Spring 2018

Better Learning Through Service

Active citizenship is woven into a Tufts University education, and Cummings School students can apply their growing expertise through learning-focused community service in places ranging from elementary schools to the Luke and Lily Lerner Spay/Neuter Clinic. Now, the school’s partnership with the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts is growing.

Erin King, VG17, has joined the Grafton campus as its first Cummings-Tisch civic life coordinator to help Cummings School administer and grow its service-learning opportunities. She will work with students on existing community outreach programs, as well as help them develop and find funding for their own initiatives “Service learning benefits all fields of medicine because graduates often end up dealing with disparities, both in care and research,” she said.

Cummings School students also now have the opportunity to participate in the Tisch Summer Fellows program, which offers substantive stipended internships that help students work on important issues while also building their networks and exploring career possibilities. Three internships—with the USDA Veterinary Services’ One Health program, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Zoological Health Program, and the Smithsonian Conservation Global Health Program—have been developed in partnership with Cummings School. Starting this summer, two students also can pursue a self-designed internship.

As one of the inaugural veterinary Tisch Fellows at the Smithsonian, Kristen Tobin, V19, helped develop a course for the University of Nairobi focused on camels, a common livestock animal in Kenya that can harbor diseases dangerous to humans and wildlife. In addition to gaining hands-on experience helping perform necropsies on rare exotic species (including a cheetah), Tobin wrote budgets, program descriptions, and grant applications—including one that will support educating veterinarians, camel farmers, and slaughterhouse workers in Kenya about the risk of disease transmission. “Hopefully, she said, “more awareness will drive local policy changes and improve overall camel, human, and environmental health.”

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