Skip to main content

Danielle Jeong

SFU Co-op Alumni
Science › Biomedical Physiology + Kinesiology

empty
Danielle Jeong
The Haitians taught me to always be thankful, and although these were lessons that I already knew in my head, I learned them by heart on this trip.

This article was previously published in SFU News on June 10, 2014.

An SFU co-op placement at a missionary medical clinic in Haiti certainly reinforced SFU’s motto “engaging the world”, says Danielle Jeong, who graduates this month with a B.Sc. (honours) in biomedical physiology.

The experience strengthened her desire to become an international medical missionary, a goal that has motivated her to maintain a straight A-plus grade-point-average of 4.33 during her upper division courses.

Those perfect grades have earned her a Governor General’s Silver Medal and, she hopes, entrance to medical school or further graduate studies.

Jeong turned down scholarships from other universities to pursue her undergraduate degree at SFU because of the more intimate learning environment and greater interaction with faculty.

But it was the co-op education program, in which she completed three co-op work terms in SFU labs and then the term in Haiti, that overcame her shyness and changed her life.

During the SFU lab co-op terms she received mentorship and guidance from graduate students and professors that, she says, led to her undergraduate success.

And the trip to Haiti, she says, “gave me the opportunity to challenge myself in ways I did not think were possible, to discover who I am, and most of all, to find a purpose for my studies.”

Last month she received an honourable mention in the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education’s 2013 Co-op Student of the Year competition for her co-op and academic achievements.

In Haiti, Jeong spent weekdays shadowing the clinic doctor and helping out with simple tasks such as preparing bandages. She spent weekends travelling with a mobile clinic to remote villages.

“Each day I watched doctors and nurses work tirelessly in life and death situations,” she says.

And while she was “inspired beyond words”, she was also emotionally drained at the end of each day to realize there was so little to be done for so many who were dying.

Throughout, she was overwhelmed by the Haitians’ grace in the face of extreme poverty, malnutrition, incurable disease and death.

“Their happiness did not seem to come from wealth,” says Jeong. “And happiness did not seem to be suppressed by poverty. Rather, it came from one's decision to be happy no matter what the circumstances are.

“The Haitians taught me to always be thankful, and although these were lessons that I already knew in my head, I learned them by heart on this trip.”

Beyond the Blog

About the Author

Danielle Jeong

SFU Co-op Alumni
Science › Biomedical Physiology + Kinesiology

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Your Next Co-op

Six people standing in front of a banner and table
Fake It Till You Make It

“Business courses helped me with workplace etiquette, while Communication courses allowed me to develop different perspectives.” Human Resources student Tabraiz reveals the hidden benefits of applying to jobs outside of your major and gaining a unique, mix-matched skillset.

the author smiling against her workplace backdrop
Through the Lens of a Patient: A First-Hand Look into Fraser Health’s Model of Patient Care

Patients across BC should expect to receive excellent care from our health system, and it usually delivers. Rasha Syed shares why the best way to assess the healthcare system is to hear patient experiences. 

A hand holding a stick note
You Design, They Hold Stakes, We Make Cool Things: Becoming a Great Designer Is Simple, Right?
As Karen points out, students of the Interactive Arts and Technology program have been through years of design school! Designers know how to use Adobe Suite like a pro, and know to bring their A-game to the table every day, proposing fascinating new directions and brand-new visionary ideas. While designers are hired to learn and bring some ‘fresh perspectives’ to their co-op workplace, read on to learn how they can overlook some key parts of the everyday designer.