|Alumna selected as Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar|
|July 14, 2011|
Alyzza Dill, alumna of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, was selected recently as a 2011 Barbara Jordan Health Scholar. Dill received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in health policy and management in May.
The Jordan Scholars Program provides opportunities for recent graduates and college seniors to work in congressional offices in Washington, D.C., where they learn about health policy issues, particularly ones that affect racial and ethnic minorities and underserved communities. Through an 11-week program, scholars learn about legislative procedures and develop critical thinking and leadership skills.
Dill is serving through August in the office of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., of Illinois.
"I've had a phenomenal experience with the program thus far," Dill said. "Every Friday, we participate in seminars, briefings or site visits with the program. We have met with leading physicians, civil rights attorneys and advocates, directors of government agencies and others to learn about health policy issues that affect underserved communities."
She said she has learned a lot in a short time.
"I've seen firsthand the process of getting a piece of legislation through Congress and all the work done behind the scenes with competing agendas to affect the policies that govern us," she said. "It is an arduous process, but it is encouraging to see that there are passionate people who sacrifice time and energy so that those whose voices aren't always represented equitably and justly are not forgotten."
Her work as an undergraduate prepared her well for the program, Dill said.
"Professors challenged me to write policy briefs and memos that synthesized complex issues into a compact document. This is the medium of communication in D.C., so the practice was not only useful but garnered my confidence to excel here."
The Barbara Jordan Health Scholars Program was established through The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with Howard University, to honor the legacy of former foundation trustee and congressional representative Barbara Jordan. Jordan's career was distinguished by her tireless advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations.