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Service learning sets career path for alumna

Service learning experiences at CSU Monterey Bay ended up setting a direction in life for Lauren Goodwin.

“I worked at HIV-centered organizations,” she said. “I loved the people and felt fulfilled working with START in Seaside and John XXIII in Salinas.”

After graduating in 2006 with a degree in Human Communication, Goodwin was awarded a policy research internship at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. When that was completed, she left for a Peace Corps assignment in Botswana, where she did AIDS evidence-based planning and prevention education.

In 2010, she returned to Africa as part of Peace Corps Response Malawi, where she worked as an HIV technical adviser. Her job involved using GPS to map traditional birth attendants in an attempt to help curb new HIV infections.

Now back in the U.S., she is in her first year of the master’s of public health program at UCLA, where she’ll also earn a certificate in global health.

“For me, the purpose is figuring out how to get people the health services they need," she said. "There is great need domestically, but I’ll also work internationally.

“I love southern Africa.”

And she loves CSUMB, where she gained confidence to try things.

“Serving in the Peace Corps and getting into UCLA – I wouldn’t have imagined they were possible when I was a freshman.”

Read about Lauren’s experiences in Malawi.

Photo: Goodwin and Watipa at the beach in Malawi