|December 27, 2011|
After completing an undergraduate degree at Tufts University, Jonny Crocker volunteered in Latin America and Ghana.
A schistosomiasis prevention project he worked on in Ghana convinced him to come to UNC for a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (2011) and a doctoral degree.
"I realized that graduate work would allow me to be involved in bigger projects and have greater impact," he says.
I remember declaring my major as environmental engineering during freshman year without knowing what that meant.
The following year, I joined Engineers Without Borders on a whim and spent a summer working with a community in Tibet to make solar cookers to reduce indoor air pollution and compositing latrines to prevent waterborne diseases.
I saw that many people are born into a poverty trap and that engineering solutions could help their situation. Although my perspectives on infectious disease prevention have changed a lot, that summer stays with me as the first time I knew what I wanted to do with my career.
Since Tibet, I've worked on water and sanitation projects in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Everywhere I travel, I meet the most amazing individuals who are working as hard as they can to try to provide for their families.
Frequent infectious disease from lack of safe drinking water is a constant obstacle, keeping children from attending school and adults from working. I hope to spend my career working on solutions to alleviate the disease burden, helping these individuals reach their full potential.
Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. To view previous issues, please visit www.sph.unc.edu/cph.
|Last updated January 30, 2012|