Throughout a quick, eventful, and memorable semester, my understanding of teaching changed by acknowledging the importance of a transformative, rather than a transactional approach. By engaging in rich discussions with students on their experiences working in the healthcare field, Dr. Salter’s experiences as a former journalist in Central America, and Dr. Fapohunda’s academic and experiential insight from living in Nigeria showcased how experience is truly the best textbook. Our conversations as a class lead to topics that went beyond just class notes and textbook materials, and the authenticity of these discussions developed such a welcoming and engaging environment to further implement globalized consciousness within and outside the classroom setting.
Throughout my Teaching Fellow experience, I found it most valuable that while being a peer to students within the class, everyone appreciated and acknowledged my own insight from my public health experiences at the student-level. By respecting the fact that we all had varying degrees of public health knowledge, we were able to produce productive conversations while appreciating one another for our own areas of expertise. As I am driven by understanding public health from a health policy context, I was able to draw from my coursework and internships to speak more on cost-effectiveness analysis, implications of health technology, and maternal and child health policy within our course. I even had the opportunity to serve as a speaker for a career panel within our class to share more about my personal and professional journey in the public health field.
Now that the CUTF is over, I hope to continue engaging in globalized learning both within and outside the classroom. As an Executive Board Member of the Global Health Student Association within my graduate school, I have the opportunity to meet with various young leaders in the field and provide both academic and experiential opportunities for students who may be interested in a global health career. As I continue my endeavors in health policy, I hope to gain more understanding about global health systems and their strengths/weaknesses to better improve the US healthcare system. Additionally, I hope to further engage in global health partnerships to address public health needs affecting marginalized populations in the international context.
Overall, the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship experience allowed me to grow as a peer leader and young public health professional throughout this semester. If you are reading this and are thinking of becoming a teaching fellow, I highly encourage you to apply! I hope all readers have enjoyed listening and learning about my journey along the way, thank you!