Jane Kielhofner, a junior in the BHS Program at SHP, was recently accepted into the Kinder Scholars Program in Washington, DC. The program is offered by the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy and is designed as “a summer immersion in American Constitutional Democracy”. Participants are required to complete relevant coursework supplemented with an internship experience during the program, while living and working in Washington, DC.
We interviewed Jane to find out what attracted her to the program and how it fits with her career plans after SHP.
Q: Why did you decide to apply to the Kinder Program?
A: I have been interested in public health since high school. This past summer I was mentored by a doctor who had started a clinic for the underserved citizens in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri. In my time spent shadowing him, I recognized several of the issues in public policy that affects Americans around or under the poverty line. This sparked my interest in health policy. Public Health is an interdisciplinary field. It involves professionals in science, politics, education, and many other careers. In D.C. I hope to gain experience in observing health policy and how it affects public health, while also learning about the origins of democracy through the course “Beltway Politics and History” which is taught by the Kinder Scholars Program.
Q: What will your experience in the Kinder Program consist of?
A: Kinder Scholars spend about 10 weeks in Washington D.C. with provided housing and a $1,000
stipend to defray extra expenses. In D.C. scholars complete the course HIST/POL SC 4900: Beltway Politics and History. Taught by Kinder Institute faculty in a seminar setting and at historic sites around the D.C. area, the course is designed to engage students in an in-depth examination of the philosophical foundations and historical development of American constitutional democracy from the colonial age through the present day. Professors then spend Friday or Saturday taking the students on field trips to historical sites around the D.C. area to enhance their understanding of the course material. In order to provide participants with an opportunity to supplement their coursework with practical experience, the Program curriculum also requires students to intern Monday-Thursday (min. 25 hours per week) at an organization in D.C. whose mission relates to their academic study of the theory and history of American constitutional democracy.
Q: What are your career aspirations?
A: I would eventually love to do work with the Center for Disease Control or the World Health Organization tracking the spread of disease and creating solutions to disease spread. A health sciences degree from the University of Missouri gives me a well-rounded curriculum, plus room to pursue other interests such as politics and biology. I am confident that I will be a well-prepared and appealing candidate for Masters in Public Health Programs after my time at Mizzou is complete.
Q: Do you think the Kinder Scholars Program will benefit your Health Sciences studies and future career plans?
A: Definitely so. The Kinder Scholars Program allows me to gain experience working in the Public Health field in D.C., the epicenter of public health policy. As well as the internship aspect, the course “Beltway Politics and History” allows me to gain knowledge on how our democracy and basic rights came about. With this knowledge, I am better prepared to answer questions such as “Should health care be considered a right in the United States?” I will be able to focus on all of my school and internship priorities without having to fret about living and housing expenses, which I am very grateful for. The Kinder Scholars Program is truly a gem of Mizzou and I would highly recommend SHP student consider applying in the future!
20 other Kinder Program Participants and several MU Journalism Students will join Jane in DC the first week of June and return to Columbia in early August of this year.
Jane is currently looking for an internship in the public health or health policy sector in the DC area.