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“I really enjoyed my study abroad experience while at Barrett on the NSEP Boren Scholarship in South Africa and feel like that definitely contributed to my passion for public health as well as helped me with my current path,” said Person-Rennell, who graduated from Barrett in 2009 with a degree in Global Studies.
In addition to studying abroad, community service helped drive Person-Rennell’s interest in pursuing graduate studies in public health and medicine, all while continuing to be active in her other passion – dance.
“I served as a volunteer at Sojourner Center (a domestic violence shelter in Phoenix) during my undergrad. From that experience, I ended up choreographing a piece about domestic violence for AZDance Group as well as working on my undergraduate thesis in domestic violence,” Person-Rennell said.
Person-Rennell, who received the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, currently is working on a dual degree program wherein she will obtain a master’s degree in public health at Cambridge University in England in July 2012 and in August return to the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in the United States to finish her last two years of medical school.
While at Cambridge, Person-Rennell worked on a project focused on understanding the dynamics of domestic violence among pregnant women and solutions for midwives in identifying and responding to domestic abuse of their patients.
In addition to coursework, Person-Rennell taught for the Cambridge Ballet Society and planned the society’s May Ball performances, for which she choreographed seven new pieces.
What advice would Person-Rennell give Barrett students seeking their futures?
“Keep your eyes open for opportunities that let you pursue your passions. Make sure that you are defining your success and happiness on your own terms,” she said.