|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
April 27, 2011
Amanda R. Warfield
University Relations and Marketing
Bowie State University Undergrad Nursing Students Travel to Ghana
Two Students Opt for Alternative Spring Break
(Bowie, Md.)-Bowie State University undergraduate nursing students, Natasha Simon and Chinwendu Nwokeafor, opted for an international alternative spring break trip to Ghana, Africa with University Physician and Director of the Henry Wise Wellness Center Dr. Rita Wutoh this year. This occasion in the University's history marks the first international alternative spring break initiative for students and faculty.
In recent years, alternative spring break has consisted of Bowie State students traveling to New Orleans, LA to assist in the rebuilding of homes for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. This year, an outreach initiative led by Dr. Artie Travis, vice president for student affairs, aimed to expand opportunities for alternative spring break to include larger scale student volunteer projects.
The alternative spring break trip to Ghana was launched by Dr. Wutoh after working closely with Dr. Travis on researching international opportunities for students. Dr. Wutoh has family and colleagues in Ghana who were able to assist in facilitating the internships for the trip.
The two undergraduate nursing students, Natasha and Chinwendu, along with Dr. Wutoh, traveled to Ghana in March 2011 during spring break. The mission of the trip was to develop a relationship with businesses, educational institutions, local hospitals, and to increase the presence of Bowie State University students in the international Ghanaian marketplace. Along with the educational aspect of the trip, students also enjoyed a traditional Ghanaian experience and the opportunity to observe and participate in African culture.
Under the direction of Dr. Wutoh, both Natasha and Chinwendu were able to visit local hospitals and serve as interns to observe and assist with medical procedures.
"During this trip I had the opportunity to work at Central Regional Hospital Cape Coast as well as a midwifery clinic," said Natasha. "Being that I am majoring in nursing, it was important for me to see healthcare related institutions because I was very interested to see how the hospital and clinic was being run, how they performed certain procedures, and the supplies they had available to perform the procedures. Luckily, our university physician Dr. Rita Wutoh was able to set up the mini internship opportunity for us."
Both students agreed that their trip was valuable and has had an impact on their understanding and awareness of health-related issues globally. Currently, international internships is an important topic for Bowie State University, and one of the biggest supporters of the initiative is Dr. Wutoh.
"If I could use one word to describe the trip to Ghana it would be life-changing," said Dr. Wutoh. "I met so many people and I think about how we as a university can help them. I think about the people I met there every day and it warms my heart. I wanted to establish relationships with nonprofit organizations for student internships in the business, social work, counseling, education, and nursing departments. This experience was overwhelming and I hope that we can get a grant to link high school students from Ghana and Ethiopia with U.S. students through the Department of State."
Dr. Wutoh is currently working with educational institutions in Ghana to create a working partnership with Bowie State University, which will present opportunities to students for international internships in their chosen career field.
Amanda Sutton, a Bowie State University undergraduate student majoring in communications was a contributing writer for this press release.
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