Where will your IPE degree take you? Here's an report from Jeff Bale, IPE '07:
Greetings fellow IPErs! My name is Jeff Bale and I was an IPE graduate in ’07. Upon graduation I joined the Peace Corps and recently decided to pursue a masters in global health. I will be attending Emory University next fall to do just that. I’m writing to give you a brief explanation of how I arrived at this decision.
While at Puget Sound I spend my time between two departments, IPE and Biology. I joined the Peace Corps after college and spent two years in Namibia working as a secondary school teacher just south of the Angolan border. My job as a teacher was continually interrupted by infectious diseases that spread among my students. The rains brought mosquitos and malaria as well as an outbreak of cholera. HIV/AIDS threatened the lives of my teachers and students. I spent the majority of my second year teaching HIV/AIDS, malaria, and cholera prevention and working with the community to develop adequate water and sanitation.
Leaving Namibia was difficult, and although I left many friends there, my commitment to global health continued. I currently work at a biotechnology company in my home state of Utah developing tests for tuberculosis and other diseases. This fall I applied and was admitted to my top choices for graduate school. I chose Emory University because of its excellence in preparing professionals in global health and because of the opportunities to work with infectious disease at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
I know my career is far from planned out, but I know I’m on the right track. The IPE major has been wonderful in preparing me to delve into global health; global health requires an understanding of social structure and political economy, in addition to the biology of disease. My Peace Corps experience was not a detour, but a foundation that provided me with experience and determination. It’s been immensely rewarding to spend time in a developing country working on global health issues at a community level. I want to spend my career designing effective global health interventions in infectious disease. If you have any questions about global health or my experience in Namibia, don’t hesitate to contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org.