Sunday, June 22, 2014

Introducing our students

Greetings!

We've had a very full week of learning in and out of the classroom in Accra. Below is a picture of the students at the International Programmes Office at the University of Ghana, where they attended class each day this week:



The students completed five days in their Management of Non-Governmental Organizations class with Justice Bawole, PhD. Dr Justice is a brilliant professor with expertise in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and has given the students an excellent foundation to understand the organizations they will be working with this summer. Dr. Justice has been greatly influential in the development and success of the GVSU Ghana Honors Program, and we are grateful for his unwavering support of Grand Valley's partnership with the University of Ghana. The students describe Dr. Justice as one of the most exuberant, passionate, humble, and joyful people they've ever met. Thank you for an amazing week of learning Dr. Justice!



Following this post, we will have students posting a couple blogs per week to share their experiences & perspectives.

Here is an introduction of our bright, engaged students:




Allison Knopf- I am an English major with a minor in Elementary certification. I wanted to come on this study abroad program for many reasons. One, I have always dreamed of going to Africa. Two, this dream led me to take a year-long course in African civilizations. Three, this trip provides me with the practical experience to add to what I learned. Four, working with the kids at Challenging Heights will provide invaluable experience for my future career.
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My name is Chloe Bielby and I am an Exercise Science major at GVSU. I have never traveled outside the U.S. and I want to experience new things that will change my life. A goal for my life is to be as open minded and informed as I can and this trip is just the start.
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My name is Briana Dean. I am an Exercise Science major with a clinical emphasis/ Dance major. I came on this trip in hopes to learn about and gain experience from a different culture's health care system as well as broaden my worldly knowledge.
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Hi! My name is Stephany Zahl. I am a Biomedical Science major at Grand Valley. I knew I had to make this trip happen during my time at Grand Valley from the moment I saw the presentation my first week on campus. It provides us with the incredible opportunity to do something bigger than ourselves. It's a once in a lifetime experience, and I am so looking forward to serving and helping the Ghanaian community in all the ways that I can.
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Hi, my name is Morgan Olsen and I am a Liberal Studies major attending GVSU, Traverse City campus. I plan to graduate this spring and will continue on to apply to medical schools. I have a lot of interest in psychiatry as I come from a work background in the health service, mental health, and substance abuse. Through this trip, I hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the Ghana health care delivery system, as well as their psychiatric and mental health systems.
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Hi,  my name is Paige Redner and I will be a senior at GVSU in the fall. I am an English-Elementary Education major. I was first drawn to the Ghana trip during Honors Transitions and immediately felt called to come. I have always had a heart for service so coming to Ghana and combining that with my future as a teacher was a dream come true. I'm very excited to volunteer at Challenging Heights and observe their school system and teaching methods.
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My name is Lily and I am a proud Statistics major. Africa has been a dream of mine since I can remember and it's finally coming true. I love culture shock and even after five days I am in love and could stay here forever. This program has given me an opportunity to learn more about the world and myself, and I can't wait to see what's in store for the next six weeks.
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Hi! My name is Erin Craft- Otterbacher and in the fall I am starting my last semester in Nursing school. In Ghana, I hope to further my cultural competency so I can give culturally relevant care to my patients. My passion lies in community health nursing, specifically education and prevention. While in Ghana I hope to learn more about Ghanaian preventative health systems. I will take this knowledge back and apply it to my preventative, community focused care.
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My name is Hannah DeGraaf. I am going to be a junior in the fall and am a Biomedical Science major. Through this amazing opportunity in Ghana I hope to learn all about the culture by immersing myself in it and interacting with the people. I also am looking forward to gaining understanding of their health care system and disease control by investigating their views on nutrition and community outreach.
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Samantha Batdorff- I am a Special Education and CSAT major with a minor in Elementary Education. My desire to apply for this program began during an African civilizations course that I took my freshman year. After traveling to Zambia the following year, I knew that I had to experience more of what this beautiful continent has to offer. The knowledge and life experiences I will acquire over 7 weeks are invaluable and I will forever appreciate the opportunity that has been given to me.
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My name is Katelyn O'Grady. I am a junior Allied Health Sciences Major with a psychology minor. I chose to come on this trip because I'm excited to learn more about Challenging Heights, and to be able to offer my help to others.
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My name is Nikki Bush and I am going to be a senior in the fall. My major is Integrated Science for Elementary Education. I was first interested in this trip during Transitions the first week my freshman year. Ever since then I have been planning and researching in order to be able to be accepted into this program. I am passionate about this particular trip because of the service involved and I cannot wait to work with Challenging Heights and its students.
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Hi, my name is Mackie Forgacs. I am a Public and Nonprofit Administration major at GVSU. I chose this program because I wanted to experience the culture of Africa while making a difference in the lives of others. When I first heard about Challenging Heights over a year ago, I knew that this was going to be the perfect program. This opportunity will not only give me the chance to impact others but will also allow others to impact me in ways that I never could have imagined.
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Hi, my name is Alexis Brown. I am a Biomedical Science student and, newly!, a world traveler. I am excited to continue making new friends, having new experiences, and growing as a person.
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My name is Kali Sanford and next fall I will be entering into my third year at Grand Valley to continue my studies in Biomedical Sciences. I chose this program because it will help fulfill my dream of traveling abroad to learn about a new culture while providing so much more. This program is important to me because I will get interact with local people and help those in need. Over the next several weeks I am excited to be working with Ghana Health Services both in the hospital and in their outreach program. 
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We are so proud of these bright young women. We finished our classes at the University of Ghana on Friday. After class each evening, the group participated in excursions to different places around Accra. The students will be writing blogs to share these experiences in the next few days. Yesterday we arrived safely in Winneba, Ghana, where we will be starting the service portion of our summer.

Many more posts to come, thanks for reading!








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