Carrie Miller studied on SIT Study Abroad’s International Honors Program (IHP): Health and Community — a semester program that allows students to study healthcare systems in four different countries, on four continents — in fall 2012. Below, Carrie talks about how this program impacted her academic and professional life.
I focused on maternal health during my semester abroad with IHP, and much of my current path is built on what I started learning then.
I graduated from Kenyon College in 2014. My major was international studies, and I focused on global maternal health. I spent a lot of time researching polices that affected maternal health around the world, including China’s one-child policy, and Latin American Catholicism’s influence on political candidates’ stances on family planning and abortion. My thesis work was on South Africa’s pioneering legalization of abortion in 1994 (they were one of the first countries on the continent to do so) and the resulting 20 years of cultural and legal clashes over the issue.
IHP has been such an important starter for my career. I’m currently working in Hinche, Haiti, with an organization called Midwives for Haiti, which trains Haitian nurses to be midwives. I initially heard of Midwives for Haiti from a fellow student in my IHP semester, and one of my letters of reference came from my IHP professor Karen Straight.
We have a number of programs that work to support maternal health in the central plateau. My role here is as the volunteer and residence coordinator, so I mainly work with the medical Certified Nurse Midwives, L&D (labor and delivery) nurses, and OB/GYNs who come down from the US (and other places) to help precept and teach our students. It is an amazing job and an amazing organization.
I’m in the process of applying to an accelerated bachelor’s in nursing to master’s in nursing to become a certified nurse midwife myself, and I definitely see myself continuing to work in international maternal health in the future.