Freedman '09 earns prestigious award to study public health abroad

by University Communications,

Hayley Freedman ’09 is earning her master's abroad, thanks to an Erasmus Mundus Programme scholarship.

“When I received news of the award, I was stunned and extremely honored,” Freedman says. “The award covers tuition, living and travel expenses for two years. I am so thrilled.”

Freedman, a psychology and anthropology double major, is the first Willamette graduate to receive the scholarship. The goal of the award is to fund graduate studies programs in European Union countries, and by doing so, promote dialogue and understanding between people and cultures.

With the scholarship, Freedman will split the next two years studying public health at the University of Sheffield in England and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. She begins her studies in September.

“This program will provide unique international perspectives on health systems and health services delivery within a European context,” she says. “I am looking forward to the networking opportunities given to the program’s diverse student body.”

Charting Her Course

At Willamette, Freedman sang in the chamber choir, founded Willamette’s Africa Club, studied abroad in Ghana and worked for the anthropology department and the Office of Admissions. She also served as an Opening Days leader for incoming freshmen and helped coordinate a Take a Break community service trip to Jonestown, Miss.

Her mentors included everyone from anthropology professors Rebecca Dobkins and Pamela Moro — who helped mold her world view — to choral director Wallace Long, who showed her how music can uplift the soul.

She’s also thankful to anthropology professor Joyce Millen, who introduced her to her chosen career path.

“Her work alone is inspiring, but it is her energy and friendship that really encouraged me and helped me to discover what strengths I held and how I could use them to effect positive change,” Freedman says.

Living Willamette’s Motto

Since graduating, Freedman served as a team leader with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in Oregon, California and Utah, where she worked on environmental conservation, housing and education projects.

She then joined the Peace Corps, spending two years working as a health volunteer on HIV/AIDS and health outreach in Mozambique. In 2013, she worked for the Primeiras & Segundas Program of the CARE-WWF Alliance, a flagship, integrated conservation and development program in Northern Mozambique.

Freedman says she has long been served by living Willamette’s motto, “Not unto ourselves alone are we born.” And after earning her master's in public health, she hopes to do even more by bringing health care services to underserved and vulnerable populations.

“Willamette provided an environment where I was encouraged to grow, push boundaries and reflect on how I engage and act,” she says. “It provided building blocks for my journey of becoming a global citizen.”

For more information about the Erasmus Mundus Programme scholarship and similar educational opportunities, contact Student Academic Grants and Awards.