Tag Archives: NCCWSL

Medical Internship In Cusco, Peru

Medical Internship In Cusco, Peru By Tiffiny Joseph

Introduction by Gloria Yost: Tiffiny Joseph, one of our November speakers, is a past scholarship winner and one of our NCCWSL (National Conference for College Women Student Leaders) attendees.  She has expressed her great appreciation for the financial support given to her by various branch members.

Tiffiny’s article: After a long day’s travel with my husband and 5-month-old son, we made it to Cusco, Peru. We were visiting for three weeks so that I could complete a medical internship at a clinic in the heart of the city.

I am an aspiring doctor, a non-traditional student studying at the University of California, Davis, majoring in neurobiology, physiology and behavior. I will be applying for medical school this upcoming 2022-2023 cycle. A big part of the application is writing about experiences that have been significant to the candidate in affirming their path to medicine and preparing them for the challenges that come with medical school. Due to the pandemic, finding clinical experiences had been discouragingly difficult. Many of my applications were rejected, even the ones for the student-run clinic at UCD upon which I was relying for this necessary experience.

Understandably, most clinics could not welcome extra bodies who were not staff already. I was desperate. I needed to prove that the medical field is where I belong.

My husband found a medical internship program opportunity, but we were hesitant because of the investment. I was an AAUW scholarship recipient and NCCWSL attendee so thought to ask for some support from the members of AAUW through a GoFundMe page. Fortunately, with support from members of AAUW, we were able to go.

It was the first day of my internship, I was nervous. I was instructed not to be shy.  Since I speak Spanish, I had an advantage over some of the other volunteers attending since they did not speak Spanish.

The program directors told me that I would get out of the experience what I put into it. I left my child and husband at the home of our host family and took a taxi to meet the people with whom I would be working for the next three weeks.

I was greeted by a man who was flustered. He urged me to hurry, no real official introduction, just urgency. I followed him quickly. He told me to get dressed, put on a head cap, booties and scrubs. I did so as fast as I could. Once ready, I met him outside the changing area. He had a disappointed expression and informed me that I had missed a cesarean operation by just moments but that, fortunately, there was another surgery going on that I could watch.

Surgery? Really? I was excited. To be honest, I had never seen one. He brought me to the second “sala” (room). In this surgical unit, there were about four to five doctors operating on a patient, performing a hip surgery. I felt an adrenaline rush. This was an important moment that I will never forget. I could prepare, but until I actually experienced this event, I could not be certain how I would feel or respond.

They were sawing and removing pieces of bone. Interestingly enough, “Suavemente” was playing in the background, a song that I had grown up listening to and every Peruvian family plays during family functions. It was surreal. Later, when sharing this experience with a friend, she offered some insight for me to consider.  She suggested that this song that felt like home to me, was my family sending me comfort and telling me they were proud of me in that moment.

This experience was a gift. One that I will cherish forever. I continued to watch more than a dozen surgeries over the next three weeks.  Every day, I learned more and more. I was even able to assist surgeons in small ways, such as helping them to tie their gowns or passing more gauze as needed. I continued to feel that same initial enthusiasm.  This experience confirms for me that medicine is where I belong.

Education and Social Change Focuses of November Program

Education and Social Change Focuses of November Program By Kim Rutledge

The November AAUW Sacramento branch program will focus on our organization’s efforts to improve educational opportunities for women and girls. We will first hear from this year’s AAUW Sacramento Branch scholarship recipients, who will tell us about their education and career ambitions. We also expect to hear from the women our branch sent to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL).

The program also will include a talk by new branch member Jennifer Krebsbach, who recently completed the eight-week AAUW National Social Change Ambassador Program. She will discuss how she first learned about AAUW and incorporated National’s research into her thesis. She will also give an overview of what she learned in the ambassador program, starting with defining and exemplifying social change. She will go in depth to explain intersectionality and unconscious bias. The goal will be to identify how we as a branch can use these ideas to help us identify areas that can change at the local level, the work we can do as a group and also as an individual.

There will be a bit of lecture, some individual activities, and a discussion time to brainstorm action items toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

The meeting will take place on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent to all who register prior to the event by clicking on Eventbrite.

Messages from our 2021 NCCWL Attendees

Messages from our 2021 NCCWSL Attendees-Forwarded by Gloria Yost

NCCWSL = National Conference for Collegiate Women Student Leaders

I wanted to let you know that I got the NCCWSL tote bag and the wonderful card! I did have such an enjoyable experience at NCCWSL. I learned a lot, but my favorite part was the STEM table. Being a STEM major myself, I found it inspiring to hear from the women featured. One of the ladies, Jen Tassi, was a forensic chemistry major in college and that’s what I’m majoring in, so it was just so exciting to hear from someone who went through the same path I’m currently working through. We focused a lot on mentorship in our breakout room with Maria Molina Higgins, who is a professor of engineering at Penn State University; how to find a mentor, how to be a mentor, how to promote yourself, etc. It was a smaller and more intimate talk than the main Zoom session, so it was good to hear the questions from the other girls.

Overall, I had an amazing experience, and it made me excited for the future working with AAUW! Thank you very much for the opportunity!
–Serena Sotelo

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I want to thank the Sacramento AAUW chapter for the tote bag and support in attending the NCCWSL. I enjoyed listening to the amazing speakers and participating in conversations around succeeding as a woman in a science major. I left the conference feeling inspired and motivated. It was great to speak with those who are on, or have been on, a similar path.

I also enjoyed Dr. Taharee Jackson’s talk that centered around the Black Lives Matter movement. I appreciated her sharing different stories, wisdom, and the importance of being willing to learn about the challenges people in our communities face.  Humanity is a community, and when someone is suffering in a community, it is important to listen and learn to make changes so that every person in that community feels equal, safe and respected.

Thank you again for the meaningful experience!
–Tiffiny Joseph

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I want to thank the Sacramento AAUW chapter for sponsoring me to attend NCCWSL, sending me the NCCWSL tote bag, and for opening your doors to allow me to get to know the chapter better!

I thoroughly enjoyed NCCWSL, and attended several panels and workshops, including one on starting a nonprofit, which reignited my excitement in nonprofit work! I also attended a panel on financial confidence, something that was and continues to be so helpful to me right now as I have just graduated and my financials will be changing soon, once I get a job.

Thank you again for your assistance and kindness, and I hope to meet you all in October! Sending wishes of health and happiness to you all.
–Ashley D. Jeffers