July 15, 2024

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Inaugural Class of Global Health Direct Admits Announced

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Seven incoming freshmen make up the first group of students to receive direct admissions into Wabash College’s Global Health Initiative (GHI).

Ryan Bartley, Vitor Ferrari, Hugh Ford, Zane Huber, Khushnud Ochilov, Jonathan Parackattu, and Gino Park emerged from a competitive group of applicants to make up this inaugural class. The group represents three countries and three states.

“It’s thrilling to welcome these students who are coming to Wabash with an interest in global public health and the opportunities they’ll have in our program,” said Eric Wetzel, professor of biology and Global Health Initiative Director. “Not only will they engage in work with the GHI on and off campus, they’ll be well-positioned to consider our relatively new Global Health minor. I’m thankful for the support of the College as we take this next programmatic step, and we hope this leads to greater participation by others.”

Ryan Bartley '28This program allows first-year students to engage immediately with the GHI, a Wabash co-curricular program for students with interest in global public health. Directly admitted students are guaranteed an immersive travel experience in global health to Peru, South America, as part of the global health class, and a summer internship in public health following their freshman or sophomore years.

The direct admit program is supported by the Kolisek Health Innovation Fund.

Bartley, from Carmel, Indiana, discovered a passion for global health during his time in the PLTW Biomedical Sciences Pathway. He was a member of the Carmel Ambassadors and was president of Carmel High School’s Vitor Ferrari '28Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He enjoys sports, the outdoors, and focusing on his physical and spiritual health. 

Ferrari, from Santa Maria, Brazil, has founded several entities aimed at bettering his community,including Composition of Action, which offers mental health circles for young students; In Pursuit of Action, which solicits donations to positively impact communities of garbage collectors and the homeless; and the SmartSTEM Institute, which provides hands-on experiences and career counseling in the fields of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics for young students.

Hugh Ford '28Ford, from Kalamazoo, Michigan, plans to major in biology and Spanish and join the Little Giant track and field team and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He plays the piano and guitar and enjoys the outdoors.

Huber, from Greencastle, Indiana, plans to study pre-health and minor in global health. Further, he Zane Huber '28hopes to compete on the Wabash golf and swim teams.

Ochilov, from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, has immersed himself in a number of experiences, including organizing the first TEDx event in his community, participating in an international exchange program that enabled him to study in Arizona for a year, and volunteering at an oncology center in his hometown.

Khushnud Ochilov '28Parackattu, from Greenwood, Indiana, was involved in show choir, taekwondo, and volunteering whilea student at Center Grove High School.  He enjoys playing tennis, hanging out with friends, listening to music, and reading, and he plans to pursue a career in medicine after studying neuroscience and biology at Wabash.

Park, from Graham, North Carolina, attended Southern Alamance High School. The son of missionaries in the Philippines, he was introduced to service to others through his parents’ example. One influential endeavor was participating in a project to help build fire extinguishers for villages where house fires are frequent.

The GHI Direct Admit program is for students with a strong interest in community health and the many factors that Jonathan Parackattu '28determine it. This program provides students engagement with communities, leadership opportunities, and the chance to learn from global public health professionals in local and international contexts.

“A highlight of my job is working with students who want to make the world a better place, and these thoughtful and motivated young men have already accomplished that,” said Jill Rogers, pre-health advisor and GHI program coordinator. “It feels like a true liberal arts moment in bringing together this group of students who carry such vast experiences. We are grateful to the Kolisek Innovation Fund for making the GHI Direct Admit program a reality.”

Gino Park '28Benefits of the program include the ability to connect with other community-minded students early in their college career; to develop important skill sets that employers, medical schools, and graduate schools value in their applicants; and to learn about social and environmental determinants of health and help address health disparities in local, regional, and international communities.


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