Stockton Student Jodie Davis Earns Scholarship to Work on Public Health Projects in Ghana

For Immediate Release

Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Stockton University junior Jodie Davis, a Public Health major and Chemistry minor, has earned a fully funded scholarship with United Planet to travel to Ghana for eight weeks this summer to work on global health service projects.

Davis was the only student in the nation to be fully funded in this competitive educational scholarship opportunity, which was made possible through the Bonner Foundation national network and her work as an AmeriCorps Bonner Leader in the university’s Office of Service-Learning.

“I’m involved with public health because of my community and upbringing,” said Davis. “Growing up in Jersey City, N.J., I’ve seen the best and worst of people. Many families were forced to skip out on paying bills for months in order to buy their prescriptions. Even after buying their prescriptions, I noticed that my community still didn’t have the appropriate health care resources for better treatment.

“Since I’m going to Ghana, I’ll provide health care to residents of the city of Ho. I’ll be working at a teaching hospital under the influence of their health care team. My stay in Ghana will be eight weeks, so I’ll be able to rotate through different areas of the hospital such as the ER department, pediatrics, surgery and much more.”

Davis, an Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) student, also won two other prestigious awards:

- She is a recipient of the Board of Trustee Fellowships for this semester, which will help her conduct research on the correlation between food insecurity and low graduation rates in Atlantic City High School. This research will take place over the summer and also the fall semester. “I plan to partner with a Service-Learning class so students will be able to get involved on this project,” she said.       

- She is the 2017 Newman Civic Fellow for Campus Compact. The Newman Civic Fellowship “recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.” The fellowship is named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, and provides training and resources to help students develop strategies to achieve social change.

“The Newman Civic fellowship is a year-long fellowship where I will be given different opportunities to demonstrate my leadership skills,” she explained. “I’ll have opportunities to study abroad, present research and also attend workshops throughout the nation. There are also numerous scholarships and post grad fellowships offered to Newman Civic Fellows.”

Davis has a heavy commitment to academic and community service, both on- and off-campus.

She volunteers with the South Jersey AIDS Alliance, is president of the campus NAACP chapter, vice president for the State of New Jersey Youth and College Division of the NAACP, a mentor in the Coordinated Actions to Retain and Educate (C.A.R.E) program, a member of Alternative Spring Break and a student coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. She’s also a teacher’s assistant in Organic Chemistry.

Davis developed a campus program called “Flex for a Cause,” which deals with the issues of hunger and inadequate nutrition which some students face due to lack of funds.

“This program uses unused flex and meal swipes to provide to those who are suffering from food insecurity on campus,” she explained. She also volunteers with Campus Kitchens, a partnership of Stockton and Atlantic City High School that provides meals to area residents in need.

“I’m passionate about empowering the younger generation, especially the black community,” Davis said. “I believe our community needs more role models and I’m willing to do anything to help with that. Hopefully in the long run, I could be a mentor to girl in the inner city.”

Davis would have been a senior but she switched her major this year from Bio-Chemistry to Public Health, so she will graduate in May 2018.

She credits the Office of Service-Learning with helping her here, and in her personal life, she is inspired by her mother, Jacqueline Willis, her brother, Jason Davis, mentor Leslie Graham Wilson and her church, Bethel Seventh Day Adventist Church.

“At Stockton, I truly found myself. This shy girl from the inner city realized that her voice needed to be heard so she decided to do something about it. I connected with people from different races, sexual orientations, spiritual backgrounds and that has cultivated me into the person I am today.”

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