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SUMMER 2014 

Camille Sacristan ’17, Wilson Chen ’16 and Ruben Ulloa ’16

Camille Sacristan ’17, Wilson Chen ’16 and Ruben Ulloa ’16 traveled to Tacloban City — one of the areas in the country that was hardest-hit by the typhoon — where they worked withVolunteer for the Visayans. Camille, Wilson and Ruben each focused their energies on different aspects of the organization while there in order to have a broader and more in-depth understanding of the multiple functions of public and global health. They worked in three fields: Nutrition Public Health Project, Rural Health Clinic Project and Media Internship. During their time in Tacloban City, they periodically touched base with each other to share their unique experiences, solve problems as a team, and build a peer support network that is similar to the structure Ulloa learned as a member of the Posse Foundation. Their project comes at an appropriate time as in spring of 2014, Oberlin’s only global health organization, the Oberlin Chapter of GlobeMed, split from the national organization. Camille, Wilson and Ruben hoped to utilize the skills they’ve learned from VFV in the Philippines, and implement them into the activities of a new public health organization on Oberlin’s campus.

Chris Gould ’15

Chris Gould ’15 traveled to the Philippines to further his understanding of how grassroots organizations with histories of war and colonization implement healthcare models in their communities. Chris explored healthcare models that have been implemented in response to Typhoon Haiyan through the volunteer-based  international organization, Volunteer for the Visayans. On the service trip, Chris will worked closely with local community organizations through direct service, and further recognized the challenges that workers, peasants, urban poor, and indigenous people face. He’s an Immerse Yourself in Service Trip Leader, was a volunteer coordinator at GlobeMed, and also played a large role in coordinating 2014’s Midwest Asian American Student Conference.

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Sarah Chatta ’17

Freshman Sarah Chatta ’17, spent the summer of 2014 in India “Tracing History.” She traveled to New Delhi and then to Shimla, the capital city of India’s northern state of Himachal Pradesh, two places where she has extended family members that are of her grandmother’s generation. Sarah explored both the significance of Shimla in India’s history and the Indian-Pakistani Partition through listening to oral stories that she gathered through living, breathing resources. She contextualized these personal accounts by delving into university and private archives, and has begun to incorporate her findings into a larger study of modern Indian history. Her presentation in the fall of 2014 included artifacts that she found while visiting her family home, video interviews of firsthand accounts of the Partition, and photos that helped to illuminate the historical context of the event and Sarah’s project.

Weelic Chong ’15 

Weelic Chong ’15 who studies biochemistry and neuroscience, will be spending this January researching bioluminescent organisms in Japan. He will join Darrin Schultz ’13, who is currently pursuing a Fulbright and hoping to give trees bioluminescent qualities so that they can emit light at night. Weelic will not only be spending time in the lab crunching data and conducting gene purification, he’ll also be out catching deep-sea glowing organisms off the coast of Japan. “The collaboration of science,” as Weelic aptly puts it, “transcends international boundaries,” and data shared across countries often transcends language barriers. Weelic will spend the following spring semester at Waseda University as part of the Japan Study Consortium program. Upon his return to campus he plans to act out an improvised performance of a typical day in the lab and examine the different ways that different countries and cultures think about science.

Gian Parel ’15

This January Gian Parel ’15, a double major in neuroscience and economics, traveled to Manila, the capital of the Philippines. While there, he learned about existing labor patterns and the movement toward economic empowerment of bakla youth (rough western equivalent of bakla: gay male). He explored Filipino concepts of male queerness (rough translation: kabaklaan) in the context of the Philippines’ postcolonial and neoliberal history. Gian’s experiences helped to inform his participation in the Filipin@ American Students Association and scholar-activist aspirations.

Loan Lu ’15

The title of Loan Lu’s project is “Examining Vietnamese Women Diaspora in South Korea,” and her research spanned two countries. Loan ’15 spent the first part of her project in Vietnam at the Kanata School. The Kanata School offers Korean language classes and cultural preparation workshops specifically designed for Vietnamese women getting ready to move to Korea and marry Korean men. Loan then looked at the other side of this diaspora, traveling to Seoul where a large Vietnamese population lives. She interviewed recent transplants as well as individuals who have been living in Korea for a longer time.  Though this project may seem very specialized at first glace, it is a microcosm of the phenomena that occur in a modern, globalized world, one in which going abroad can sometimes be for fun or education, but other times for survival, or in hopes of an improvement in quality of life.

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