Learning The Value of Networking & Professional Development Throughout My DIF Experience

By Emily Roebuck ’20, Davidson Impact Fellow with Atrium Health/McKay Urology

The last few months have been full of networking and professional development, as well as understanding the major operational considerations behind systemic change. In December, we completed our Social Determinants of Health Screening (SDOH) Pilot in the urology department, which demonstrated a high level of unmet social need among our patient population and the feasibility of developing workflow around SDOH. Time since then has involved extensive data review, literature dives, and evaluation of next steps from which I am coming away with several important lessons learned.

First, I am continually amazed by the amount of knowledge that already exists around addressing SDOH and understanding their impact on health outcomes. This reminds me that while my first reaction upon seeing a problem might be to find a way to solve it, it is important to first evaluate if someone has already done that work before you, because oftentimes, they have. In my literature dive, I see that many clinicians, public health workers, and policy makers have been shouting from the rooftops about the impact of SDOH on patient and population health for years—specifically since the 1980s from what I see. So, as we figure out our next steps in implementing more permanent change around addressing SDOH in urology, we do not necessarily need to reinvent the wheel or create any novel intervention. Rather, we need to open our eyes and ears to learn from those who have been participating and leading in this work before us.

This brings me to my next learning point, which is the great value in networking. I was apprehensive to ask too many questions when I first arrived for fear of bothering those with already-busy schedules and in my mind, more important tasks to attend. Yet having now seen the wealth of work already being done in healthcare around SDOH, I have been compelled to seek out conversations within and outside of Atrium to explore opportunities for learning and when possible, system alignment. From each of these contacts, I have left with a deeper understanding of their current efforts, as well as seen how many people in this space are also eager for knowledge sharing and initiative overlap. For instance, I reached out to Health Leads, a community service organization, after reading about their program in a review. From there, I have been connected with several folks over at Duke who have implemented an SDOH screening and patient navigation model which would greatly benefit our practice here. In addition to learning things that work well, I can also see previous barriers based on their experience that I might not have otherwise considered.

While I might have known these lessons before, seeing their importance in real-time has certainly cemented their value —and above all, patients and communities will be better helped as a result of this collaborative learning.

My DIF Experience with Winship Cancer Institute

By Claire Sibold ’20

I can’t believe I’ve been working in this role for almost five months now. When I started working at Winship Cancer Institute back in August, everything felt so foreign; it was hard to believe that I would be overseeing an ethics research project for a full year, writing papers that would be submitted for publication, and collaborating with such impressive people at Winship. Five months later, I still find myself in awe that I’m lucky enough to have had these unique experiences become familiar and part of my everyday routine. As I reflect on my time thus far, one theme that has emerged as central to all of the interesting projects we’ve worked on, which is the multiple layers and voices that work together to achieve one overarching goal: improving the patient experience.


This theme became apparent based on how many Oncologists, nurses, and other healthcare providers cared about our ethics projects. It’s been an amazing opportunity to work with healthcare professionals in such a collaborative manner and to see how engaged they are in our ethics projects, hoping to contribute in any way to improving the patient experience. It’s encouraging to see the value that’s placed on the patient voice at all levels of care at Winship–a philosophy I will strive to embody as I work towards becoming a physician. I’m so grateful for the time remaining in the fellowship to continue these meaningful and eye-opening collaborations.

Additionally, I have also been amazed at patient willingness to participant in ethics studies that may help a patient have a better experience in the future. As my main project, I’ve been interviewing patients enrolled on clinical trials for treatments that have never been tested in humans before. We are interviewing patients to get their input on how to structure these informed consent forms so the information is accessible and understandable for the patients as they consider enrolling in the trials. I have loved being a part of this project because I feel it represents Winship’s commitment to quality patient care: that it starts with informed consent, even before the patient has started treatment. This has made me aware of just how multi-layered and collaborative healthcare improvements are. I continue to be inspired by such encounters, and look forward to continuing to engage with patients and providers as we all strive to improve their cancer care from different angles.

Why is Tuck Business Bridge Too Good to Miss?

By Qiya (Kaye) Mao, Davidson College ’21 (Economics, Political Science)

Why is Tuck Business Bridge too good to miss?

Do you have a vague interest in business, but feel underprepared to take on a whole internship yet? If that’s the case, you’d benefit a lot from the Tuck Business Bridge Program. At a liberal arts college like Davidson, you most likely have been taught to think critically and creatively, and have extensively practiced these principles in various settings. What could be better than getting to apply the insights you’ve gained at Davidson in a business-oriented, professionally driven context? At Tuck Business Bridge, you’ll meet and team up with like-minded peers to embark on a thrilling journey that will help you develop a comprehensive understanding of what business is all about, as well as acquire a shiny set of practical skills that will significantly strengthen your candidacy in the job market.

How does it work?

Since we’re still living in a pandemic-affected reality, the winter session of Tuck Business Bridge I participated in was, once again, all virtual. While completing the program online inevitably meant certain elements from in-person interactions couldn’t be fully replicated, you’d be wrong to think the virtual version of the program is less content-packed and valuable than the on-site one. You should be ready to tackle new challenges in all directions on a daily basis, whether that requires smart time management in your six-people study groups, resilient patience in the face of complicated accounting and finance concepts, or informed confidence in optional mock interviews with MBA students at Tuck School of Business. There will be long days and odd hours of studying, collaborating, and striving for improvements even in the slightest details. You will be so tired of Zoom and Canvas afterwards, but you will finish the program feeling supported and accomplished.

What are the selling points?

The benefits of participating in the Tuck Business Bridge Program are highly tangible:

– You’ll know how to locate, look into, extract meaningful data from financial statements of publicly traded companies, and use tools embedded in Excel to build a discounted cash flow (DCF) model that’ll allow you to form an evidence-backed opinion about the per share value of a company.

– You’ll practice leadership in ways you find comfortable and uneasy as you navigate evolving team dynamics in multiple settings, whether that’s within your program study group or within randomly formed Zoom breakout groups, regardless of the significance of tasks expected to be completed.

– You’ll receive ample feedback from your professors, your Bridge Associates (i.e. TAs in the program), as well as your peers in almost anything you do during the program, so much so that it’d be difficult not to form the habit of being more intentional in self-reflections on your decisions and actions.

– Any of the above-listed points can make you more marketable to a future employer. Better yet, having Tuck Business Bridge on your resume in and of itself makes you stand out from the crowd, not to mention you’ll get to join a vibrant Bridge alumni network upon graduating from the program.

Working Together… Apart

By Emma Blake ’20

In the past several months, I’ve done a lot in my Impact Fellow Role at MAHEC. I’ve helped give presentations to doctors about novel treatment options. I’ve written and prepared an article for publication in a major journal. I’ve familiarized myself with the complexities of maternal healthcare and treatments for substance use disorders. And I’ve done most of these things from home.

Working from home has come with a unique set of benefits and disadvantages. On the positive side, I’ve had more control over when to do my work, and I’ve been able to avoid many of the small frustrations of office life like a morning commute or someone microwaving fish in the break room. On the negative side though, working from home often leaves me feeling disconnected from the work I’m doing, my coworkers, and the community that my work is supposed to support. Zoom meetings are fine for updating the research team on the latest developments, but they can’t replace the small daily interactions between team members that build up our sense of communal support and camaraderie.


What I think I’m missing most is a feeling of community and shared purpose. At Davidson, most of my work was grounded in the community and the feeling that other students and professors had my back. Working from home has led to me only knowing my coworkers as coworkers, not as people with unique stories, interests, and personalities. Even though we’re all working towards the same goal, we’re doing so separately and individually. It’s been a jarring feeling and a challenging adjustment.


The major exception to this feeling is when I go into the maternal healthcare clinic on Thursdays. On those days, I get to interact with patients and talk to my coworkers face-to-face. It’s such a different feeling from a digital meeting. When I work with the patients, I’m reminded that my work is really helping people and making a difference in my newly adopted community of Asheville. I became interested in healthcare generally and the Davidson Impact Fellowship at MAHEC specifically because I wanted to help people and create positive change in my community. Working from home has left me feeling disconnected from that purpose, but my time in the clinic constantly reminds me that my work has value and is serving to benefit people in need. I can’t wait until I can go back to the office, engage with my coworkers in a supportive community, and feel that shared sense of purpose every day.

What You Should Know About The Dartmouth Tuck Business Bridge Program

By the Tuck Business Bridge Team

With the shift to virtual, remote learning in March, Tuck Business Bridge got to work making plans to deliver its summer programs virtually. The goal was simple – deliver the same high-touch, rigorous, and comprehensive program, but in an online environment. The team sought to not only replicate the residential program remotely, but to make the program even stronger by leveraging some of the benefits of virtual connection, such as special guests and increased alumni networking. On Zoom, students attended live classes, interacted with faculty, met with MBA mentors, worked with peers in study groups, completed business simulations, valued a company, participated in 1-1 resume reviews, mock interviewed, attended career workshops, and so much more. The summer was a success, with 97% of participants saying they would recommend the program to a friend.

What did Davidson students who participated this past summer think? We spoke with Chelsea Savage ‘21, Alex Gomez ‘21, and Alexandra Romero ’20 about the program – why they chose it, what they learned, and the value it provided.

Why Bridge?

Alex Gomez: As a Political Science major who’s interested in pursuing business, I wanted to learn basic knowledge and skills in order to ease this transition and gain an edge in the recruiting process. I was able to take introductory courses in Finance, Marketing, and Spreadsheet Modeling, all of which aren’t offered at Davidson.

What did the program provide?

Chelsea Savage: I came into the program with little career direction and a weak understanding of business, and I left with a focused career path and skills I will be able to display in interviews and use in the workplace.

Alex Gomez: There were also some amazing resources for networking, with lots of opportunities to hone your interviewing skills and explore different types of business careers. Additionally, I really enjoyed working with my study group throughout the program – it was nice to make friends despite the virtual circumstances, and the experience of collaborating as part of a team will serve me well in the future.

Alexandra Romero: This experience has equipped me with quantitative analytical skills in preparation for my career. Outside of the program’s curriculum, I have been able to tap into a helpful network that I am extremely grateful for.

What was your favorite class?

Alex Gomez: My favorite class was Marketing. I didn’t know much about it before, and it was really interesting and has changed my perspective on certain things like job interviews, the media, and business in general. The MarkStrat simulation was my favorite part of the program.

What company did you choose for the capstone project?


Chelsea Savage: Gap

Alex Gomez: GrubHub

Alexandra Romero: Chipotle

How was the virtual delivery?

Chelsea Savage: I am extremely thankful for the Tuck Bridge team and the work they put in to make the online program just as accessible and supportive as it would have been on Dartmouth’s campus. Even though it was virtual, the invaluable connections I was able to make with peers, career professionals, and recruiters gave me the boost I needed to solidify my professional skills.

Alex Gomez: I thought the virtual format went as well as it could. While Zoom fatigue was inevitable, I still learned a ton and was able to bond with my study group.

What is your biggest take away?

Alex Gomez: The ability to work in a team is arguably the most important skill in business (and is crucial for life in general).

Alexandra Romero: This program gave me the ability to speak confidently about business topics that I otherwise would have not been able to speak on as an Environmental Studies major.

Would you recommend the program?

Chelsea Savage: If you are interested in business at all, I would highly recommend applying!

Alex Gomez: I would definitely recommend Bridge to anyone who is interested in a business career.

Want to learn more about the Tuck Business Bridge program? Visit the website, attend one of our virtual events, or reach out to recruiting manager, Sarah Chapin at sarah.b.chapin@tuck.dartmouth.edu

Read their testimonials below:

Chelsea Savage ’21 | Sociology

I really enjoyed my virtual experience with Tuck. I came into the program with little career direction and a weak understanding of business, and I left with a focused career path and skills I will be able to display in interviews and use in the workplace. Even though it was virtual, the invaluable connections I was able to make with peers, career professionals, and recruiters gave me the boost I needed to solidify my professional skills. I am extremely thankful for the Tuck Bridge team and the work they put in to make the online program just as accessible and supportive as it would have been on Dartmouth’s campus. If you are interested in business at all, I would highly recommend applying!

Alex Gomez ’21 | Political Science

I really enjoyed my experience at Tuck Bridge. As a Political Science major who’s interested in pursuing business, I wanted to learn basic knowledge and skills in order to ease this transition and gain an edge in the recruiting process. I was able to take introductory courses in Finance, Marketing, and Spreadsheet Modeling, all of which aren’t offered at Davidson. I found the fast-paced and rigorous nature of the program to be quite rewarding, and was surprised at how much content was covered over three weeks. There were also some amazing resources for networking, with lots of opportunities to hone your interviewing skills and explore different types of business careers. Additionally, I really enjoyed working with my study group throughout the program – it was nice to make friends despite the virtual circumstances, and the experience of collaborating as part of a team will serve me well in the future. We did a company valuation of Grubhub for our final project, and it was really cool to combine what we learned in class with real-life research and analysis of the mobile food delivery industry. Overall, I would definitely recommend Bridge to anyone who is interested in a business career.

Alexandra Romero ‘20 | Environmental Studies

My role in my team was to research and analyze Chipotle’s digital strategy and describe how it contributed to our Chipotle valuation. This program gave me the ability to speak confidently about business topics that I otherwise would have not been able to speak on as an Environmental Studies major. This experience has equipped me with quantitative analytical skills in preparation for my career. Outside of the program’s curriculum, I have been able to tap into a helpful network that I am extremely grateful for.

A Summer of Learning About Myself and My Future Impact on Our Healthcare System

By Valeria Donoso ’22

As I grew up around a family of immigrants, I saw constant struggle and strength but also perseverance. It is very important to me that the work I commit to is surrounded around improving the lives of those like my families. Throughout the year, I volunteer at the Ada Jenkin’s Free Clinic as a Spanish translator. While volunteering, I see my family’s struggle and resilience in the marginalized groups we serve. After my exposure to inequitable healthcare, I have become determined to serve as a physician that will be an ally to those who have gone through, or are going through, the same struggles my family once did. 

Continuing these goals, this summer I was an unpaid intern for the Tight-Lipped Podcast, a storytelling podcast, and movement-building project about chronic gynecological conditions. I spent the summer examining how systemic sexism, the lack of research funding, and social pressures barre the diagnosis of these conditions. I assisted with the podcast by conducting background research about historical healthcare policies and transcribed interviews. I developed marketing strategies to build our audience, specifically the Latinx community by translating the website and helped develop a resource list in Spanish. I also worked on their social media platform and outreach.  

While interning at Tight-Lipped, I have learned a lot about the history of medical discrimination within race and gender and its presence in today’s healthcare system. As the uprising of Black Lives Matter protests and anti-racist learnings began in the summer, I saw it as our responsibility, as an all-white-passing team, to make efforts to educate and provide resources for our audience about the history of racism in gynecology and its presence in healthcare today by uplifting the Black voices and creatives that have been doing this work. I curated Instagram posts dedicated to the dark history of gynecologists using black female slaves to pioneer procedures without consent and while not using any anesthesia based on articles and books about this. I also worked with my team to highlight how this history translates into America’s large Black maternal mortality rate and the reluctance from medical professionals to believe Black female patient’s pain.  

Although I dedicated lots of time to educating our audience, I also dedicated a lot of time to learning and unlearning things around the healthcare system and race. I attended lectures, listened to podcasts, and read articles to learn more about how I can help better the current health care systems in place. I specifically listened to the NATAL podcast and read Inaugural Edition of The Sankofa Journal from Davidson College.  

I have also learned about knowledge biases in clinical research. As I investigated the history of research for chronic conditions in gynecology, I noticed many flaws in the research funding system that barres the dedication for funding for this type of research. Funding for gynecology and obstetrics must be shared with the pediatrics department even if they do not have any overlap. I also noticed that there was a lack of research to solve chronic pain conditions in females and I believe this is due to societies history of ignoring women’s suffering and pain. After learning how little is being done to solve these conditions, I have begun to aspire to contribute to this type of research in the future. 

I not only learned a lot more about medical and knowledge biases, but I also learned a lot about my future aspirations. As I mentioned previously, this learning opportunity was unpaid, and I had to search for outside funding to be able to commit to this internship. I was able to commit to this internship with the support of funding from the Emerging Professionals Grant that I accessed through the Center for Career Development. With this grant funding, I was able to fund necessities that piled up and were out of reach without proper funding. If it weren’t for this grant I would have been forced to have picked-up unsafe jobs in my community that would risk the health of myself and my family or drop this amazing internship completely to work full-time in a job that would not enrich my learning or provide safe social distancing during this pandemic. By being able to commit to this internship with grant funding, I learned so much about myself and how I can further impact our healthcare system.  

How My Valuable Summer Experience Translated Into My Future Career

By Isabella Lozano ’21

This summer, I interned for the Public Communications team of Union County Government. I worked in Monroe, North Carolina, where the County Government offices are located. The Public Communications team works to convey important information to Union County’s employees as well as its 222,000 residents. The team is constantly working to enable community success and improve people’s lives in the county.

My interest in communications began with my classes at Davidson College, and this internship solidified my passion for this field. This experience in Public Communications allowed me to gain valuable experience with internal and external communications. This summer allowed me to further define my career goals and desire to play a role in bridging the gap between an organization and the people, just as Union County’s Public Communications team does.

I received the Falconi Family Internship Grant, which made this summer experience possible. With this grant, I was able to cover my living expenses and travel expenses since I was commuting to Monroe every day for work. Thank you to the Career Center and Falconi family for making this possible!

As an intern for the Public Communications team, I helped create, design, and execute marketing and communications plans to reach the employees of Union County Government and residents of the County. Some of my projects included researching best practices for social media, writing articles for the Union County website, and developing content for Union County’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I was also responsible for developing a Hurricane Season Communications Plan for the team to use during hurricane season. This communications plan included a timeline of key messages to relay to the residents and recommendations for the County website to make hurricane resources more accessible.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this summer was an especially interesting time to intern for a county government. I helped contribute to the team’s ongoing communications surrounding COVID-19. Some of the messages we focused on were where to go for testing in Union County, tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and where to go if you need resources. These messages were amplified on various platforms, including email blasts, the Union County website, social media, billboards, and radio ads. I was responsible for drafting some of these social media posts as well as radio ads. This project showed me the importance of clear and transparent messages, especially when communicating a prevalent issue such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

During my internship, I had the opportunity to meet with the directors of different Union County Government departments. I learned the details of their position and the role each department plays in Union County. I also gained insight into their unique career paths and how they ended up in their position. This was one of my favorite parts of the internship because I was able to learn more about Union County Government while also receiving career advice.

Overall, this was an awesome summer experience, and I am grateful for my time with Union County’s Public Communications team. I gained valuable experience and skills working in communications that I will be able to translate into my future career. I was able to work alongside great people who are experts in their respective fields. This internship was an experience I won’t forget!

Passion is Contagious.

By Chris Chao ’22

Passion is contagious. 

A collection of photographs, sporadic pieces of information, and a map with 123 points for each tree—that’s how I started as a Sustainability Scholar. My partner organization was TreesCharlotte, an environmental-preservation organization that is dedicated to preserving Charlotte’s tree canopy. My main project revolved around the Mecklenburg County Treasure Tree program. The Treasure Tree program started in the late ‘80s to identify the largest and most significant examples of each tree species in the county. The original program ended in 2000. With the massive development in the Charlotte area, a new committee was formed in 2017 with the goal of restarting the program.

My job was to track down trees, photograph them, interview the property owners to get the trees’ stories and then put all that information on a new website. About 55% of them are still standing today. Once I organized our information, my supervisor suggested I visit some sites to get photographs and interview the homeowners.

That’s when everything changed.

After I interviewed the first property owners about their trees, I realized I was working on something really special. Their stories inspired me. I became personally invested in telling the stories of these trees—trees which homeowners played on when they were children and trees that signified people’s parents, some of whom had passed. Through the passion in people’s recollection, I realized the importance of preserving these stories. 

My time with TreesCharlotte is almost over and soon the Treasure Tree website will be live. Moving forward, I’ll become a volunteer member of the Mecklenburg County Treasure Trees board. I hope to start a similar program in the Town of Davidson for my environmental studies capstone. I’ve experienced how contagious passion can be and I’d love to share that with the Davidson community.

Thank you to TreesCharlotte’s Jen Rothacker and Treasure Tree Committee member Brett Dupree for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this project. I only played a small part in the updated Treasure Tree program, but I loved it. 

A Glimpse into My Summer Virtual Internship

By: Kaizad Irani ’22

This summer, I am currently working as a remote intern with the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP). They are a nonpartisan network of 120+ international organizations working to end violence and promote peace around the world. AfP advocates for conflict prevention in legislation, utilizes data to advance research in the peacebuilding field, and mobilizes the public by hosting events such as PeaceCon, the largest annual peacebuilding conference in the U.S. As an intern, I am researching AfP’s network of members and creating a data visualization that shows their global impact.

During my time at Davidson, I became interested in leveraging the power of data and technology in fields like international studies and political science. The courses at Davidson helped improve my quantitative and qualitative abilities in better understanding and questioning the world around me. Some of my favorite courses included CSC 110 “Data Science and Society,” where I learned R and created a research poster exploring democracy and governance in the Middle East. In that course, I applied both data science and political science skills towards finding governance and public opinion trends in the Arab World and presented my findings to my peers and professors at Davidson’s Verna Miller Case Symposium. In addition, as part of TheGovLab@Davidson, I conducted data-focused research exploring the effectiveness of the United Nations and other international, intergovernmental organizations. My internship with AfP closely aligns with my academic interests and provides me the opportunity to apply my understanding of data analytics and global studies in a professional setting. 

This opportunity was made possible by the Center for Career Development (CCD) and the Dean Rusk International Studies Programs. Coming into Davidson, I (like most students) was unsure of what I wanted to study and my career path. That spring, I went on the CCD’s DC Career Trek, a spring break trip to the nation’s capital where we visited various think-tanks, government agencies, and political organizations. From that trip, I learned about networking and connected with Davidson alumni working in fields such as political economics, governmental affairs, political lobbying, and international relations. I also got involved with the Dean Rusk Program during my first year at Davidson, through which I have had the chance to attend numerous teatime discussions, cultural events, and academic lectures related to a variety of international issues and topics. I am grateful for Ms. Jane Zimmerman, the Director of the Dean Rusk Program, and for the vast number of connections available through Davidson College which helped me obtain my internship.

Finally, I am thankful for receiving the Locke White Jr. grant through the CCD. My summer experience would not be possible without their generous funding and I am fortunate enough to have this internship where I am working towards creating a tangible and meaningful product that will impact the future of effective peacebuilding.

My Summer Research Experience

By Charlie Walsh ’22

This summer, I have been working remotely as a research assistant for Huron Gastroenterology Associates located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. So far, I’ve been extremely fortunate to get one paper and one abstract published.

The paper focuses on Telehealth, which can be defined as the use of telecommunication modalities, such as telephone and real-time video, to connect patients with clinicians for the purpose of providing healthcare. As of right now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) increased funding for reimbursement of telehealth communication in clinical visits but only until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this study, we hope to persuade CMS to continue funding these patient encounters beyond the pandemic due to the high levels of patient and provider satisfaction, ease of access to medical care and the positive economic impact of this system.

The abstract examines the extensive costs of mandatory pre-procedural COVID-19 testing prior to procedures in order to determine whether or not the current system is economically and practically beneficial for gastroenterology clinics and their patients around the United States. Along with the publication, I have recently been selected to present this research at the American College of Gastroenterology’s annual meeting in October.

Receiving the Juliana Tazewell Porter grant allowed me to focus on my research full-time and has given me experiences that wouldn’t be possible without it. I believe the projects I am involved in have been extremely educational in learning the process of conducting clinical research, as well as offering valuable experience before I apply to medical school.  Although the in-person limitations of the current pandemic have hindered the efficiency of our studies, it also provides an opportunity to observe how researchers persevere through these restrictions and utilize cutting edge technology to their advantage, giving me a unique perspective of the demands and resourcefulness required of individuals in the medical field.

Additionally, receiving this grant gave me the opportunity to move from my home state of Michigan to North Carolina and train as a part of the Davidson Swim and Dive team while continuing my research full-time. With the current guidelines and restrictions in Michigan, I was unable to train for about 3 months before moving down to Davidson. Now that I’m back on campus, I’ve been extremely happy to get back to training for our upcoming (hopefully) 2021 season!