Soko Cheng '19 has been awarded a competitive Gilman International Scholarship, which she will use this sprin...
Major in Biochemistry, Minors in Health Sciences and Spanish
Describe your summer internship.
With my program, I spent my mornings in the hospital, my afternoons in class, and my evenings and weekends exploring Argentina.
In the hospital, I shadowed internal medicine and emergency room medicine. I saw many different cases and was able to gain valuable clinical experiences to prepare for a career in medicine. I also shadowed the laboratories to see how blood and urine tests provide helpful information about a patient. For my classes, I did different seminars in Spanish that covered topics such as "Common Diseases of Argentina," "The Social Security System," and "Argentine History."
What experience did you have with medicine prior to this internship?
Before going to Argentina, I had done shadowing in the emergency room at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois, and the ophthalmology department at the OSF Clinic in Galesburg. I had also seen open heart surgery and completed 100+ volunteer hours at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
How did you choose this internship?
Growing up on the southwest side of Chicago, my Mexican heritage allowed me to utilize the Spanish language at home. Going into medicine, I want to use these Spanish speaking skills.
I also took Spanish 230 D, Culture of the Spanish-Speaking World on the Southern Cone, at Knox. This class allowed me to familiarize myself with the history and happenings of South America and made me want to travel there. From being a Resident Assistant (RA), Duty RA, a member of the Newman Club, and a member of Pi Beta Phi, I learned about servant leadership and living on a learning edge.
When searching for a summer opportunity, I wanted something that focused on the clinical aspects of medicine, took place in a Spanish speaking country, and provided a cultural immersion abroad. The program with CFHI provided a program tailored to my criteria for going abroad. The Stellyes Center for Global Studies, Bastian Family Career Center, and Richter funding made my experience abroad possible, and the support from the Knox community encouraged me to take my dreams to reality.
What is one thing you learned at Knox that helped you in your internship?
The diversity at Knox has made me globally aware of myself and my surroundings. As a student leader on campus, I am aware of the diverse people, ideas, and resources around me. By going to Argentina and studying hospital medicine, I was able to expand this knowledge for personal and intellectual growth.