Psychology and Public Health Majors Serve in Ghana

September 29, 2014

For many students, summer includes bonfires at the beach, road trips with friends, and naps by the pool. Two Baldwin Wallace students, Nuha Alshabani '15 (pictured above) and Mary McHale '16, spent part of their summer serving in the Cape Coast of Ghana on issues related to public health and education. Both have plans to return to the African nation.

As part of their ProWorld-Intrax internships, Nuha and Mary assisted Cape Coast teachers in classrooms for students with disabilities. The pair also interned in a department for social welfare focusing on health promotion for such issues as HIV/AIDS awareness, personal hygiene, and basic first aid.

While living in Ghana, Nuha and Mary faced the challenges that come with cultural immersion. Both students noted that their liberal arts education at BW helped prepare them. Nuha said, “I realized how important a liberal arts education is and how it can prepare you for practical issues. I felt like I had knowledge in many different areas that I could draw on to help me in my internship and interactions in the community."

Mary found the experience to be a confidence booster. “I think I have become a friendlier person. In Africa, everyone says hello to each other, and since I have left, I’ve definitely picked that up and do it in the States."

As a Public Health major, Mary's experience also supported her career development. She aspires to attend graduate school for public health and an accelerated nursing program after earning her undergraduate degree, and would like to serve in the Peace Corps. After graduation, Nuha hopes to apply her degree in Psychology towards becoming a child and family counselor.

This December, Mary and Nuha will return to Ghana to continue their internships during winter break.