By: Angela Li, Adele Wallrich
In the short time I’ve known Adele, one of our two amazing ghU coordinators, her enthusiasm, dedication, and overall lovely personality has made her a joy to work with. She is consistently able to think of meaningful conversations and the multifaceted lenses through which we as a club can look at staggering, relevant issues in the global health field and beyond.
A conversation with Adele:
Why did you join GlobeMed?
I joined GlobeMed because during my freshman year, I started to become disillusioned with the idea of altruism in international work and whether or not it was possible to affect change in ways that were not ethically problematic. I was good friends with Barune since the beginning of my time at Berkeley, and he told me about how he wanted to found a Berkeley chapter of club called GlobeMed. I was quite skeptical at first given my existing doubts of the whole idea of "helping others," but he explained the partnership model and how GlobeMed really emphasizes sustainability in their work. The focus on grassroots change and working with people who are familiar with their respective communities stood out to me as well. I started off as Director of Community Building because I really wanted to be involved in curating how the culture of the club would develop and setting precedences that would help guide the course of the chapter.
What are you interested in that relates to GlobeMed and more broadly, global health?
In the beginning, I was actually much more interested in the community empowerment and grassroots side of GlobeMed. Over time as I started to find my academic niche at Berkeley, I realized I was interested in food systems, which of course integrates public health as well. So as I took more classes for my major, I realized my interest in GlobeMed was broadening from my initial focus on social justice to the actual public health side of it, especially since our first project was on pesticides, which is something I learn a lot about in my classes. Now that (almost) 4 years have passed, my interests are really multifaceted and include equity in public health, pollution and chemical contaminants, the US's presence in international aid/relief, and sustainability in environmental work as well as health programs/interventions.
What are you passionate about?
I'm super passionate about intersections between the environment and health! I have a growing interest in environmental health sciences and policy, but I love ecology and how biological processes affect anthropogenic systems, such as agriculture. On a totally different note, I'm also very very passionate about music! My life before UC Berkeley was mainly dedicated to my musical training in piano, and even though I don't do music at Berkeley, I'm a musician at heart and in an alternate universe, I would absolutely be a performer and do music full-time.
About The Global Health Soap Box
This blog evokes the spirit of UC Berkeley -- the home of the Free Speech Movement. The Global Heath Soap Box provides a platform for GlobeMed at Berkeley chapter members to explore and discuss their thoughts on relevant public health issues. Whether it's an expansion on what we discuss in ghUs or a topic of interest--The Global Health Soap Box covers a wide range of topics.