Gaelen Stanford-Moore has become the Rotary Club of San Marino’s second Global Scholar this year.
Rotary International recently approved the 2008 South Pasadena High School graduate for a Global Grant Scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge in England.
“I am very excited and humbled by this honor from Rotary,” Stanford-Moore said. “The Rotary Club values service and leadership internationally which are characteristics very near and dear to my heart. I am extremely impressed by Rotary’s commitment to disease prevention through their work with eradicating polio. The San Marino Club in particular has some really amazing on-going projects currently to provide clean water and educational facilities to people in Mexico and Africa. I’m very excited to be a part of this stellar organization and to do my part to continue their commitment to disease prevention and treatment. I can’t thank the Rotary Club enough for supporting me and making this exciting opportunity a reality.”
Stanford-Moore’s scholarship is worth more than $60,000 and her area of study will be Disease Prevention and Treatment.
“I’ve just started my final year of medical school and look forward to a career as a physician working in a resource-poor setting both in the U.S. and abroad,” she said. “While the healthcare system in the U.S. is not perfect, we are very fortunate to have so many resources available to keep our loved ones healthy. Many countries do not have this luxury. I have worked in healthcare in Vietnam, Costa Rica and, more recently, Kenya and was struck by how diseases affect each country differently.”
Stanford-Moore will take one year off from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco to pursue a Masters in Public Health at the University of Cambridge. Afterwards, she will return to complete medical school at UCSF and start a residency as an obstetrician gynecologist. Stanford-Moore graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012. She majored in Molecular and Cell Biology and minored in Global Poverty and Practice with a focus on healthcare delivery in third-world countries.
“As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I minored in Global Poverty and Practice which taught me the nuances of conducting economics and healthcare delivery in third world countries,” Stanford-Moore said. “When I started medical school in 2013, I knew I wanted to live and work in a country where I could learn about new cultural practices of medicine and also combat disease.”
She lived in Kisumu, Kenya during the summer of 2014 and said almost 25 percent of the city’s resident are infected with HIV.
“I worked with a mix of UCSF and local physicians at a small community clinic to investigate the obstacles to HIV treatment,” Stanford-Moore said. “It was fascinating. Many of the patients declined free antiretroviral therapy because of the stigma associated with taking HIV medications or cultural beliefs about the etiology of their disease, which they did not believe could be treated by Western medicine. This was really important to understand so that we could better counsel patients on the importance of their medications, combating these more specific obstacles.”
She said she enjoyed living in Kenya.
“I met other medical students from around the world and we would swap stories over beers at sunset overlooking Lake Victoria,” Stanford-Moore said. “Not to mention falling asleep to lions roaring in the distance. No joke. Lions.”
While she was growing up, her parents traveled internationally for their research as anthropology professors at the University of Southern California.
“Although my mom was born and raised in San Marino, my family lived in Tanzania and Mexico when I was a toddler,” she said. “This started my interest in international work in general. When I lived in Kenya I had colleagues from all over the world, all working together to combat the same problems; malaria, HIV, lack of clean water. It was really cool to see how students from other parts of the world thought about these problems differently. This inspired my application to international masters programs. The University of Cambridge is renowned for its diverse student body and international perceptive. I’ve been in touch with a few professors at Cambridge and am excited to work with them to continue research on HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. I also can’t wait to practice my British accent, drink lots of tea and finally learn to ‘Bend it like Beckham.’”
Stanford-Moore will have host sponsors in the Rotary Club of Sawston in Cambridge. Her classes start on Oct. 1.
Stanford-Moore was assisted in her scholarship application and the interview process by Rotary Global Grant Scholar Chair Bill Payne and with the Rotary International Online Global Grant Record by San Marino Rotary Club President Mike Driebe and District 5300 Global Grants Scholar Chair Marilyn Diaz (of the Rotary Club of Sierra Madre).
Stanford-Moore is the second Global Scholar in the entire Rotary District 5300, which is made up of 62 clubs. Under its former Ambassadorial Scholarship program, San Marino Rotary Club had 23 scholarship applicants accepted by District 5300 and Rotary International. Jennifer Binley, who is a 2011 San Marino High School graduate, was awarded a Global Scholarship Grant earlier this year to attend the University of Cape Town in Africa.
For more information about the Global Scholar program, contact Payne at email@example.com or 626-252-9505.