Develop 21st Century Leaders for Global Health

by GlobeMed
GlobeMed at UT-SA, 2016 GROW Internship, Peru
GlobeMed at UT-SA, 2016 GROW Internship, Peru

Thanks to you, GlobeMed is entering 2017 with a record-setting amount of financial support! We could not have done this without your generous contributions.

For the first time in our organizational history, GlobeMed raised nearly $160,000 from individual donors in 2016 and more than $60,000 in our year-end campaign!

Some specifics:

  • An unprecedented 313 individual donors provided nearly $160,000 to GlobeMed in 2016, smashing our old overall record of 161 donors providing $70,880 in 2015.
  • The $60,742 raised during GlobeMed’s year-end campaign between Nov 25-Dec 31 was also record-setting. The next highest amount we ever raised was $36,210 in 2015.  
  • More than $12,000 was donated in honor of our incredible former board chair, Brian Hanson, who stepped down after 6 years as chair (check out the press release about new board leadership!).
  • Special thanks to the 100 GlobeMed alumni who made donations throughout 2016!

Your support will help strengthen GlobeMed’s online community where students are receiving training and engaging in problem-solving with one another across all 58 GlobeMed chapters. It will also contribute to the development of globalhealthU, our signature global health curriculum, and the annual GlobeMed Leadership Institute, which provides leadership training to 250 student leaders.

Thank you, once again, for your generosity. We look forward to an even bigger, better year in 2017. Please join this exciting journey by following GlobeMed on Twitter and Facebook. And as always, do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss any of our programs in more detail.

Happy New Year!

GlobeMed & LSNA staff collaborate on their work
GlobeMed & LSNA staff collaborate on their work

Ten years ago, GlobeMed was founded on the idea that students have immense potential to advance global health equity if they work alongside with grassroots organizations already making change in their own communities. This model of partnership drove GlobeMed’s growth, as we quickly scaled from 7 university chapters in 2007 to 47 chapters in 2013.

In 2013, after years of continual growth, we took a step back to reflect on what we had accomplished thus far. What we found surprised us. While we had done well in recruiting chapters and students passionate about a different approach to global health, we saw that our organization was homogenous. Our university chapters were housed at predominantly white institutions that were rich with resources and whose campuses heavily skewed towards white and Asian populations. There was something wrong with that.

If we were truly trying to change the dynamic of how student global health engagement, how could we only include this specific type of university? If we thought our programming provided a vital experience to students, how could we make it more accessible to those who had the passion, but lacked the outlet? If we wanted to make our network inclusive, how could we expand our reach?

Starting something new

In 2014, these reflections led us to found a chapter at Wilbur Wright College, a community college on the west side of Chicago. We recognized that there would be challenges to starting a GlobeMed chapter at a community college - namely high student turnover rate - but we were committed to seeing what was possible.

Our initial idea was to have the Wilbur Wright chapter work alongside an existing GlobeMed chapter to learn about the organization, build a community of peers, and participate in a chapter’s existing partnership with a grassroots organization abroad. By fall of 2014, our pilot was launched - we had a committed Wilbur Wright student who was ready to work alongside our established GlobeMed at University of Chicago chapter.

Throughout the course of the year, we tried to plan meetings to help guide the students’ collaboration, but challenges sprung up from every angle. While both schools were in the same city, it took over an hour to travel from one campus to the other. Students on both sides had competing priorities that reduced their availability for collaboration. Ideal meeting times for one set of students clashed with what was possible for other students.

Although there was interest and commitment, we weren’t making progress. By the end of the year, we still only had a couple of committed students and it was clear that collaborating across the different campuses was not going to work.

In 2015, with the intention of starting anew, we took a different approach. Instead of trying to pair the Wilbur Wright chapter with an existing GlobeMed chapter, it would stand alone but have its own type of partnership. Given the students’ high turnover rate and the lack of fundraising culture at the school, the GlobeMed chapter would focus on partnering with a local organization, one that could use the resources and skills students had to advocate for local change. That year, the chapter partnered with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), a nonprofit organization focused on protecting housing rights in Chicago.

The partnership began well. The students volunteered at the organization, serving in awareness campaigns and organizing citizenship classes for members of the community. Yet by the end of the year, the partnership ran into trouble. Students, who still so wholeheartedly believed in what they could do alongside LSNA, were juggling their GlobeMed responsibilities with obligations to their families, employers, and studies. The leaders, who had been driving the chapter, were getting ready to transfer to other institutions. The chapter still hadn’t gained steam on campus and was again left with to start all over the next year.

After two years of failure, we began to ask ourselves: was this possible? And if so, what changes do we need to make?

Learning from experience

Seeing the challenges and failed models at Wilbur Wright, we started to more deeply reflect on our experiences. Ten years ago, GlobeMed was founded as a response to a lesson. We learned that in global development, “experts” are often people who design programs without direct input from communities where these programs are implemented. From this lesson, we created the current GlobeMed model of working in partnerships, alongside grassroots organizations who are working to improve their own communities.

In reflecting upon the failed models at Wilbur Wright, we realized that we were using the exact approach that we criticized in development “experts.” We had started our pilot chapter at Wilbur Wright by implementing our own ideas - we had come up with a “solution” while still lacking a true understanding of the culture and structure of a community college.

We realized that the staff, faculty, and students of Wilbur Wright needed to have more input on strategy since they were the ones deeply embedded in the school’s community. They were the people who had an intimate understanding of the campus. They were the ones who needed to be centered in our program design. The only way to adapt our model successfully would be to co-design, co-develop, and co-implement our programs alongside these campus leaders.

Moving forward

With these lessons in mind, we committed ourselves to not only incorporating the voices of Wilbur Wright and LSNA into our next steps but also making sure those voices were the ones leading the process. This time, rather than putting forth our proposals and asking for feedback, we had in-depth conversations with Wilbur Wright’s faculty advisor and staff members at LSNA’s to co-develop our strategy.

Eventually, these conversations led to the chapter’s faculty advisor proposing that GlobeMed be incorporated into her class’ academic curriculum. As we talked through the idea, we were reinvigorated by the potential of what GlobeMed at Wilbur Wright could become. Together, working alongside the school and partner organization, we co-developed a modified structure, partnership model, and integrated curriculum. This time, instead of leading the conversation, we listened, making sure that the Wilbur Wright faculty and LSNA staff members were the primary decision makers in their own partnership.

We’re continuing to draw on this failure - and the lessons learned - as we prepare to pilot our first international chapter. Instead of launching immediately, we will be spending a full academic year collaborating with the chapter founder to understand the university and community culture and co-develop a modified chapter structure, governance system, and partnership model to fit the needs of the students and university.

Despite two years of challenges, we are excited to see how applying these lessons will move our network forward as we continue to expand our reach and impact.

GlobeMed staff meet to strategize on next steps
GlobeMed staff meet to strategize on next steps
GlobeMed at Northwestern & Adonai
GlobeMed at Northwestern & Adonai

Dear friends,

Over the past ten years, we've been grateful to build a network of courageous young leaders who know that change is possible when people work together in a pursuit larger than themselves. This change has been reflected in the ways our network of 6,000+ students, alumni, and partners have brought their critical thinking, cultural competency, and collaboration skills into whatever sector they work in, ranging from global health fieldwork to education to policy.

This summer, we caught up with some of our community members and heard about the skills, knowledge, and relationships they gained during their time in GlobeMed. Learn more about the powerful stories from within our network by checking out our Impact Report, which highlights 10 stories from across our 10 years, or by reading the excerpts below.

"What I can say about the uniqueness of GlobeMed is that it is faithful. The community can dictate the projects they want to propose."Peter Mokaya, Resource Mobilizer at Ungano-Tena (U-Tena)

"GlobeMed has taught me a lot, not just about global health but about being a part of an organization that truly lives, breathes, and sleeps its values."Christina Amutah, GlobeMed at Howard University '16

“GlobeMed provides a platform to think critically about the state of global health and the role of young people in social change. It takes our education from a theoretical framework to application.”Madison Little, GlobeMed at Rutgers University '16

“A lesson that I’ve learned from GlobeMed is to really focus on social justice, to be critical about what that means, and to be sincere in both what you do and the way that you implement.” - Kalin Werner, GlobeMed at UCLA '12

“I believe that through working together, students and my staff both gain knowledge. I see them become more confident, brighter, and more knowledgeable.”Sedtha Long, Founder of Build Your Future Today

It's been a great ten years. We're looking forward to how we can grow even bigger and better together in the next ten years!

With gratitude,

Caroline Nguyen

Students at this year
Students at this year's Leadership Institute
GlobeMed at University of Cincinnati & SAW
GlobeMed at University of Cincinnati & SAW
GlobeMed students collaborating at Summit
GlobeMed students collaborating at Summit


GlobeMed at GWU interns onsite with Set Her Free.
GlobeMed at GWU interns onsite with Set Her Free.

This week only, you can double the impact of your new recurring gift with a 100% match from GlobalGiving!

In our tenth year, more people engaged with GlobeMed than ever before, helping the network raise almost $1 million for the first time (only $25,000 left)! Your gift could help us cross this threshold and contribute to a monumental year.

We heard more feedback from our students this year than at any other time, and we’re ready to turn our dreams into action. We hope to answer three big questions.

  1. How might we put the “local” back in “global”? We hope to transform our global reach by building a network of students around the world, partnering with grassroots organizations in communities from Kampala to Chicago.

  2. How might we disrupt the systems that stand in the way of health equity? We hope to instill systems-level thinking and advocacy skills in the next generation of leaders.

  3. How might we become pathologically collaborative? We hope to redefine growth to be about new collaborations with like-minded organizations and funders, social justice activists, media, politicians, and others who can spark new ways of thinking about ourselves, each other, and our global community.

Ready? Join us in building the future and double your impact.

In solidarity,


PS: Learn how you can be a part of this action when we launch of our new strategic plan in September!


GlobeMed Alumni and Seniors
GlobeMed Alumni and Seniors

Dear friends,

The past week has been an exciting one for GlobeMed! With a community of over 300 people united in Evanston, IL, we celebrated GlobeMed's 10th Anniversary.

The excitement started when our Executive Director was featured on WBEZ's Worldview on Wednesday afternoon. You can listen to the recording of her 15-minute interview at this link.

On Thursday evening, March 31, the 10th Annual GlobeMed Summit kicked off with a bang. Five GlobeMed students shared their stories with delegates in the GlobeMed Story Slam. Our Opening Keynote Speaker, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the Director of the Health Department for the City of Detroit, concluded the evening with stories from Detroit.

As the weekend evolved, inspiring conversations took place on panels, in small groups, and in workshops. Some featured speakers include two GlobeMed partners, one from Thailand and one from Nicaragua, as well as representatives from Adhikaar, Inner-city Muslim Action Network, Partners in Health, Child Family Health International, and #LetUsBreathe Collective. 

The 21st Century Leadership for Global Health keynote panel, moderated by former GlobeMed Executive Director Maya Cohen, had delegates laughing, crying, and thinking critically.

Dr. Sharon Rudy, Director of the Global Health Fellows Program II, made everyone laugh with her wit and charisma. Not only that, but she made us think hard about what it takes to thrive in the field of global health as she presented compelling data from her survey of global health employers. Not only do global health leaders need technical skills, she explained, but also a learner's heart and an awake inner observer.

Dr. Jacob Gayle, Vice President of Medtronic Philanthropy, helped the audience reflect on the intersections of local and international action in the realm of global health. He also helped shift perspectives on global diversity by encouraging our students to think about why certain racial groups are considered minorities when the majority of the world's population is non-white, and by focusing on the importance of language as a tool for creative thinking. 

Anil Parajuli, Founder and Director of Himalyan HealthCare, brought tears to our eyes with stories of living through the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, as well as the Nepali civil war and everything the country has gone through since. He inspired us to believe in the power of resilience and hope, as he is now leading an organization that uplifts some of the most poor and marginalized people in his country.

Recordings from the GlobeMed Summit can be found on GlobeMed's Youtube page. We encourage you to watch them and relive the experience with us!

Endless thanks to our supporters from the Global Health Fellows Program II, Northwestern University, and Medtronic for making the Summit possible. And a special thanks to YOU for believing in us and supporting this transformative work. We couldn't do it without you!

With gratitude,

Alyssa Smaldino

Dr. Htin Zaw and Sadia Nawab, Community Inclusion
Dr. Htin Zaw and Sadia Nawab, Community Inclusion
Dr. Jacob Gayle and Dr. Sharon Rudy, Keynote Panel
Dr. Jacob Gayle and Dr. Sharon Rudy, Keynote Panel
GlobeMed's 10th Anniversary Celebration
Thanks to all who made the past decade possible!
Thanks to all who made the past decade possible!



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Organization Information


Location: Evanston, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Alyssa Smaldino
Executive Director
Evanston, Illinois United States
$125,040 raised of $150,000 goal
1,604 donations
$24,960 to go
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