January 2, 2013
Twelve Drury University students will have an eye opening and potentially life altering experience when they travel to South Africa over winter break. Supervised by Drs. Rachael Herrington and Jennifer Silva Brown, these students will visit Cape Town and work in orphanages and medical clinics helping children facing adversity and those in the community who have been affected by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The students and two professors will leave December 28 and return January 16, 2013.
This opportunity will give the students a first-hand account of the welfare disparities in Cape Town. The 20-day journey begins with the students taking advantage of the enrichment opportunities the city has to offer, visiting cultural and tourist landmarks. The students will then stay in homes with South African residents; further exposing the students to the nation’s culture.
Front row (L to R): Kyndahl Bertram, Tiffany Baker, Megan Reidy, Rebecca Vogt, Amy Rost, Airika Poivre, and Breanne Lombardo Back row (L to R): Dr. Rachael Herrington, Christine Collins, JaLessa Cain, Blake Herd, Cole Hartfield, and Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown
A majority of students on the trip have an interest in the medical field. They have all participated in an HIV/AIDS awareness program and will continue training in South Africa for three days with the Dreamcatcher Foundation of South Africa before working in either the orphanage or medical clinics. “The students will be working with children that have been abandoned, abused, neglected, and worse,” said Silva Brown. “This is going to be an absolute life-changing experience for all of us.”
Drs. Herrington and Silva Brown, who teach in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Drury, will jointly teach “Biological Bases of Clinical Disorders and Infectious Diseases” and “Cross-Cultural Psychology” as part of the program. They will place a heavy emphasis on gaining and utilizing a cross-cultural perspective when working with people whose backgrounds differ from those of the caregivers. Students are taught to consider the patients’ gender roles, socioeconomic status, race, and religion. “We are equipping students to become culturally competent providers in their area of expertise,” said Herrington. “And yet, going there might seem like we are a gift to those we are helping, but the reality is that this experience is truly a gift to us.”
Story by Amber Perdue, a senior advertising and public relations student at Drury.
Front row L to R: Kyndahl Bertram, Tiffany Baker, Megan Reidy, Rebecca Vogt, Amy Rost, Airika Poivre, and Breanne Lombardo
Back row L to R: Dr. Rachael Herrington, Christine Collins, JaLessa Cain, Blake Herd, Cole Hartfield, and Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown