This year marks Duke University’s 5th Global Health Week. Just as the Duke Global Health Institute recently celebrated its 5th anniversary last fall, nearly 30 Duke student organizations also look back at a tradition of student mobilization that has come to define us. Together Duke students have demonstrated a unified passion for global health in principle and in practice.
2008: The Aalok Modi Memorial Global Health Week (March 24-29, 2008)
The Duke community lost one of its most beloved leaders after Aalok Modi (Class of 2009) tragically passed away on February 14th, 2008 during a game of intramural basketball.
Aalok was one of the most passionate global health students that Duke University had ever seen. He was founder and visionary of the Duke Global Health Student Action Committee. Aalok believed that uniting Duke’s various global health student organizations together under a network was one of the highest priorities. Through his sacrifices and tireless work, the Global Health Student Action Committee began to coalesce Duke students and foster collaboration. His legacy behind the global health movement on campus will never be forgotten.
As described by his peers from the original Duke Global Health Student Action Committee:
“In too many ways he was the glue to the Duke Global Health Student Action Committee. Every week his e-mails revealed excitement about our meetings and events; everything was pushed aside for global health, except for his other love-basketball. It was his initial vision of the Global Health Forum that we adopted and began to bring to life. For Aalok, uniting the campus together under the umbrella of reducing health disparities was a No. 1 priority. No one was more passionate or committed. Aalok stuck with the Global Health Student Action Committee through countless name changes and transformations, taking the transitions in stride, letting nothing inhibit his ideas and the vision he wanted to accomplish.
We began planning for Global Health Week as a way to bring the various interests of global health groups on campus together towards something that was bigger than any single group alone. Aalok always thought it important to provide a platform for more to get involved. Between our e-mail blitzes to secure speakers, grant applications to support the endeavors of our peers and brainstorming sessions, Aalok’s motivations had always been simple and honest: he wanted to do good in the world.
For too many of us across campus, we lost a friend, a colleague, an inspiration. But it is our hope that Aalok’s charisma and passion will never be lost. There is much work to do in the world and Aalok’s vision will be the guiding force for how we move towards better quality of life on all levels. We hope that Global Health Week will unite both those that were guided by his leadership and those who never knew him but who are impacted by the work he accomplished.” — Remembering Aalok Modi, 02/28/2008
Learn more about the Aalok Modi Global Health Fieldwork Fund.
2009: Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Global Health & Environmental Awareness Week (March 23-28, 2009)
The original Duke Global Health Student Action Committee would later redefine itself as the Duke Global Health Forum.
Each of the different days focused on a geographic region that aimed to highlight relevant global health issues across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North America/Europe, and Latin America.
Various events included a presentation by The Lost Boys Rebuilding Southern Sudan, a career panel and discussion about potential global health jobs, and a variety of service events hosted by global health groups across campus.
In addition to increasing awareness about key environmental issues related to global health, students also sought to raise funds for the Aalok S. Modi scholarship, an initiative that would later go on to help establish the Aalok Modi Global Health Fieldwork Fund.
2010: Global Health Week (March 26th – April 1st, 2010)
Global Health Week 2010 was a tremendous success with deeper levels of engagement by all organizations involved. Student groups decided upon a new model together for structuring the week based on thematic days. With resounding ownership and agency, the Duke student global health community demonstrated graceful organizational capacity with cohesive teamwork. A new template was born for the entire service community at Duke University.
Organizations included: Environmental Alliance, Duke Refugee Aid, WISER, Amnesty International, DIRA, Discover Worlds, Progressive Health Partnership, Engineers Without Borders, Engineering World Health, Prospective Health Care Club, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, Millennium Villages Project, Duke Durham Hunger Alliance, Nourish International, Muslim Students Association, Project HEAL, Team HBV, Know Your Status, Duke Global Medical Brigades, Duke Red Cross, and Operation Smile.
FRIDAY, March 26: DISPLACED (http://displaced.webs.com/)
SATURDAY, March 27: Duke Global Health Case Competition
MONDAY, March 29: Politics of Global Health and Human Rights
TUESDAY, March 30: Innovation & Sustainability
WEDNESDAY, March 31: Hunger & Poverty
THURSDAY, April 1: Public Health (with Guest Lecturer Dr. Julio Frenk – Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health and Former Minister of Health of Mexico).
2011: Global Health Week (March 31st – April 9th, 2011)
Prior to the end of Global Health Week 2010, the Duke Partnership for Service (dPS) arrived as the umbrella hub for service and social action on campus. Soon the Global Health Forum would merge to form a new identity as a branch under the broader dPS structure. While the Global Health Forum name would change to the Domestic & Global Health Branch of dPS, or just Global Health Branch of dPS, the inherent spirit behind the organization’s original mission remained preserved. The Global Health Forum’s practices of supporting its student organizations throughout the year helped provide lessons for other clusters on campus including education and environmental groups.
Global Health Week 2011 was the biggest and greatest student celebration of global health ever on Duke’s campus. The marathon of events included top speakers and outstanding student involvement. The dPS Global Health branch launched its inaugural Operations Team to allow all students, even those not involved with traditional organizations, to be a part of planning Global Health Week from scratch.
Organizations included: Environmental Alliance, Duke Refugee Aid, Prospective Health Care Club, GlobeMed, Duke Red Cross, Healthy Devils, Team HBV, Operation Smile, Humane Borders, Amnesty International, Engineering World Health, Nourish International, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, Progressive Health Partnership, Duke DeltAIDS, Know Your Status, WISER, Duke Africa, Project HEAL, Duke Global Brigades, Unite for Sight, Remedy, and FIMRC
Thursday, March 31st: Keynote Address by Dr. Peter Mugyenyi
Friday, April 1st: KICKOFF: Displaced
Saturday, April 2nd: Community 5K for Haiti
Monday, April 4th: Preventive Health
Tuesday, April 5: Neglected and Misunderstood Issues
Wednesday, April 6th:Innovation and Sustainability Day
Thursday, April 7th: Chronic and Infectious Disease (included DGHI lecture by Dr. Vikram Patel)
Friday, April 8th: Global Health At Home: North Carolina
Saturday, April 9th: Global Health Case Competition and Career Fair