Shireen Saxena ’14 was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Thailand during the summer of 2012. The Gilman Scholarship Program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, offers awards for select students to study in non-traditional study abroad destinations. It aims to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations.
Shireen used her time there working to bridge the gap in medical knowledge between native Hill Tribes and the Western world, conducting one-on-one interviews with village shamans in the mountains of Northern Thailand, and compiling data comparing traditional treatments to pharmaceutical counterparts. She is an anthropology major and a philosophy minor and plans to pursue graduate work in the field of medical anthropology.