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Biomedical Engineering Student Erin Campbell Bound for Zimbabwe as Whitaker Global Scholarship Winner

January 17, 2014

Campbell Profile

Whitaker Honoree: Erin Campbell, a junior biomedical engineering student, is one of only 40 American college students chosen to study abroad in 2014 through the Whitaker International Program. (Photo by Larry Ladig)

Erin Campbell's career is ready to take flight through one of the nation’s most prestigious global biomedical engineering encouragement programs.

The junior Rose-Hulman student is one of only 40 American college students chosen to study abroad in 2014 through the Whitaker International Program, administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The program encourages emerging U.S. biomedical engineering leaders to see their career from an international perspective through a self-designed overseas project.

Campbell will spend 10 weeks this spring as an intern at the Mashoko Christian Hospital, located in Nyika, Zimbabwe. She will assist physicians in diagnosing and caring to patients, helping with patient services at a remote 200-bed clinic, and teaching classes at the hospital’s nursing school.

“It is an opportunity of a lifetime, and it couldn't have come at a better time,” says the Rising Sun, Indiana, native. “Three years of rigorous academic training, along with other internships, have prepared me for this global adventure. The Whitaker International Undergraduate Scholarship allows me to take that next step.”

This is the second consecutive year that a Rose-Hulman student has been recognized by the IIE's Whitaker International Program. Betsy Jones, a 2013 biomedical engineering and international studies alumna, studied at University of Oxford in England this past summer.

Campbell has a passion to help people, especially children. She has completed more than 300 hours of community service during her three years at Rose-Hulman, and is the service coordinator for the college’s InterVarsity Christian Fellowship organization. She gathered classmates to assist with tornado recovery efforts for Henryville, Indiana, and a Day of Service event in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The daughter of a minister is also one test away from earning a private pilot license (regularly flying a Cessna 172 single-engine small aircraft) and is a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society, Student Network Against Malaria groups, Society of Women Engineers, and Biomedical Engineering Society organizations. She has completed an internship at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Cornwell With Campbell In Moench Hallway

Civic-Minded Student: Vice President for Academic Affairs Phillip Cornwell, PhD, discusses a topic with Erin Campbell in the Moench Hall concourse. Campbell has completed more than 300 hours of community service during her three years on campus. (Photo by Chris Minnick)

Campbell’s global interests became apparent early in her freshman year when she proposed a Chinese language and culture course to prepare Rose-Hulman students for career opportunities in China. A weekly seminar was popular with students and non-credit language classes followed the next year.

“Erin is a person who sees a need, and acts on that need,” says Ella Ingram, PhD, associate professor of applied biology. “She is a doer, a careful planner, and so delightful to work with that others join her initiatives.”

Campbell hopes to attend medical school and eventually help those  in third-world countries—a career path enhanced by her upcoming Whitaker International Scholarship opportunity.

“This internship will provide amazing practical training and incomparable experiences that will help me make better informed future choices,” she says. “I have been blessed with many opportunities to achieve my goals through internships, extra schoolwork, and working with others to help the community. But, this upcoming experience is unique. It combines so many vital aspects of my future.”

Campbell adds, “I have been helped by so many people in so many ways. Now, I would like to help others.”

The Institute of International Education is an independent not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance international education and access to education worldwide. The application deadline for fall Whitaker International Scholarships is March 11 through Rose-Hulman’s Office of Global Programs. For more information, contact