Devon McMahon

Class of 2015

Hometown: New York, NY

What was your College Scholar project?
My College Scholar thesis was a synthesis of the theoretical fields of anthropology and gender studies with the public health research I conducted during study abroad through the Cornell in Nepal Study Program. I argued that international development has caused the dependency of many rural Nepali hospitals on foreign aid, which has increased highly interventionist medical procedures during childbirth and has changed community perceptions of women. I relied primarily on field observations and interviews for my thesis, but much of my thinking has been influenced by the following Cornell courses as well as reading literature on international development and global health.

ANTHR 2468: Medicine, Culture and Society
NS 2600: Introduction to Global Health
NS 4600: Global Health Capstone
HIST 2090: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
ANTHR 3545: People and Cultures of the Himalayas
NEPAL 1101: Nepali Language

What were your most important extra-curricular activities?
My experience leading MEDLIFE (Medicine Education and Development for Low Income Families Everywhere) has been one of my most meaningful extra-curricular experiences. I have been highly involved with MEDLIFE since my freshman year because I feel that the goals of the club are truly beneficial to students at Cornell and families living without medical care in South America. Additionally, my study abroad experience through the Cornell in Nepal Study Program has certainly been the highlight of my time at Cornell.

Talk about any summer internships or programs you attended?
One of my favorite summer programs is Cornell’s Shoals Marine Laboratory, located on Appledore Island, off the coast of Maine. Shoals was an amazing experience, which gave me the chance to take a biology class and conduct research. Although it was not related to my College Scholar project, I truly benefitted from it and highly recommend spending a summer at Shoals.

What are you doing now?
I am spending the year after graduation in Nepal as a Fulbright Scholar; during that year I will research the effectiveness of a rural scholarship program for Nepali medical students. I then plan to attend medical school in the United States.