Eckerd College alumna shares wisdom from overseas public health work with international relations students – News

Kohler Smith asked Eckerd College students about their study abroad experiences and how they had related what they’d learned in the classroom to on-the-ground participation. Maya Tschappat, a senior philosophy and international relations student from Kernersville, North Carolina, had traveled to Patagonia, Chile, over Winter Term in January. “My [education] helped me understand why things are the way that they are, because it’s very different from America …” Maya said. “Doing all the readings and learning about the economy helped me to understand the way that Chile works.”

Kohler Smith had returned to Eckerd on Feb. 5 to discuss international studies, political science and her own work in the public health field. After graduating with a degree in international studies, Kohler Smith went to Columbia University, earning a Master of Public Health degree. From there, she began working in public health education in the U.S. and abroad, focusing specifically on autism and women’s health.

Her latest project took place in Iquitos, Peru, where she was a project coordinator for Prisma ONG, a nongovernmental organization that worked to implement local HPV testing to prevent cervical cancer. The program was adopted by the Peruvian government in 2021.

During her visit to the Eckerd campus, Kohler Smith spoke to classes taught by McAleese, who had served as her mentor during her undergraduate education.

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