Clear Eyes, Full Hearts

My name is Sophie and I am a junior pursuing a double-major in the Rehabilitation Sciences and Public & Professional Writing programs. I plan on applying to medical school, so I obtained a minor in Chemistry while pursuing certificates in Transatlantic Studies and Global Studies. My overall career goals include practicing medicine, most likely focusing on women’s health, while taking advantage of different mediums like film and writing to convey health care topics. The program I chose for my virtual study abroad is the Pitt in LA experience. Usually, this course Introduction to Filmmaking with Carl Kurlander is taught in LA at Lionsgate. Carl’s has extensive experience in the field and is committed to connecting Pitt and LA. He takes advantage of the virtual environment by bringing in exciting guest speakers like representatives from major media companies. I hope this experience gives me the tools to convey complex health topics to a wide range of audiences. 

The Pitt community and niches I found for myself including the first-ever Pitt cohort of the Millennium Fellowship, Creative Arts Fellowship, Archival Scholars Research Award, Chancellor’s Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship, and recently courses with group projects have emphasized the importance of connecting with my surroundings. These experiences inspired me creatively, formed lifelong friendships with individuals I would never run into in my daily life, provided me with opportunities to contribute to concepts larger than me, and develop key interpersonal and professional skills to apply in future endeavors and especially my career as a physician. I will apply what I learned when forming connections in Pitt in LA. The skills I learn and the people I meet will prepare me to enter a field different from my own, filmmaking, and broaden my community. My efforts to foster tolerance through better representation in media to indirectly combat bias in medicine is uncommon, but with the rise of social media and the internet, it is necessary. Just as Crazy Rich Asians and Blank Panther inspired a new generation of voices, I hope my work will cause my audience to reflect on their place in society and inspire them. These threads I see will not only impact perception of healthcare, but fundamentally change the day-to-day interactions of individuals in this global community ultimately contributing to tolerance and prosperity.

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