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Earlhamites to Compete in Health Leadership Conference
Indiana Ag Connection - 06/13/2018

Five Earlhamites have advanced to compete at the Health Occupations Students of America's (HOSA) National Leadership Conference in Texas in just their first year of competition.

Megan Bennett '20, an English major from Muncie, established Earlham's HOSA chapter last year in partnership with the College's Center for Global Health and the Co-Lab, a new space on campus that encourages collaborative research and learning.

"I came to Earlham because I wanted to combine science with the humanities and I thought a liberal arts education could really help with that," Bennett says. "I'm really interested in medical humanities and science communication so Earlham and HOSA has supported that interest perfectly. I'm thrilled with everyone's success."

Bennett was among the students who advanced to nationals this spring after competing in HOSA's state competition in Indianapolis, winning first in medical reading and extemporaneous writing. Joining her at state was Cyrus Buckman '18 (1st, medical math), Abuselam Awol '19 (2nd, medical spelling), Irving Barrera '20 (3rd, medical terminology), and Abhay Chaudhary '20 (1st, pathophysiology, medical spelling and medical terminology).

With 1,200 students and representatives from Indiana high schools and institutions of higher education in attendance, this year's HOSA state conference was the largest in the organization's history. Earlhamites competed against students from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University, and other institutions.

Earlham's Center for Global Health will support the Earlham team at HOSA's national conference in June and pay for students' travel costs.

"This is another example of the kind of opportunities we hope to offer our students to foster the next steps in their career development," says Peter Blair, associate professor of biology and the co-director of Earlham's Center for Global health. "We're incredibly proud with how they fared against peers from other institutions of higher education across the state."

Rohma Zubair '17, a recent graduate who is now the program director for the College's Co-Lab, will travel with the Earlham team to Texas.

"Establishing a HOSA chapter on campus was really important for us and was one of the priorities that the Center for Global Health asked the Co-Lab to work with them on this year," Zubair says. "We're really proud of our students. I have been in classes with many of them, so their success isn't that surprising to me. What does surprise me, is that when you look at other colleges and universities who competed at the state competition, we placed in the Top 3 of everything we entered."

Earlhamites have access to an unprecedented slate of immersive, outside-of-the-classroom experiences, contributing to the College's national reputation as a leader for the percentage of graduates who earn advanced degrees, including the Ph.D.

Such preparation is supported by the EPIC Advantage, Earlham's offer of a funded internship or research experience, for every student, virtually anywhere in the world. Earlham's Center for Global Health also offers a growing externship program, a Global Health EPIC Term in Central America, a research experience in Thailand, and innovative coursework as part of a Medical Humanities Integrated Pathway. This coursework explores the intersectionality between the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities and directly supports students pursuing medical school, allied health fields or other related courses of study.

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