A School of Public Health professor has made a $1.15 million gift to support the Global Health Initiative, hoping that it will “supercharge” student engagement in the school’s the burgeoning international service, research and education opportunities.
The Pamela I. Clark Global Health Student Experience Endowment and Current Use Fund will support students in Public Health Without Borders (PHWB), as well as others who pursue international internships, study abroad and other educational travel opportunities.
Dr. Clark, a research professor in the University of Maryland School of Public Health Department of Behavioral and Community Health since 2008, has brought in over $43 million dollars in research grants and contracts over the course of her career. She has focused on providing the scientific evidence to inform tobacco control policies and protect public health, and she has served as the lead of the Food and Drug Administration-and National Institues of Health-funded Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science at UMD since 2013.
Dr. Clark has been inspired by the work of PHWB and recalls learning about it first from a student who took her epidemiology class and shared her story of traveling with the group to Sierra Leone. “She was so energized by the experience,” Dr. Clark said. “The students were all changed for life because of it, their eyes were opened up and they had a much broader sense of the world.”
Dr. Clark also sees her gift as a way to make students both more employable and more resilient.
“If they go out looking for a job, if they have international experience, they will get in much easier than someone who doesn’t have that,” Dr. Clark said. “I think it makes them more adaptable. They have an experience where they didn’t know what to expect and they handled it and became stronger as a result.”Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on June 21