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2021 Spring Symposium Podcasts

The pandemic and the practice of palliative care in India

Join Dr. Kristen Page for a conversation with Dr. Rajni Herman, who is the Project Director of Shalom Delhi, which was founded in 2001 as a palliative care unit of the Emmanuel Hospital Association. The podcast focuses on the evolution of Shalom Delhi’s work with people living with HIV/AIDS and life-limiting illnesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also participating in the podcast will be Kalei Hosaka (Anthropology/Pre-Med 2016), who worked with Shalom Delhi from June-December 2015 as part of his HNGR Program internship.

PODCAST: Enjoy the podcast with Dr. Page, Dr. Rajni and Kalei Hosaka

Dr Rajni HermanDr Rajni Herman is Palliative Care Physician, working as the Project Director of Shalom Delhi, which is a Palliative care Unit of Emmanuel Hospital Association Shalom located in Delhi, India. Shalom provides holistic care for patients with HIV, terminal cancer and non-communicable diseases. Its various components include a hospital clinic with inpatient and outpatient facility, home care programs for patients with HIV, cancer and NCD, an adolescent program, palliative care work among transgenders, support groups and a livelihood program.

Kalei HosakaKalei Hosaka is a 2016 alumnus of Wheaton College (Anthropology, pre-med, HNGR), who completed his HNGR internship with Shalom Delhi in 2015. He is a 4th year medical student at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (where he is from), but spending the year as a NIH Fogarty Global Health scholar/fellow working with youth living with HIV in Tanzania. Kalei considers his time at Shalom and with the HNGR program as the most formative years of his life and continue to influence the kind of work he chooses to be involved with. While at Shalom, Kalei worked on qualitative research with Shalom's livelihood centre, Kiran, published in AIDS Care

Dr. Kristen PageDr. Kristen Page is the Ruth Kraft Strohschein Distinguished Chair and Professor of Biology at Wheaton College. She is a disease ecologist and teaches many courses that range from ecology to parasitology to global health. For the past 21 years, Dr. Page has had the tremendous blessing of mentoring students in the Human Needs and Global Resources program; collaborating with the students and global partners to learn about the ways in which the use of natural resources impacts the environment and human health.

Ensuring a just public health system in Honduras

Join Dr. James G. Huff Jr. for a conversation with Dr. Kurt ver Beek, who is the Co-Founder and Strategic Development Officer of ASJ-USA, a non-government organization that has worked in Honduras since 1998. The podcast considers ASJ’s work to develop national transparency reports that aim to improve the Honduran government’s public health response to the pandemic. Also participating in the podcast is Allison Bassett (Communication and Anthropology 2019), who worked with ASJ from June-December 2018 as part of her HNGR Program internship.

PODCAST: Check out the podcast with Dr. ver Beek and Allison Bassett

Kurt Ver BeekKurt Ver Beek has lived in Honduras for over thirty years, is one of the Co-Founders of ASJ, and he also currently serves as the President of ASJ-Honduras. ASJ is a non-profit organization of brave Christians working to create a more just society in Honduras and around the globe. For over 20 years, Dr. Ver Beek taught as a tenured professor of Sociology at Calvin University, where he co-directed the Justice Studies semester in Honduras. He has a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from Cornell University.

Allison BassettAllison Bassett graduated from Wheaton College in 2019 with a double major in anthropology and communication (culture and rhetoric) and HNGR. She completed her HNGR internship in Tegucigalpa with ASJ-Honduras. In August 2019, she returned to Honduras for a year-long fellowship as part of the ASJ-USA team. Allison currently works as a project coordinator for Women of Welcome, a community that advocates for Christ-like compassion and love towards immigrants and refugees by encouraging, educating, and engaging with evangelical women as they dive into Scripture to understand biblical hospitality and God's heart for the vulnerable and marginalized.

James (Jamie) G. Huff Jr.James (Jamie) G. Huff Jr. serves as Associate Professor of Human Needs and Global Resources and Anthropology. His research focuses on rural community development, religion in Latin America, faith-rooted social movements and non-government organizations (NGOs), and comprehensive community initiatives. Since 2008 he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in El Salvador where he has documented the involvement of Pentecostal churches in community-based development projects. As an applied anthropologist, Dr. Huff has worked with various NGOs and community-based organizations across Latin America to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs to alleviate poverty and strengthen human well-being and community resiliency.

Community health, gender, and Covid-19 in Senegal

Join Dr. Scott Ickes for a conversation with Dr. Esther Kuhn, who serves as the Country Director of World Renew Senegal, a non-government organization that has been working in Senegal since 1989. The podcast will focus on the World Renew’s work with local, Senegalese partner organizations to improve community health in rural Senegal, and especially among economically vulnerable women and girls. Also participating in the podcast will be Hannah Sanders (Interdisciplinary Studies 2020), who worked with World Renew from June-December 2019 as part of her HNGR Program internship.

PODCAST: Listen to the podcast with Dr. Kuhn, Hannah Sanders and Dr. Ickes.

Esther KühnDr. Esther Kühn is World Renew's Country Director in Senegal. She is responsible for World Renew's Community Development programs in public health, agriculture and nutrition, education, and justice in Senegal (see Over the years, Esther and her team and partners have welcomed six HNGR students.

Hannah SandersHannah Sanders graduated from Wheaton in May 2020 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, which integrated Applied Health Science, International Relations and HNGR. Hannah currently works for Sg2, healthcare intelligence company in Chicagoland, and dreams of eventually heading back to school for a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition.

Dr. Scott IckesDr. Scott Ickes is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Health Science at Wheaton College, where he serves on the advisory council for the HNGR program. His scholarship examines the socio-cultural, behavioral, and structural causes of poor nutrition, and seeks to identify and evaluate strategies to improve nutrition and health in low-resource contexts. Dr. Ickes currently spends about half of his time in Kenya as a Visiting Scientist with the Kenya Medical Research Institute where he is completing a study to examine barriers to exclusive breastfeeding among mothers employed in commercial agriculture and opportunities for breastfeeding promotion.