I am a sophomore majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in health care in underserved communities. I am pre-med and plan to pursue a career
in medicine after I graduate. Providing high-quality care to vulnerable and impoverished communities is my foremost passion; consequently, I plan to live and practice medicine abroad later in life. Like both Kathleen and Meseker, I am particularly drawn to South Africa; last summer, I worked in an informal settlement outside of the capital, Pretoria, to design a community health worker program for a local health care partnership organization When I’m not studying, I’m most likely running, playing beach volleyball with my friends, or watching Survivor.
Recently, I have become interested in the contrast between majority rule in South Africa as compared to Zimbabwe. I am particularly fascinated by the role of Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe. When Mugabe was elected in 1980, he was hailed as a hero; now, he is one of the most feared and reviled leaders in the world. He has been shown to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of his own people, as well as the torture and intimidation of thousands more. In my research, I plan to look at the development of Mugabe’s rhetoric, as demonstrated in his public speeches. I want to look for patterns between Mugabe’s speech and his actions, and determine which aspect of his leadership ultimately turned the tide of public opinion against him. Additionally, I’d like to research how he used rhetoric to remain in power, despite his growing unpopularity (or, perhaps it wasn’t his rhetoric, but the violence he perpetrated on his people!). Perhaps we can apply lessons from Mugabe’s extremely oppressive leadership to help enhance the leadership of other, non-oppressive global leaders.