Apr 19, 2017

GlobeMed After Graduation

by Kaleigh Post, former Development Associate at GlobeMed Global Headquarters

The 2017 GlobeMed Summit ‘Leading Bravely: Finding Strength in Diversity’ was particularly monumental for alumni with the GlobeMed Alumni Association (GAA) offering sessions specifically for alumni and seniors for the very first time.

The GlobeMed network includes over 4,000 alumni, with roughly 500 students graduating each year. Alumni have gone on to do incredible things, including founding or joining influential organizations in global health and pursuing entirely different career paths through a global health lens. Because of this, GlobeMed Global Headquarters and GlobeMed Alumni recognized the need for a space that would enable GlobeMedders to continue to collaborate, grow, and engage in global health and social justice projects after they graduate and enter their careers.

We worked together to create four alumni sessions during the GlobeMed Summit, one being a Kingian Dinner. Kingian Dinners are similar to Jeffersonian Dinners that help foster conversations about causes affecting the community, and bridge political and social divides. The Kingian Dinner, however, differs by being distinctly branded to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., with dialogue centering around social justice topics.

Through a pre-Summit survey, alumni expressed feelings of disconnect from GlobeMed in their current careers, both in global health and other fields. Therefore, topic of discussion for this particular Kingian Dinner was Retaining GlobeMed in Your Work. This served as a space to unravel how alumni can, and do, continue to engage in GlobeMed-related work in their professional lives.

“Throughout our lives, we’ll discover new ideas and identities; we’ll make mistakes; we’ll have our values and ideals challenged; we’ll deeply questions our beliefs, let some go and strengthen others. My path, and the paths of my dearest friends, have had all the rich twists and turns of lives being fully lived.” – Maya Cohen, GlobeMed at Columbia University ‘10

We learned alumni are doing so in a variety of ways, including: critically questioning their work through a social justice lens; taking on similar work projects and roles they held in their chapters (i.e. community building); and volunteering. Most commonly, alumni validated the importance of surrounding themselves with fellow GlobeMedders who ground them through the peaks and troughs of their careers.

GlobeMed has helped us develop a deeper understanding of global health inequities and challenged us to do something meaningful about it – an experience that will continue to bind us together. But at its very core GlobeMed is about growth, critically questioning our assumptions and systems, and engaging with the humility to discover humanity in ourselves and in the world around us. So, it isn’t a surprise that as we are exploring our careers, we are finding new versions of ourselves, and new ways to apply our skills and values.

Former GlobeMed Executive Director and GlobeMed at Columbia University alumna, Maya Cohen, captured this sentiment really well at the Kingian Dinner:

I was at GlobeMed, then I became a teacher. Now I’m working on a writing project. I have no idea what I’m going to do next. I want to know that, no matter what version of myself and what chapter of my journey I’m currently living, I can come back to GlobeMed and find a family of people ready to love and be loved. It is my fierce hope that every GlobeMed alum would experience the same.”

Retaining GlobeMed in our lives doesn’t have to mean that we remain who we were when we graduated, but rather embracing the unknown and living out GlobeMed values throughout the different stages of our lives. The arc of the moral universe is long, but through our different pursuits, we will bend it towards justice. Don’t stop here, fellow GlobeMedders. Keep going with the courage to lead bravely. Either way, you have home here.

To host a Kingian Dinner, email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Kingian Dinner Series’.

Learn more about some GlobeMed Alumni projects:

Article 25 – Ankur Asthana ’11 & Amee Amin ’14

Broad Street Maps – Anna Clements ’12 & Hannah Judge ’12

Health Security Partners – Sanjana Patel ‘13

Last Mile Health – Peter Luckow ’10

“LikeaGirl” Always campaign – Rachel Darville ’11

Possible Health – Mark Arnoldy ’10

“What Does America Mean?” – Maya Cohen ’10

Photo Caption: GlobeMed Alumni pose for a picture at 2017 GlobeMed Summit Alumni Reception. 

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