2022-02-16 Cam Lincoln Reflection on ENAP

Hadassah Betapudi '22, and Cam Lincoln '22, undergraduate researchers, working with the Global Child Health Program.

By Cam Lincoln '22,

February 16, 2022


My Human Biology path hasn’t always been straightforward; given its interdisciplinary approach to learning, I found myself bouncing between topic to topic, learning about the ways in which one aspect of health may intersect or interact with another. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed making these connections between different ideas and subject matter. Furthermore, hearing about other student’s experiences in other classes provided more insight on ways these same topics could be applied elsewhere; it colored my entire perspective of global health differently.

Durring my junior year, I was able to take HumBio 124c: Global Child Health with Professors Bonnie Maldonado and Clea Sarnquist, online. Although we were limited by COVID-19 precautions, our class centered frequently meet to discuss the changing landscape of pediatric care, and ways to address some of its shortcomings. One aspect of the class was its Haas Center-supported community-engagement learning (CEL) section, where students met outside of class-time to look at on-going studies surrounding newborn-care policies in different humanitarian settings. Students also collaborated with global health researchers by conducting interviews and performing qualitative analysis on transcripts. Although the course was only 10 weeks long, some students elected to continue working on this project into the following year.

Hadassah and I were part of the team researching the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The purpose of our case study was to identify challenges and opportunities for newborn survival. Throughout the process of coding, writing, and revising, we were able to see a lot of the work put into qualitative research, as well as the difficulties in trying to precisely capture what your interviewees are saying.

In Autumn 2021, both of us joined the teaching team for Global Child Health and were able to give some perspective on what we had worked on for the previous year. Similar to 2020, our CEL students were able to look into an ongoing global health study. This study was a look into potential interventions for gender-based violence among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya. Hadassah and I were able to start this project in summer and had met virtually with our collaborators at the Kenya Medical Research Institute. In addition to presenting to our students, both of us were able to produce posters and present at different symposiums and conferences about the research our team has done.

Being a part of this research team has opened my perspective up to the need for more qualitative research within health sciences. Going beyond the “hows” and “whys” of a question can deepen our understanding of the situation, offer nuanced commentary, and even present new solutions. As my undergraduate experience comes to a close, I do feel like this experience has solidified my passion for global health, and hope to be a part of the research community moving forward.

Cam Lincoln is a senior at Stanford currently studying Human Biology. He is specifically interested in the intersection between biological and social determinants of health. Cam led the Community Engaged Learning portion of HumBio 124C: Global Child Health during the Autumn 2021 quarter, and has presented at Stanford Medicine’s Maternal & Child Health Research Institute 2021 Symposium. Outside of research in the Sarnquist Lab, Cam really enjoy various genres of music, often practicing, writing, and performing for friends and family.