prevention. Part of my job is to formally evaluate the work that we do as well as help us obtain funding to continue our work. At Emory, I learned that injuries are a leading cause of death in the United States, and I became so interested in what I can do to decrease this burden.

What advice do you have for current students?

Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can – I am still so grateful for the many academic and cultural perspectives I gained at UR. In my experience, you never know what you’re truly interested in until you try different things; just one class or part-time job can lead you down a path you never expected!

Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Rene Herbert


Name: René Herbert

Occupation: Public Health Analyst with the U.S Dept. of Health and Human Services

Education (UR and additional): University of Rochester, BA; Yale University, MPH; and University of Maryland College Park, PhD

Current city/state/country of residence: Washington, DC
Location of your study abroad experience:
London, United Kingdom

Duration of your study abroad experience: Fall Semester

Community activities: Interned at the Department of Public Health, took classes in London.  Hung out with coworkers, traveled to 5 cities within the United Kingdom, and 5 countries in the European Union.

When and why did you choose to study abroad? What factors (your major, other commitments, Take Five) did you weigh as you were making the decision to study abroad?

I decided I wanted to study abroad my sophomore year at UR.  I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to travel the Europe like my father did at my age as well as broaden my horizons in terms of the different culture and health care system in London.  I was hoping that studying abroad to the UK would allow me to gain internship opportunities working in the health care system.  In making the decision to study abroad I definitely had to weigh the organizations and groups I would not be involved with on campus because of my time away.  I also had to decide early on how I would be able to go abroad without putting at risk my academic success at school.

Who at UR encouraged you to pursue this option?

My friends who also studied abroad and also were the in the same major (Health and Society/Health Policy) as me.  They strongly encouraged me to study abroad in London.  My mentor and academic advisor encouraged me to study abroad in England because of the career exposure that it would provide.

In retrospect, what do you wish you had known before starting your study abroad experience?

I wish I knew that I could take advantage of traveling to other European countries once I arrived in the United Kingdom. 

Beyond the academic work, how did you engage with your new “community” and culture while you were away from Rochester?

I totally submerged myself in the culture.  I really started to get involved in my internship at the Department of Public Health in London.  I traveled with my mentor at my internship across of London.  In addition, I also got involved with the International student community and took weekend trips with friends to all other parts of England and the United Kingdom.

What was returning to campus like for you?

Surreal. I missed London very much but I also felt that I was afforded an opportunity to see the world in a broader perspective than the United States.  I felt accomplished and ready to take on whatever I experienced on campus. 

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I immediately continued on to graduate school. I knew I wanted to pursue my interest in public health.  For me it was the next logical step. I also decided to try out different student jobs and internships over the summer to determine if I really wanted to go on to graduate school immediately after college.  For me, my internships and my undergraduate major helped me make the decision.  I do however recognize some of my friends who decided to work or to travel etc. before pursuing graduate school and they really had a good time.  Everyone figures out their path differently.  

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

I currently work at the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a Public Health Analyst for the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC.  I work on health care programs related to marginalized populations in addition to implementation of the new health care reform law specifically around expanding services for integrating behavioral health services into primary health care, increasing the enrollment of the uninsured into the Marketplace and also expanding services at current health center site locations.  I choose this career my first semester at UR.  I knew I wanted to be in health care but not as a medical professional.  Health and Society broaden my horizons to pursuing health care policy and administration. 

What skills, tools, or knowledge gained from studying abroad do you draw on since graduation?

Since graduation, I definitely draw on the different ways people live, view their life and health and how they all related.  I definitely keep in mind that just because I think a certain way about something does not make it the best way or the only way. 

Where would you like to be in five years?

In five years, professionally I would like to be teaching health policy, public health or public policy at an academic institution as well as working in academic services providing student academic mentorship in pursuing higher education beyond college.  Personally, I am also building my family and faith in God.  I think balancing the two of them would be part of my journey over the next five years.

What advice do you have for current students contemplating studying abroad?

Do it!  Make sure you have taken the majority of your core courses for your major and prioritize your academic requirements.

Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Chris Johnston


Name: Chris Johnston ’04
Occupation: Sales, Marketing, Entrepreneurship
Education (UR and additional): B.S. Health & Society – UR 2004; MBA – Simon School 2006
Current city/state of residence: Newburyport, MA
Current city/state of residence: Family: Wife, Grace, BS, Biology & Psychology, PhD, Neuroscience
Community activities: Volunteer, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce.

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

When I visited UR’s campus it grabbed me right away.  Everything from the people to the architecture – the second I stepped foot on campus I knew I wanted to go there.  When I got there and learned about the Rochester Curriculum I knew I made the right decision.  During my junior year, I would talk to friends at other Universities that haven’t started working on their major yet because they were still fulfilling requirements.  Not at UR!

When and how did you choose your major?

I was undecided when I got to UR.  I, honestly, had no clue what I wanted to do.  I settled on Health & Society because the courses in the major encompassed so many different areas – Accounting, Marketing, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, etc.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

Varsity Sports – in particular, football, but being a varsity athlete was the most valuable experience of my life.  Time management is the best asset I gained from playing football.

Greek Life – Psi Upsilon, having a social life is just as important as being a good student.

Meridian Society – Being the face of the University for prospective students was a powerful experience.  Learning to provide a positive yet honest opinion of UR has helped me formulate effective conversation techniques in my sales jobs.

Campus Times – going into college I never wrote a news article in my life.  I wanted to try something different.  Getting people to submit articles on time was a challenge – and I loved every second of it.  Seeing students wait for the latest edition of the CT was a great feeling.  It taught me that long hours and hard work pay off.  Not to mention, in business, writing is one of the most important skills to possess.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

I am the Director of Marketing for a small winery, Mill River Winery, on the North Shore of Boston. Directly out of the Simon School, I worked in University Development.  Working in this industry allowed me to build my communication skills.  Also, meeting with successful alumni in many different fields was very enlightening and helped me realize what exactly I wanted to do.   As the Director of Marketing for a family run winery on the North Shore of Boston has been a much welcomed challenge.  We have many barriers to break down and just as many paths to build.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

You will not recognize until after you graduate, but every class you take at UR is teaching you how to be an entrepreneur.  It is an amazing feeling when you recognize this and start to challenge ‘the norm’ at your employer.  I worked at a few places that didn’t welcome this type of thinking.  My advice to you – GET OUT!  You worked too hard to be stifled in a bad work environment.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I always admired Steve Jobs during his presentations with the big screens behind him.  That’s where I want to be.  I want to be the go-to market expert.  I want to be so busy doing public appearances that I have to hire people to do my ‘normal work.’

How are you still connected with the University?

I am a member of Rochester Career Advisory Network, Simon Alumni Advisory Council, Alumni Interviewer and member of the George Eastman Society.

What advice do you have for current students?

Think outside the box.  Everybody knows the economy is very tough right now.  What everybody doesn’t recognize is that the economy is tough for people that aren’t aggressive.  You are a UR graduate.  You just spent the last 4+ years of your life developing your own independent thoughts and personal responsibility – take advantage of that.

Also, take advantage of the UR Alumni Network.  It is a close-knit group that always welcomes new members.  Instead of asking for jobs just ask for advice.