Name: Nicole “Nikki”
Provost Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) Recipient
Research Assistant in Dr. Michela Gallagher’s Lab
Founder & Co-Chair of Camp Kesem at Johns Hopkins
Co-President of Women’s Pre-Health Leadership Society
Founder & Chair of Conversations in Medicine
Director of Alumni Student Ambassadors
Logistics Chair for the 2009 Hopkins Orientation Program
How was your Hopkins experience?
If there is one idiom that could capture my experience at Hopkins, it would be “the world is your oyster.” As a Hopkins student, I’ve been provided more opportunities than I have time for. Kind of like a shopaholic with a shopping spree…
On a more serious note, I believe there are very few places that can offer as enriching of an education as Hopkins and I feel blessed to have had opportunity to attend this university.
Are there any memories that especially stand out?
Last December, my sister and I were named finalists for a National Green Living Award. Unfortunately participating in the 3-day competition and summit required an expensive plane ticket to San Francisco. When I emailed Dean Boswell about our predicament, she responded by asking what times we wanted to fly out of BWI and paid for our plane tickets the next day.
Tell us a little bit more about Camp Kesem!
I’m really glad you asked about Camp Kesem. We are a student organization that endeavors to reintroduce normality into the lives of children whose parents are either currently struggling with cancer, or have in the past. Cancer is an agent of turmoil and anguish in the family sphere, and the youth participants of Camp Kesem have faced harsh realities that have, to an extent, robbed them of the frivolity and carelessness that defines childhood. Camp Kesem is a means to partially rectify these sad truths. This is achieved through a free week-long summer camp that connects children burdened with similar adversity and hardship to one another and offers an environment of joy, support, and encouragement fully equipped with a certified psychologist and nurse.
Are there ways Hopkins students can get involved?
Based on your time commitment, involvement can range from being just a member to a counselor for our campers, to an executive board member. Every member, no matter what his or her role is, is part of our Camp Kesem family; we are a very close-knit group and our members are truly passionate about our cause. If you would like to learn more about Camp Kesem, I encourage you to email email@example.com.
Where do you hope to be in 15 years?
That’s a tough question! I’m currently considering the MD/MBA program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine… So hopefully I’ve created and established a successful non-profit organization that addresses health disparities in neurology as a physician scientist.
I would also like to travel to third world countries every few years to volunteer my services and share cost-efficient and improved techniques in neurosurgery with local surgeons.
What are your top 3 favorite things about Hopkins?
1. The faculty, administration, and staff. Six months into my undergraduate experience, I’ve already begun to refer to Hopkins as home. In all honesty, I feel like I have “second moms” and “second dads” because of the supportive and meaningful roles my professors, deans, and advisors played in my life.
2. JHMI shuttle. Johns Hopkins’ free shuttle is incredibly consistent and available! I would be lying if I said the JHMI didn’t enhance my social experience (in additional to my academic interests of course…).
3. Its location. Hopkins is unique in that it is situated next to so many different types of communities. Having the opportunity to interact with people of a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences has helped me develop my own cultural competency and appreciation for the city’s charm.
Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity.
- Rabindranath Tagore