After graduation, Shoshanna Goldin will work for the Office of Pandemics and Emerging Threats in Washington, D.C. before beginning a two-year Master of Public Health in Global Health Policy at Yale University this fall.
Q: Describe one or two surprising ways you have changed since your first days on campus.
A: My first year on campus, I shied away from controversial topics. But over the last four years, dialogues with people with differing viewpoints have forced me to check my assumptions and become more reflective. My concerns over engaging in uncomfortable conversations evolved through deeper discussions with friends, peers, and professors. I now look forward to debates.
Q: Tell us about your research experience.
A: Under the guidance of Dr. Tom Phillips, I engaged in numerous research opportunities that spanned the globe. From studying misconceptions of pediatric eye care in rural India to infertility health policy in Israel, Wake Forest has provided me with incredible global health research opportunities. I presented my research papers at Yale University’s Unite for Sight Global Health conference and the One Health Conference in Davos, Switzerland. I was also fortunate to work with Dr. Mary Claire O’Brien and the Wake Forest University Medical School on a study of college students’ use of caffeinated cocktails and injury risk. An article I co-authored with this research team was published in the Journal of Caffeine.
Conducting research within the Indian, American, and Israeli healthcare systems was eye opening. I realized the potential to affect lasting change by partnering with local healthcare providers.
Q: Where is the one place on campus you will miss most and why?
A: The Interfaith House. It was my home for the last two years, and it is a live-and-learn community. A diverse group of seven students live under one roof (with a real kitchen and back porch). From casual late-night conversations about our beliefs to programs about sexuality and faith, this house pushed me to dig deeper and think harder about my faith and values.
Q: What shared values do you think unite the Wake Forest community?
A: A value for tradition combined with a desire for innovation. The Wake Forest community holds our campus history near and dear to our hearts. Yet when the students, faculty, and staff see challenges, they find innovative methods to improve campus life. Keeping the lens focused on both ends of the spectrum is what makes this campus progressive and deeply rooted in rich legacies.
Q: Who has influenced you during your time at Wake Forest? Who would you most like to thank and why?
A: Norma-May Isakow (Associate Director of the Institute for Public Engagement) is my role model for community engagement. Every day she inspires students to get more involved in Winston-Salem and Wake Forest. Norma-May has a special knack for helping Wake Forest students challenge the campus bubble myth.
Q: Tell us about your study abroad experience.
A: One semester. Four continents. Thirty students. My study abroad program was an in-depth intentional comparison of health trends in very diverse nations. The International Honors Program: Health, Culture, and Community focused on comparing the health conditions and healthcare systems structure in Vietnam, South Africa, and Brazil.
My study abroad experience included several unexpected adventures. I met Archbishop Desmond Tutu, climbed two natural wonders of the world (and got lost on one of them), gained a Vietnamese, South African, and Brazilian family, and discovered my love for street food. Most importantly, my study abroad experience reaffirmed my passion for global health.
Q: Your best advice for an incoming first-year student?
A: Whether you’re stopping by their office to chat, asking questions during office hours, grabbing coffee together, or just running into each other on campus, make time to get to know your professors. Some of my favorite conversations at Wake Forest have been over Campus Grounds coffee with professors. They’re brilliant, funny, and genuinely want to get to know you. Comparing my experience here with friends at other universities, we have incredibly accessible and knowledgeable faculty here. All you have to do is reach out. Be curious. They are more than generous with wisdom.