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January 2019

 

STEM Glide Study Abroad in Dominican Republic: COSAM OIED 

STEM Glide is a study abroad program put on by COSAM OIED that is absolutely free to the students who were admitted. In the inaugural trip, Dr. Kimberly Mulligan and ten undergraduates will be heading to four locations in the Dominican Republic, working alongside locals to improve water quality and immersing themselves in a foreign culture. “I’m really excited! I’m looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone,” said sophomore Abbrianna Robert, one of the students who will be a part of the program. “I knew I wanted to study abroad, but financial constraints prevented me from having that chance. This free program, it’s the one opportunity I’ll get,” she continued. Another student, sophomore Ryan Washburn, felt similarly. “I want to be uncomfortable on purpose, to grow outside the classroom,” he told me. Another aspect of STEM Glide that makes it unique is that it was specifically targeted to those who have never before left the United States. “I’ve never actually been to an airport,” Ryan went on to say. He may be in for a bit of a surprise when he first arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta.

In addition to the trip abroad itself, STEM Glide also holds a weekly class for the students that is led by Dr. Mulligan. According to junior Marie Harris, “The classes have been fun!” She told me that the classes have been primarily discussion-based, which is a good format to learn each other’s personalities and the logistical factors of the trip. Marie also told me that once they get there, she is looking forward to the work aspect of the trip. “Lots of health problems are related to access to clean water; problems that are created in the ‘developed’ world and affect everyone else.” Abbrianna brought up an interesting point regarding water quality, as well: “Many of the locals don’t have running water, so we’ll have to be careful where and how we brush our teeth and wash our faces.”

Altogether, Abbrianna, Ryan and Marie are excited to be in the program. “I feel really lucky to have gotten in. This is all new to me,” Ryan said. “A lot of us haven’t even left the South,” Marie added, “and I’m very thankful for this opportunity.” All first-generation college students, these three biomedical sciences majors are taking full advantage of what COSAM OIED has to offer and are looking forward to the learning, camaraderie and cultural immersion STEM Glide will provide.

 

Alabama Poverty Simulation: MAPS and AED

According to alabamapossible.org, “Alabama Possible is a statewide nonprofit organization that removes barriers to prosperity in Alabama through education, collaboration, and advocacy. Our research-driven work is designed to broaden relationships and enhance capacity building, with a focus on addressing systemic poverty. We believe that it is possible for all Alabamians to lead prosperous lives, and our programs work to make that possibility a reality. We have been working to change the way people think and talk about poverty in Alabama since 1993.”

“Sometimes, it seems like we get caught in our Auburn bubble,” said Alexis Stokes, President of the Minority Association for Pre-Health Students (MAPS), “and have no focus on the community around us.” By bringing Alabama Possible's Poverty Simulation to Auburn, students have the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and briefly glimpse some of the struggles that the 18.9% of Alabamians who live in poverty live on a daily basis. This program was made available to med students this past August, but MAPS and Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) want to offer this opportunity to undergraduate students, as well. As of the time of publication, the simulation will be open to all COSAM students, hold approximately 80 people and an RSVP link will be made available at a later date.

The Alabama Poverty Simulation will be brought to Auburn February 23rd, and you can contact Alexis Stokes (abs0061@tigermail.auburn.edu) or visit alabamapossible.org for more information.

 

Tiger Giving Day: February 21

Tiger Giving Day is a 24-hour fundraising event hosted by the Auburn University Foundation. This Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that ensures proper distribution donated money to the intended institutions. Donations will be accepted online or in-person and are tax deductible. For questions regarding Tiger Giving Day, please contact because@auburn.edu or call (334) 844-1445 and for questions regarding donations in particular contact aubfund@auburn.edu or call (334) 844-1445.

 

Contributor: Matt Gonzales

Editors: Matt Gonzales and Dr. Kimberly Mulligan

 

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