Kerri Maxwell

Kerri MaxwellWhat is your current occupation?
I am currently completing my Master of Health Policy Degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I am in the midst of the practicum component of my degree. I recently returned from Africa, where I was conducting field research on the socio-cultural factors influencing health behavior in HIV positive pregnant women in Cameroon . I will soon be traveling to Singapore where I will be working with the Ministry of Health to establish a national HIV/AIDS education campaign.

In what ways did your Hendrix experience or politics major prepare you for your current occupation?The Politics courses I took at Hendrix helped lay the groundwork for my policy analytical skills.  My courses trained me to think about an issue from many different sides and from numerous perspectives.  One must always consider the potential political, economic and social ramifications of policy implementation.  My coursework at Hendrix prepared me to approach policy development in such a manner.

What was the most memorable course you took at Hendrix?  What made it memorable?
It is extremely difficult for me to pick just one course as the memorable standout. I have so many fabulous memories and experiences in several of my politics courses. One of my best memories is of the Public Policy course I took as a freshman with retired Senator Dale Bumpers. At the time, I had never seen anyone speak about public service, public policy and public health with as much passion as he spoke, and it was life changing. Upon the conclusion of the course, I wrote Senator Bumpers a thank you note expressing my gratitude both for the knowledge imparted and for the manner in which the information was delivered. He responded with a letter that I will forever cherish. He wrote that he was, "considering having my kind letter framed," and that it was he, who was "thankful that he could impart the knowledge and encouragement to become excited about public service and policy."   Senator Bumpers motivated me to not only become passionate about public service, but he also encouraged me to think and approach learning in an interdisciplinary context. I took his advice and designed my own major entitled, "Health Care: Ethics and Policy."

What advice would you offer current students?
The best advice that I could offer students is to take advantage of the internship opportunities available at Hendrix or in the surrounding areas. Having an internship was one of the best things that I did because it was not only a catalyst to future opportunities, but it also allowed me to see firsthand how the lessons I was learning in the classroom were translated in a "real world" setting.