Celebrating 25 years of dedication to women’s health is also about recognizing the recipients of the Howell Foundation undergraduate and graduate scholarship program. Our series “Where are they now?” showcases the talent and perseverance of the Foundation’s Scholarship Program. The success of our scholars speaks to the quality of the next-generation researchers and phisicians that will be taking care of women in our community.
Hoejeong Kim was one of the Howell – UCSD Scholars for the summer of 2018. “I didn’t feel particularly confident about my current standing as a college student. It was my first year volunteering for a biomedical lab, and despite my excitement, I was so overwhelmed by the publications I had to read, protocols I had to apply, and new equipment I had to use. On my first day of lab, I realized I didn’t even know how to put on a glove properly! It wasn’t uncommon for me to wonder how I found myself in a reproductive medicine lab or my upper division science courses.
The Howell Scholarship Award gave me a sense of belonging in these places of higher education. In the span of a year, I went from struggling to put on a glove to presenting my project on tracking stem cell-like cells in the placenta over gestation. The award was like a wind against my back, letting me know my pursuit towards medicine was the right path.”
Hoejeong is currently working as the Program Assistant & Peer Education Coordinator for CARE at SARC, the Sexual Assault Resource Center at UCSD. She develops the training practicum for new volunteers, mentor students, and creates educational programs that are aimed to prevent violence and create a safer campus culture through community engagement — all that while applying for medical schools.
“Sexual violence is never an unfamiliar experience for women and has profound impacts on women’s health, both on the individual and community levels. Working for CARE, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness the strength and resilience of survivors, but I’ve also seen how trauma can manifest itself into physical, mental, and emotional barriers to wellness. As an aspiring physician, I want to push for patient care practices that work towards restoring the sense of control and empowering patients by applying a trauma-informed philosophy. I’d also like to collaborate with other wellness specialists to provide the highest quality of inter-professional care for their healing journey.”
“After working 3+ years in trauma prevention, I’ve decided that my mission is to advocate for trauma-informed and whole person care.”
Celebrating the Howell Foundation’s 25th anniversary is also our about our appreciation to the Howell Supporters that continue to make this happen. “We are overjoyed that Hoejeong will be focusing her efforts in an area that is perhaps one the most difficult and traumatic for the victims” comments Marla Black, Executive Director for the Howell Foundation. “It also highlights the importance of funding undergraduate research for the next pool of scientists and physicians. Hoejeong’s words are what inspires us to keep bringing attention to the need for women’s health research, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our generous donors! We hope that you find her work inspiring as well.”
The Board of Directors of the Howell Foundation wishes you much success!
About the Howell Foundation:
The Howell Foundation advances women’s health by funding undergraduate and graduate research scholarships, awarding grants to scientists who conduct research benefiting under represented women in the community, and supporting outreach efforts and events that promote health education and self-advocacy for the long-term health and well-being of women, their families and the community in which they live.