2020 Ignatian Hoya Recipient
M.S. in Physiology & Biophysics, Special Master’s Program
Victoria Pouille is from Riviera Beach, Florida. Before coming to Georgetown’s Biomedical Graduate Education, Victoria studied at Boston College where majored in Biology and International Studies with a discipline in ethics and international social justice.
Why did you choose Biomedical Graduate Education at Georgetown University?
I chose Biomedical Graduate Education at Georgetown University because of its unique and rigorous Special Master’s Program in Physiology. As a master’s program that serves to prepare us for a career in medicine, I was also drawn by Georgetown’s Jesuit identity that is centered around cura personalis. After attending Boston College for my undergraduate studies, I grew in appreciation for the holistic approach Jesuit values offer and believe that a more holistic approach should be central to all biomedical education.
What do you hope to accomplish here at Georgetown and/or what is your interest in biomedical research or graduate studies?
While at Georgetown, I hope to further grow in my understanding of what it means to pursue a career in medicine and expand my knowledge to better prepare myself as an aspiring physician. After spending time serving in a healthcare setting for those facing homelessness, I recognized the importance of advocating for the rights of those we serve. This drew me to Georgetown because of the variety of lectures held by different graduate programs around social justice and its location in our capitol. Although COVID-19 has made getting involved less accessible this year, I look forward to what the spring semester has to offer.
What community service activity has meant the most to you?
Although each community service activity has meant a great amount to me, it all started with my first long term service commitment to the families living at Casa Nueva Vida. I was placed to serve at this homeless shelter my freshman as part of a year-long service-learning class called PULSE. This class required each student enrolled to spend 12 hours a week serving in direct contact with marginalized populations and social change organizations. In the class, we would learn about the foundational classic and contemporary works of both theology and philosophy through a Jesuit lens, while also engaging in conversations about how the works inform our service.
Spending so much time directly living with the families at the shelter exposed me to several of the societal injustices faced by those I served and forced me out of the ignorance my privilege allowed me to have. Through the relationships I formed with the children and parents, I educated myself on what it means to be struggling with homelessness and learned to become a better advocate alongside them. As a result of serving at Casa Nueva Vida, I began getting involved in more organizations around Boston working with those struggling with homelessness. This eventually led me to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program Foot Clinic, where I solidified my desire to pursue a career in medicine centered around serving those who are most vulnerable and marginalized in our society. Without my service at Casa Nueva Vida, I would not have discovered my vocation or become who I am today.