Ines Siepmann ’19, a biochemistry major and German and global health minor, has received a highly competitive Erasmus Mundus scholarship award, which allows her to earn a dual master’s degree.
She will attend the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research in the United Kingdom, and later the Maastricht University in the Netherlands for a public health specialization in Leadership and Governance. Both programs are part of Europubhealth+, an innovative, full-time master’s degree program for select students seeking a career in public health at the local, national, or global level. The Erasmus Mundus scholarship covers all costs of participation in the 23-month program.
“As German and U.S. dual citizen, the Europubhealth+ master is especially interesting to me because of the option to learn from multiple angles, with different countries that are addressing different, interrelated issues,” she says.
During her undergraduate career at Colorado College, Siepmann worked as a student researcher with the Sociology and Chemistry departments. Research for the Sociology Department involved qualitative research revolving around evaluating the state of mental health within the CC community. By doing in-person interviews and data analysis, she was able to identify aspects of the culture and different definitions of mental health for CC students, faculty, and staff.
She also worked with CC chemistry professors, conducting student-designed research and presenting at the American Chemical Society Conference in New Orleans and the Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum.
While at CC, Siepmann, a native of Hastings, Minnesota, also was involved with GlobeMed, a national organization with college chapters that collaborate with international NGOs. As a GlobeMed executive board member, she served as the key liaison between the CC chapter and the Western Organization for People Living with HIV/AIDS (WOPLAH), whose mission is to decrease stigma against those living with HIV/AIDS, and improve their quality of life by providing training and start-up materials for income-generating activities. She spent a summer in Kenya as a WOPLAH intern, conducting an analysis of their programs and strengthening the partnership.
“I would like to study toward a master’s in public health, then work within both NGOs and government organizations on topics specific to global health,” she says. “Potentially, at a later point, I envision that I would like to obtain a Ph.D. and have the option of an academic career, as my global health professors have vastly changed my world view and the way in which I critically think.”
In addition to her academics, Siepmann was, among other things, the captain of Colorado College’s Nordic ski team, racing in the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Conference for CC and qualifying for NCAA Nationals all four years; a Community Engaged Scholar through the Collaborative for Community Engagement; a member of the President’s Council; and co-chair of the Bioscience Outreach Club.