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Kimberly Patterson

Kimberly Patterson

IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs
January 2008

For most IUPUI students, internships take them into downtown Indianapolis for a glimpse of the world of work. Kimberly Patterson's internship took her a bit further from the IUPUI campus - about 1,270 miles further.

The IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs senior, a major in the environmental science and health program, made the most of a chance to work in the U.S. Public Health Service's Indian Health Service Division in Santa Fe, New Mexico last summer. Kimberly's work with the Pueblo Indian tribe only strengthened her determination to work in the field of health care, preferably on an international scale.

She would "love to work in health care in Africa - that would be a dream come true" - but she didn't start out her college career headed in that direction. Kimberly had to leave behind her first university (Northern Kentucky) and her first field at IUPUI (pre-pharmacy) to find her passion. Once she found environmental science and health, though, she knew she was on the right path.

Working face-to-face with people in need of a helping hand comes naturally to the Louisville native. Kimberly is part of IUPUI's nationally recognized Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship program, and has regularly volunteered for community projects to help the homeless, children and senior citizens living in nursing homes.

For Kimberly, that commitment to community is a big part of why IUPUI is building a national reputation for excellence: "You're going to school and at the same time helping the community," she says. "I feel connected, a sense of purpose. And not only are you making things better, you're meeting people and building relationships."

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