“Whether I planned it or not, my activities as an undergraduate student seemed to revolve around community at every level. My talented peers, brilliant professors, and dedicated public officials all inspired me to look at solving problems from a community perspective, using the collective efforts and ideas of every individual involved. Once we realize that everyone is connected to each other by both tangible and intangible ties, we can exercise true public service. Even simply staying informed on issues of public concern is a step in the right direction. My experiences in Athens validated this belief, and I am grateful for them. In the future, I hope to continue cultivating these qualities as a compassionate, mindful physician leader," says Fellow alumnus Kevin Chang.
In his undergraduate years at UGA, Kevin Chang made great strides in developing his career goal to pursue public service through the field of medicine. In his first year on campus, Kevin became involved in the Roosevelt Institution at UGA, a student-led think tank. As a Roosevelt Scholar, Kevin researched policy on health communication and co-authored a paper entitled “Risk Communication among Non-Clinical Healthcare Employees: The Key to Preserving Infrastructure in Medical Emergencies” that won the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities award for Best Paper with a Civic Responsibility Focus.
Kevin interned with the Greater New York Hospital Association, where he worked within the Department of Legal, Regulatory, and Professional Affairs on projects related to patient care and emergency preparedness.
In Athens, he volunteered at Athens Regional Medical Center, assisting patients in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center and delivering medical equipment and transferred patients through the Supplies Distribution Services Department and Patient Transport Team, respectively.
Expanding his scope internationally, he volunteered at Women in Action, an NGO in Tanzania that provides home-based care to people living with HIV/AIDS, and at Paradiso Mpya, a local orphanage, and conducted HIV/AIDS workshops in rural Tanzanian communities.
Continuing the theme of public policy, Kevin served as a Carter Conference Student Researcher, co-authoring a policy brief on human rights during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. He presented his research to President Carter, members of the Carter administration, and other distinguished public servants at The Carter Presidency: Lessons for the 21st Century conference held at UGA. As co-chair and president of the Roosevelt Institution at UGA, Kevin conceived and organized a national undergraduate policy conference for 90 students representing 14 universities across the country. He also secured funding that enabled all of the students to attend on full scholarship.
Another theme throughout Kevin’s years as a Foundation Fellow was the alleviation of poverty. He co-founded Students Together Ending Poverty (STEP), linking the efforts of the 15 largest student organizations to create awareness and mobilize action, the latter in coordination with an Athens-Clarke County initiative, Partners for a Prosperous Athens. With a fellow STEP co-founder, Kevin authored “A Home for the Working Poor,” published in 25 Ideas for Working Families in America.
Currently, Kevin is pursuing his MD at Harvard Medical School.
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