Sage Advice to Fulbright Scholars
Jessie Rebert ’03 has traveled to 17 countries on five continents and wants to see more of the world.
As a Fulbright scholar to Venezuela in 2003-04, Rebert said that she made some great contacts with people in her field and found the networking a real asset to her future career.
Rebert, a sociology and art major while at Pitzer, will begin a Masters of Science program this fall at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, specializing in developing countries. Her plans include implementing preventative health programs in Latin America as a public health professional. She loves the Spanish language and knew she had mastered the language when she watched a television show, understanding it but not knowing if it was in English and Spanish. “I had to turn my TV back on make sure it was aired in Spanish,” she said.
Rebert describes her Fulbright experience as adventurous, confidence producing and responsible for expanding her already large capacity for compassion.
“Everything came together during my Fulbright. My family’s values, my Pitzer in Venezuela program and Pitzer’s Costa Rica Health Program-all of which contribute to my desire to create positive change, even if only in one small part of the world,” Rebert said.
During her Fulbright, she participated in a youth peer education program focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention, STDs and teenage pregnancy. Along with her peers, she published a book on these subjects that was distributed to pubic libraries in Venezuela.
“Following my Fulbright experience, I traveled to Guatemala and worked with health educators on ‘Proyecto Payaso,’ or Project Clown. A group of us dressed as clowns in colorful costumes to educate people in the rural parts of Guatemala on AIDS and the myriad myths associated with the disease,” Rebert explained. Later, Rebert returned to Venezuela to introduce the program there.
Rebert enthusiastically talks about Professor Ann Stromberg: “She is always there for her students. She provided me with good advice and was very interested in public health. She is just a wonderful person.”
What advice would she give to Pitzer’s 16 Fulbright winners? “Be open-minded, flexible and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Soak up the culture.” She also adds, “People born in the United States are not aware of how great it is to carry a U.S. passport. It brings you a lot of freedom that people in other countries do not have available to them.”
Rebert, a native of Hanover, Penn., served on the External Studies Committee and student government while at Pitzer. She also was a runner on the Pitzer-Pomona women’s cross country team.
Jessie Rebert ’03 plays her part with health educators in “Proyecto Payaso,” or Project Clown. “A group of us dressed as clowns in colorful costumes to educate people in the rural parts of Guatemala on AIDS and the myriad myths associated with the disease,” Rebert explained. Later, Rebert returned to Venezuela to introduce the program.