University of Louisville Magazine

SUM 2018

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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Page 64 of 75

63 SUMMER 2018 Patricia Brown, 07BA, 11MS Patricia Brown, 07BA, 11MS, is a true fighter in every sense, and she hasn't fought her battle alone. A two-time UofL grad, Brown has been battling a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer since September 2017. Through it all, her husband, also a UofL alumnus, has stood by her side along with their three daughters. Brown is undergoing treatment and still has a difficult road ahead but her spirits are high. In March, Brown was nom- inated to walk in the Kentucky Oaks Breast Cancer Survivors Parade by her sister-in-law. That's when she reached out to the Louisville Alumni office ask- ing for the support of her alumni family. The outpouring on social media from family, friends and her fellow Cardi- nals was overwhelming. She received 2,000 votes, securing her a place in the Survivor's Parade. "The whole point of this parade is that people are surviv- ing this," Brown said. "Everyone in it is alive. There is hope. It's big and scary but you can beat it." Brown hopes her story will inspire courage in others fighting cancer and bring awareness to the importance of advocating for your own health. W hile reflecting on a recent study abroad trip to Ghana, School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) student Chandler Hawkins said the experience taught her about her roots and potential in a public health career. "I am thankful for the captivating experience, and will be forever grateful to Dr. Harris for guiding us," she said. Each spring semester, associate professor Muriel Harris leads students on a trip to the West African country. Many of these students go thanks to the gen- erous support of donors like Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences chair and professor, Richard Wilson, and alumnus Todd Mercier, 10GP. "The funding support has helped to reduce the financial burden for our stu- dents. It is one chance for them to experience both a new culture and public health in a different setting," Harris said. When asked why he supports the Ghana trip, Mercier said, "Shortly after finishing my undergraduate degree, I traveled to Ghana. This was an eye-opening experience that forever changed my outlook on life. Studying abroad provides students not only exposure to new people and cultures but also perspectives they would not necessarily gain sitting in a classroom." Mercier said he hopes the program will continue to provide students with insight, along with real world experience and education. He emphasized how important it is for students to understand that public health initiatives may not work in one community the same as they would in another. "Learning to navigate the various infrastructure, cultural and socioeconomic differences within a region/community are paramount. I think the SPHIS pro- gram works to do just that — teaching students to take public health concepts and adjusting as needed to implement effective initiatives," Mercier said. Donors make new cultures, public health experiences in Ghana a reality for students WORLD EXPOSURE UofL students in Ghana during a study abroad trip with the school of Public Health and Information Sciences.

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