Student Freddy May Transformed by London Study Abroad Experience
July 22, 2013
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“It was an absolutely amazing experience and one that changed me forever,” said senior Health Services Administration student Freddy May of his unconventional study abroad trip to the London Paralympics last year.
May, a Drexel Student Ambassador and Resident Assistant, took a course through the Great Works Symposium entitled “Perspectives on Disabilities.” The Great Works Symposium offers interdisciplinary courses that are focused on exploring subjects of broad possible interest and great societal impact. The classes are designed to bring Drexel University students, teachers and visiting expert lecturers into collaboration with one another.
Throughout the quarter, May learned about various types of disabilities, what it means to be disabled, “or really, what it means to be ‘abled,’” and technologies available to people living with disabilities. As the capstone of the course, May and his classmates joined professors, including Kristine Mulhorn, PhD, and Stephen Gambescia, PhD of the HSAD Department, at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
While in London, the group attended many of the Paralympic events. “We saw sports like wheelchair tennis, sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby (as featured in the movie Murderball), and many others,” May continued. The group had opportunities to meet with a physical trainer, a BBC news reporter, and two British professors who specialize in the subject of disabled sports.
“I have plans to pursue a Master’s of Public Health, in part thanks to this study abroad experience,” May said.
May is currently on co-op at the National Board of Medical Examiners as a Human Resources Assistant. “I do a lot of different things: clerical filing and data entry, rewards and recognition inventory maintenance, and planning events like National Bring Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, the Biannual Blood Drive and the Summer Social. Additionally, I have several bigger projects: redesigning the Human Resources Intranet site, reorganizing the department’s shared drive, and designing a corporate wellness program that incorporates public health research, like pharmaceutical, primary care physician vs. emergency room and chronic condition data.”
“The Health Services Administration major prepared me for this co-op in ways that one might not initially think of,” May said. “Courses that I have taken along the way have shown me that, when creating a proposal or plan for any type of project, you must have goals and objectives. Otherwise, you won't know if you are succeeding - you're just doing something to do it!”