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Fellows in the Community

Andrea Irene Torre

Master of Science in Nursing
University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2015
Zambia, 2006-2008

I moved to Birmingham in December 2011 from Salt Lake City to attend nursing school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). During my graduate school search, UAB stood out because of its nursing department's various health components in the Republic of Zambia.

I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2006–08 in Zambia, specializing in HIV/AIDS prevention. During my service, I lived in a village in a southern province and learned the local Bantu language, Tonga. I was fortunate to develop strong relationships with the community. These relationships helped me understand cultural systems and aided me in working with the community to address critical issues. My work ended up embracing various health trainings, from teaching how to produce fertilizer and fuel-efficient stoves to building a preschool with local materials and labor.

In January 2013, I will complete the first phase of the Accelerated Master's Nursing Pathway Program at UAB. In the Birmingham community, I have provided health clinic services for those experiencing homelessness, screened older individuals at a local clinic for hypertension and taught them how to live with this condition, and taught a class on nutrition to preschoolers.

Another important aspect of my Paul D. Coverdell Fellows experience is the work I have done in data summary and evaluation to prepare nurses for advanced roles in care, treatment, and support of patients with HIV and AIDS in Zambia. I also facilitate the Alabama-Guatemala Partners Program Shoebox Project: During this annual gift-giving program, participants fill wrapped shoeboxes with school supplies, books, and shoes to mail to students in Guatemala.

I will start my master's degree in January 2013 with an emphasis in women's health. The Coverdell Fellows program has provided me with several networking opportunities with the UAB nursing certificate program in Zambia, as well as through the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health in other African and Latin American countries. In the future, I hope to return to Zambia and be directly involved in developing enhancements to the certificate program in nursing.

I am honored to be a part of the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program. Throughout my life I have had a passion for community, and Coverdell Fellows has encouraged me to stay immersed and connected to the people I live with as well as to the people of Zambia. The fellows program at UAB School of Nursing has kept me focused and motivated to contribute to global health—effectively and intelligently.

 

Last updated Oct 30 2014

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