GlobeMed Ugly Sweater Sale: A Review


On November 17-20 the GlobeMed Campaigns Team put on the annual Sweater Sale. Here is Jason Chen, Co-President of Campaigns, on the fundraiser in review.

I believe that the annual fall ugly sweater sale is consistently our most successful fundraiser. We large amount of traffic we get brings in a lot of money as well as spreads awareness about GlobeMed and what we do. The sweater sale this year was over the course of four days in the Norris student center.

We put a lot of time into planning the sweater sale. We made many trips to local stores throughout the Chicagoland area to find as many ugly sweaters as possible. All of the promotion materials were constructed by the amazing Communications Team to help spread the word throughout campus via Facebook and flyering. It was a huge success and we sold over 230 sweaters, bringing in almost $4000 in profits.

All of our events, including the sweater sale, raise money to support the Adonai Childhood Development Centre, which is an orphanage in rural Namugoga, Uganda. Our incredible fundraising efforts this year have been going towards supporting a health clinic that opened up for the Namugoga community last year. The work that we do to raise money for the Adonai center makes a huge difference and truly goes a long way in helping to improve the health of the those in need at the Adonai center and in the surrounding community.

The sweater sale is about much more than just the number of sales we make; for every product sold, it is a chance for people to learn about GlobeMed, Adonai and all of the amazing work our partnership does.

World Day of Social Justice 2016


“Instead of treating social justice issues as trendy news topics or points of discussion, we should acknowledge that all social justice issues deserve to be recognized and fought for.”

My name’s Camille Cooley. I’m a sophomore in SESP studying HDPS (Human Development and Psychological Services), and I’m working as the mentor for the World Day of Social Justice committee this year! Each year a GlobeMed committee plans the World Day of Social Justice, a daylong event that will take place this year on February 23rd at the Norris Student Center. The World Day of Social Justice, or more affectionately known as WDSJ, aims to promote awareness and efforts regarding issues such as poverty, exclusion, unemployment, and all other social justice issues that plague both international communities and local ones.

I worked on the WDSJ last year and found the entire process really eye-opening. Planning the event and discussing what we wanted to achieve was an opportunity for me to explore broader social justice issues on a global and campus wide scale, while becoming intimately involved with an event that would help bring awareness to our topic. I really wanted to help out this year because I knew it would be a special opportunity to foster more dialogue, give my team and I a chance to be creative, and plan a day that brings an issue we care about to light.

Grace Jing, Kathleen Clark, and Aysha Salter-Volz are the spectacular people I’m working with this year. They have come up with some pretty amazing ideas that we’re still parsing through. However, something important that we’ve been discussing recently is that social justice issues don’t just end when the media stops paying attention to them. It is always important to focus on what effects people’s lives, despite the fact that issues constantly fall off the radar when the media loses interest in telling their stories. Instead of treating social justice issues as trendy news topics or points of discussion, we should acknowledge that all social justice issues deserve to be recognized and fought for. We can move forward in making change by keeping productive dialogue open, staying educated, and bringing awareness to local and international issues through events like the WDSJ.

I am so excited for this year’s World Day of Social Justice. If you’d like to learn more or help contribute, you can contact me at

ghU Recap: Voluntourism

By Amy Lin

Last quarter, the ghU sessions delved into the topics of gender and sexuality. While the sessions were empowering and fun as a woman, it was easy to get swept up in the feminist movement and start saying things like “gender is a social construct” and “down with the patriarchy.” The ghUs addressed these topics, but went even further in discussing the surrounding social environment. We talked about the personal issues with acceptance and social norms, and then went on to shed a light on the larger implications of the inequalities, especially with regards to access to healthcare and other rights.

While ghU’s always create dialogue about these important issues, the discussion often feels like it ends when the meeting ends. With our new focus on advocacy, it’s exciting to understand the beginnings, principles, and history of activism; in addition, it’s inspiring to be able to see the potential influence and change that student activists can bring to campus, and even beyond campus. .

We started the quarter with the focus on voluntourism, a hot-button topic that was sure to generate discussion due to GlobeMed members’ interest in global health. With our foundation rooted in the partnership model and making sure that our partners don’t just “listen to the donors,” exploring advocacy in the health field provoked a lot of questions regarding the benefits and shortcomings of voluntourism. During the debate, a lot of the issues raised were with regards to the White Savior Complex, the inherent power dynamic, the lack of sustainable support, and the limited opportunities in-country growth and development.

While the intentions of service trips may come from a good place and the relief provided may have significant short-term impact, it’s comparable to putting a single band-aid on a festering, gaping wound. The band-aid isn’t going to be helping that much, but it’s better than completely ignoring the problem. The voluntourism programs do succeed in one area: raising awareness for the needs in certain areas. While volunteers and tourists are being sent to these areas, these programs need to ensure that their participants are responsibly and respectfully engaging in these communities.

As short-term relief is being provided, more discussions need to be had about how to create self-sustainable programs that can promote growth, development, and eventually independence from foreign aid. It’s naive to think that this can happen overnight or within a few years. Government, policies, and infrastructure all need to come in play; however, if all the innovative organizations and groups keep implementing responsible actions abroad, then their cumulative  efforts can equip people in the communities to create change from the bottom up.

With the upcoming ghUs, we are going to be shifting our focus to student activists and organizations on our very own campus. Learning from our peers, we can use the skills and lessons they’ve learned and implement them to advocate for not only GlobeMed related global health issues but also other important causes that need advocating.

Amy is a member of the ghU committee at Northwestern.

Member Spotlight: Tiana Hickey

By Gordon Younkin

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Major: Cognitive Science

Minor: Global Health Studies

Siblings: Two sisters, who are 12 and 19, and one brother, who is 11.

Favorite food: “PIZZA! I love pizza so much it’s only a tad bit ridiculous.”

Favorite place she’s ever been: Anchorage, AK

Involvement on campus: Tiana is on ASG’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, works in a children’s thinking lab, and teaches swim lessons at SPAC.

Ideal Saturday: “My ideal Saturday would be completely spontaneous. Nothing would be planned, no alarms would be set, homework would not exist, and I would do whatever came to mind.”

When she grows up: “I don’t have a specific career/profession in mind, but if I had to choose, I’d want to get involved with crisis management. Hopefully that would let me travel the world and help a lot of people.”

“Helping Students Who Give”

By Amanda Blazek

NSH Impact Week here at Northwestern kicked off Sunday night, with the seven opposing teams joining for a dinner of Indian food and team rallying before the week of rivalry ahead. GlobeMed had a strong turnout and (I would say) the loudest cheering section.

Impact Week stretches from May 4th to May 10th and is hosted by Northwestern Student Holdings – an entrepreneurial student group that launches and finances on-campus businesses. For NSH Impact week, each NSH business has been paired with an on-campus philanthropy to raise money and awareness for each club and cause.

GlobeMed has six strong competitors this week including Peer Health Exchange, Best Buddies, Tufaan, NCDC, Applause for a Cause and Mimo. Each team made a video representing their organization and the work it does. As with all things in today’s world, the competition boils down to the number of votes, or “Likes”, on social media. Whichever video is most popular will receive the grand prize.

As of now, NSH has donated $2500 for the Impact Week prizes, ranging from  $1000 for the grand prize to $100 for the 7th place prize. But this week is also about fundraising. Donations can be made online to increase the monetary prize for each philanthropy, providing even more support for each cause.

Most importantly, this week is about raising awareness for each organization and their work. As the token orange balloons of Impact Week appear all over campus, NSH hopes to encourage others to reach out and get involved. Although the NSH money will tremendously help each organization, the long-term support from the NU community will be even more impactful.

So stop by the arch this week, where a tent will be set up every day selling raffle tickets and handing out orange balloons. But most importantly, go to and VOTE for your favorite video (i.e. GlobeMed). Voting will help the philanthropy of your choice (i.e. GlobeMed) to win Impact Week and the $1000 prize. This could have a huge impact on organizations (i.e. GlobeMed) and the work they are doing (i.e. saving lives). Impact Week has officially started, so vote now by clicking the “Like” button on the left of the linked page! (For GlobeMed.)

Vaccines, Herd Immunity, and Disease Re-Emergence – What’s the Deal?

By Michael Zingman

We hear about immunizations in the news. We are encouraged to get vaccinated. We hear friends and family talking about how they just “never got vaccinated” for something.

We then hear about outbreaks and re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases. So what is causing this re-emergence exactly?

Vaccines are one of the most crucial global health resources and are significant tools that can be utilized to protect large populations in both developed and developing nations from disease. Many diseases are vaccine-preventable, meaning if hypothetically everyone were to be vaccinated, the disease would become eradicated.

One of such eradicable diseases is measles. Measles was once “eliminated” from the United States; however, recently, there has been extensive media coverage over a measles outbreak within the country. Measles was eliminated but not eradicated because of a slight minority of people who went unvaccinated, and this number has increased and allowed the disease to return. These cases were found to be from parents who chose not to vaccinate their children, which ultimately harmed others.

Other parts of the world have also seen a re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases. One interesting case is that of Syria and the re-emergence of polio this past October. Polio had come extremely close to eradication in that area of the world; unfortunately, it has re-appeared. This was due to two key factors: 1) because of the ongoing civil war, the normal childhood vaccination routines have been altered or disrupted, and 2) polio has spread from Pakistan (which is one of the three remaining countries in which polio is still active), particularly through children, including those in refugee camps and those displaced in Syria. Polio has even spread to Iraq from Syria, and there is growing fear over proliferation of the crippling disease.

So why can just a handful of unvaccinated people lead to a wide-spread re-emergence of these preventable diseases? The key is herd immunity.

Herd immunity is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as when “a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease to make its spread from person to person unlikely; even individuals not vaccinated are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community.” This concept of herd immunity is why widespread vaccination is necessary for prevention of these diseases. In an ideal world, everyone would be vaccinated for all of the vaccine-preventable diseases. However, that is not a practical situation (at least not at the current time). Herd immunity can be very effective in protecting large populations from these diseases, but often can be difficult to achieve as some diseases require greater than 90% of the population to be vaccinated. This threshold is frequently not met and populations are left vulnerable.

With a growth of anti-vaccination movements in the United States and around the world, some parents have stopped vaccinating their children. This has led to a decrease in herd immunity for these vaccine-preventable diseases, permitting their re-emergence. These movements have surfaced due to a growing fear that vaccines can have adverse effects on children. This fear has been augmented by conflicting information regarding vaccinations, as well as personal accounts of negative vaccine effects, including those by physicians. Misinformation has even led a significant portion of the U.S. population to believe that autism can be caused by vaccines. This belief became prominent in the 1990s and was one of the reasons cited for the growth of this anti-vaccination movement.

Two key aspects of the debate over vaccinations include a lack of information (or misinformation) and a mistrust of governments, health institutions and research agencies. These are major problems in the United States, but also in many countries throughout the developing world, including those countries in which GlobeMed partner organizations are located. A lack of research to disprove these supposed negative vaccine effects has made it hard for the public health community to convince people that no link exists. Furthermore, much of this research comes from pharmaceutical companies, leading to mistrust of this research due to potential biases. An overabundance of information also has prevented people from receiving direct information from health institutions regarding vaccine effectiveness and has caused them to educate themselves from other sources that are less reliable. On a similar note, there is a lack of public understanding about vaccinations that stems from a mistrust of health institutions. It can often be more difficult to vaccinate people in developing countries in which people view vaccinations as a corrupt government program. Some people even believe that required vaccinations for schools are done for the economic benefit of the government.

All of these issues discussed have increased fear of vaccines in many locations around the world, including in those places with GlobeMed partner organizations. Vaccine education needs to be expanded and effective national vaccination action plans need to be both developed and carried out to increase herd immunity. GlobeMed and its partner organizations, as well as similar global health organizations, need to empower communities around the world in order to enhance vaccination efforts. Education through vaccine information is necessary to present to the public why population immunization is essential and why a decrease in herd immunity can have tremendous negative effects.

Finding inspiration at the 2014 GlobeMed Global Health Summit

By Matthew Zhou

From the sandy beaches of California to the metropolitan areas of Washington D.C, GlobeMed chapter members flooded into Evanston from across the nation for the GlobeMed 2014 Summit. Co-presidents, chapter members, speakers and panelists of all different walks of life gathered during this dreary forty-degree Evanston weekend for the purpose of sharing their experiences and ideals and reaffirming their commitment towards achieving global health equity through partnership and collaboration. In seven years, GlobeMed has achieved rapid expansion to 55 chapters, 2000 college students, 1.4 million dollars raised, and over 200 projects in water sanitation, disease prevention, nutrition programs, and a vast diversity of other issues. As a student summit delegate, it was a lot to take in.

My GlobeMed summit experience was a powerfully inspiring experience, a space where intelligent and ambitious students and professionals all gathered to seriously deconstruct and discuss the million dollar question: how do we achieve global health equity? There were plenty of interesting and constructive panels and speakers, but the overarching theme was one familiar to every member of GlobeMed: partnership. More specifically, negotiating power and privilege relationships to make true collaboration possible. From Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a professor at Columbia University, utilizing his experiences as a victim of hate crimes as a platform to advocate for structural change or GlobeMed at Morgan State GROW Coordinator Kayla Walker leveraging her minority status as a black woman for better opportunities in education, one crucial theme emerged from reframing disadvantages to your own advantage. These are not passive populations that we are trying to support – they are strong men and women hindered by structural obstacles that we are helping to empower. We talk a lot about global health in abstract terms – it’s how we brand and present ourselves. What we really work with and what we need to emphasize, however, are human relationships. We work with women, children, fathers, mothers, across races, genders, sexualities, professions, and varying levels of education. It’s more than treating sickness and poverty – it’s about hearing these people’s stories, empathizing and caring, and then coming up with concrete, relevant programs to address these people’s specific needs. These people deserve better than to be generalized – their nuanced stories demand the more intimate understanding and partnership that GlobeMed has recognized as crucial in resolving health disparities.

This instinct for empathy is essential in any future global health leader. It is something that GlobeMed actively cultivates within each and every member. As health professionals, we will be responsible for the next generation of public health and medical advancements; Lawrence Summers, former Harvard President and U.S. Treasury Secretary, claims that:

“We could achieve universally low rates of infectious, maternal and child deaths by 2035.”

Global health equity possible within our generation at 2035. As emerging young professionals, there is a great pressure on us to lead future global health initiatives in the correct direction. As college undergraduates, there is also a great pressure to think pre-professionally in terms of resume-building and executive positions. Many students are uncertain about their futures and obsess over jobs, internships, and their general future. We need to stop putting our faith in degrees and jobs, and start putting our faith in ourselves. No person can control the future, nor should we try to make the future safe or predictable. It is not possible. The one secure fact in one’s life is that you can prepare yourself to handle any situation that comes your way. Develop yourself, empathize with others, and live in the moment and the future will change from scary to exciting. If there is one thing that summit has taught me, it is that no person or situation is unchangeable. It is simply a matter of reframing disadvantages into advantages. Utilize the current opportunities around you to grow, and success will follow in your footsteps.

A Message from your 2014-2015 GlobeMed Co-Presidents!

Matt Zhou
Year: Junior
Hometown: Palatine, IL
Major: Anthropology
Fun Fact: I’ve broken my arm by falling out of my bed while I was asleep
Brittany’s Spirit Animal (chosen by Matt): Chipmunk
Previous GlobeMed Experience: GROW Coordinator, GHU Co-director

Brittany Zelch
Year: Junior
Hometown: Boca Raton, FL
Major: Biology, Global Health minor
Fun Fact: I can’t remember the last day I didn’t eat hummus
Matt’s Spirit Animal (chosen by Brittany): Sloth
Previous GlobeMed Experience: Co- director of Individual Giving

A message from Matt and Brittany:

We’re really excited to introduce ourselves as the incoming co-presidents for next year! We are looking forward to not only continuing to develop relationships within the chapter, but also to engage the Northwestern/Evanston community through new local partnerships and collaborations. We believe that a closer and more connected community is critical for the continued success and expansion of our chapter. The coming year will focus on building off of a solid foundation and implementing new structures that will help drive us towards our goals and strengthen the way in which we operate as a chapter. Giving chapter members more opportunities to act as agents of change, both on campus and with our partner in Uganda, will help us move towards our goals of generating a greater degree of community awareness and creating sustainable change with the Adonai Center. As co-presidents, we have a vision of GlobeMed at Northwestern becoming something really special over the next few years. This vision depends on the commitment of our chapter members, who understand that through sustainable, grassroots empowerment, we as students have our own unique power to affect change and improve health conditions throughout the world.

Meet the Luswata Family! The loving founders of our partner organization

Aloysious and Abby Luswata founded the Adonai Center for Child Development in 2005 and they were the lovely host family to our 2013 GROW trip team. Exceedingly kind and humble people, they are a well-respected family in Namugoga. Meet the Luswatas and their beautiful children.

May 26 – Support GlobeMed’s 5K and Partner Fun Run!

On Sunday, May 26, GlobeMed at Northwestern will be hosting a 5K and Partner Fun Run.  Proceeds fund clean water projects for the Adonai Children’s Centre in Namugoga, Uganda.

The 5K starts at 10 a.m. on the Lakefill, and the Partner Fun Run will take place right after at 11 a.m.!  For the Fun Run, partner up for our wild, one-lap course including stations with water balloons, an egg toss, and much more. Prizes include: free Evanston meal and movie passes, including Andy’s, Chili’s, and much more!

All interested should register here! Registration is available on race day too. Please note that only cash will be accepted if registering on race day.


5K: $5 per runner
Partner Fun Run: $5 per person
Discount: Run both events for only $8 total!

Questions? E-mail

The 5K and Fun Run are great ways to support a wonderful cause, have a good time, enjoy the beautiful spring weather, hang out with friends, and meet new people! We hope to see you there!