Community & Global Health

Community & Global Health DSA Sophie Haas

Sophie Haas

Hometown: Traverse City, MI
Major: Biology
Minor/Concentrations: Psychology, CGHL, and Neuroscience
Study Abroad: San Jose, Costa Rica: Community and Global Health in Latin America
Best Adjective to Describe You: Persistent

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
We learn to view the world differently, noticing the “invisible” players of public health all around us.

What is your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
Chat with the staff and faculty involved in the department! They are knowledgeable, kind, and will have your back. Further, if it fits into your schedule and interests, consider the CGHL Costa Rica study abroad program. It is an incredible opportunity to expand your understanding of public health and its adjacent fields within a community that is excelling at their public health efforts.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Learning to reframe my view of society and the world around me through looking through a multifaceted and intersectional lens.

What has been your favorite class at K?
Cell and Molecular Chemistry. It expanded my view of biology and life sciences as a whole exponentially in just one term. I learned a new avenue to examine biological processes and expressional impacts. It has made me a more equipped scientist going forward.

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum or experienced breadth in your education?
The open curriculum has allowed me to become more well-rounded through exploring and gaining experience in different disciplines. I have always loved biology, but through the open curriculum I have discovered and developed my interests in both public health and psychology. The experiential opportunities allowed me to further expand my public health learning through study abroad.

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
I worked for the office of Gender Equity and Access from 2020-2023 as a certified peer educator for S.P.E.A.K. Kalamazoo College. Alongside students and staff, I built and facilitated training and programming related to sexual assault prevention, healthy relationships, consent, and bystander intervention for students.

I am the founder and president of the student organization KC DREAM: Kalamazoo College Disability-Illness Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring. We spearhead efforts towards accessibility and equity for K College students and staff who are disabled and chronically ill.

What is your SIP?
I am researching under Dr. Lisa Graves at WMed as they develop and implement their new behavioral and developmental pediatric Telehealth and travel medicine efforts to aid in barriers to healthcare amongst primarily Kalamazoo’s unhoused population. We are working to research if advancing Telehealth helps to widen both access to and use of healthcare services and if it begins to undo the impacts of systemic social and environmental determinants of health in the city.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I plan to go to medical school and continue to fight for health equity within the medical system.

What is a random fun fact about you?
I am a grand champion llama showman.