Jennifer Burnett-Zieman came to the College with a plan: study biology, get a Ph.D., become a microbiologist. Then she started exploring.
She did an archaeological dig in Israel. She studied in Australia. A biology major, she had planned to get a minor in economics; instead, she made it a second major. And she saw a presentation by the Peace Corps that inspired her to join the organization a year after graduation and spend three years in Ghana.
She’s been immersed in international issues ever since. After earning a Master of Public Affairs at Princeton University, she began a career using her science and economics background to monitor, evaluate, and improve international health programs—including ones that combat Guinea worm disease in South Sudan and malaria in several African countries. Now she lives in Washington, D.C., and works for a USAID contractor on projects to strengthen the health system and help mothers and newborns in Afghanistan.
“Had the College been more closed and not made study abroad possible, I don’t know if I would have been as open to moving overseas at 22 years old,” Jennifer says. “IU is where I found myself.”