Breanna Powell

International Experience Country:
Dominican Republic
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Duquesne University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

Breanna Powell spent seven weeks of her summer living in a hospital while taking classes and volunteering as a medical intern in the Dominican Republic. She first learned the medical traditions and ways of the Dominican doctors and then held consults and gave diagnosis and prescriptions to the patients that visited the hospital. She was taught how to do certain surgeries with the resources that were available like limb amputations and transplants. She also was able to perform sutures on small injuries and set broken bones for casting on her own. While in the hospital, Breanna gained exposure to many diseases that are uncommon in the United States such as malaria, tuberculosis, and chikungunya. Breanna was able to focus on the prevention of many common children’s diseases in the Dominican Republic such as sexually-transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, and diabetes. She went out into four different communities and gave talks to the children about how to prevent those diseases by explaining exactly how the body works and the dangers of each problem. During her time in the Dominican Republic, Breanna was able to learn about the implementation of the public health system and offer suggestions on how to improve the system. Breanna obtained one of her life-long goals of speaking the Spanish language while being completely immersed in a Latino culture.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

The ladies of Duquesne University created a CEE filled with a lot of discussion and facilitated roundtables. We created a powerpoint prsentation to explain exactly what the Double Bind Theory is and why it is important to our everyday lives; not just as women but from the male perspective as well. We gave quotes, examples, and events that would connect to most women in America.  At the end of the powerpoint presentation, a short video clip was shown of the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, to give an example of the humorous side of the CEE yet also showing how social media contributes to our dilemma as women. This helped lead the discussion into a fun-filled conversation that everyone could connect with. We then broke off into four roundtable discussions with each 2014 cohort presenting on a double bind topic that hit them close to home. For example, I presented on Women in Science and how the double bind affects the STEM career choices for women. The other presentations included women in the classroom, women in the military, and how social media plays a role in the double bind struggle. Many of the attendees were shocked astonished, and appalled at the information that was given. This them leaf to an end discussion about how to combat the double bind theory. After the women in attendance saw the effects the double bind leaves us with, it was easier to come up worth solutions to make the community more aware of this problem. The event was an excellent way to network with other strong women in leadership. It provided the resources necessary to continue making the community aware of the double bind theory.