Sheng Zhou, 2014, Chemistry

My summer internship was an extension of my involvement with a student-run nonprofit, GlobeMed at Princeton University. My project was part of the GrassRoots Onsite Work (GROW) Internship program of GlobeMed at Princeton’s partnership with Medical AIDS Outreach (MAO). I worked with Amy Li ’14 to conduct a survey of Alabama college students on their perceptions of HIV/AIDS and testing. We also worked on developing our relationship with MAO by interviewing different employees in the organization to understand the inner workings of a nonprofit. I worked largely with the education department and taught safe sex essentials in the community. This opportunity opened my eyes to the lack of healthcare for rural populations, and the importance of innovative technologies such as telemedicine. More importantly, it highlighted that healthcare is at the intersection of social understanding and scientific exploration. In the South, the problem lies not in HIV/AIDS drug discovery but within a myriad of social and policy problems largely arising from poverty and ignorance. I hope to apply these lessons to future work in health and medicine.