Feature Story

Seeking to Heal the World

March 26, 2015 – by Katie Nunner '15

OWU student Brenda Gable ’15 studied abroad in Jordan, where she focused on health and community development. After graduation, she plans to spend a year at an orphanage in Haiti. (Photos courtesy of Brenda Gable ’15)

OWU Senior Blends Passion for International Politics, Global Health

Brenda Gable ’15

Brenda Gable’s experiences studying abroad in Jordan and completing an internship with the Syrian-American Medical Society in Washington, D.C., have helped the Ohio Wesleyan University senior to connect passion with possibility.

Gable of Dublin, Ohio, always knew she was interested in the Middle East, especially with her desire to learn Arabic.

“Before OWU, I thought about diplomacy, but medicine is a way to have a hands-on impact and is very intellectual,” says Gable, an international studies major with minors in chemistry and sociology.

During her study abroad experience – sponsored by the School for International Training in Amman, Jordan – Gable focused on health and community development in Jordan. Then during with her summer internship, Gable gained a “much better appreciation for doctors.”

Her work also has provided Gable with insight into the Syrian Refugee crisis, which she shared with the OWU and Delaware communities when she spoke March 6 as part of the Great Decisions Lecture Series, hosted by the Delaware chapter of the Foreign Policy Association.

“People thought this would be a brief conflict, but now we know it’s not as simple as we thought it was going to be,” Gable says. “A lot of Syrians have connections in surrounding countries – people are trying to stay with their friends and family and it makes it hard to track people.”

With more than 3 million refugees, Gable says: “The question now is what should we do? Working with refugees is just a band-aid solution of the issue.”

After graduation, Gable will continue to explore her interest in international issues by volunteering for a year at Pwoje Espwa (“Project Hope”) in Les Cayes, Haiti, continuing an OWU tradition begun by alumnus Doug Dittrick ’55.

Kelsey Ullom ’14 and Rachel Vinciguerra ’14 currently are serving as volunteer coordinators at the Haitian orphanage and hosted an OWU student-led mission team in Haiti over spring break. Gable and Kate Raulin ’12 will continue Ullom and Vinciguerra’s work at the orphanage next year.

Afterward, Gable expects to attend medical school, with her studies having a focus on global health.