Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning


Jennifer Lee

Jennifer Lee
UNIV 292

"After I returned from my Global Brigades trip to Panama, I had a mixture of feelings about what I saw and what I did. The immediate question from my friends and family upon returning was always, “So you went to Panama, what did you do? What was your trip all about?”, and at this time, I would always frame my answer in the most objective way possible, because I was not really sure of how to make sense of what really happened. [...] All the conflicting feelings I had about my experience boiled down to this bland and neutral answer. Meanwhile, I was internally questioning did we really made an impact? Were the community members glad we came? After digging deeper into the world of global health and service through class discussions, selected readings, and reflective writings over the course of the semester, I realized that I was not alone in my struggle to make sense of my experience. A lot of my classmates, scholars, and poets have thought about the same questions that I did and articulated them into tangible words and rational arguments. I would not say that we came up with any solutions or answers to the questions that we posed in class, because that was not the point of the course. But, we did struggle together over some challenging readings and concepts to articulate the questions that needed to be asked, such as is service good? Why don’t we talk about service? What do brigades mean for us? What do brigades mean for the communities we enter? These are a few of the questions that have been brought up through our readings and discussions. Currently, I have plans to become a physician, and the knowledge I have gained through my UNIV 292 course has definitely made an impact on how I view the institution of medicine and my future plans." 

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