Santa Clara University

Mary Nicole "Nicky" Nienow Birch

Nicky Nienow Birch is a junior planning to double major in Public Health Science and Political Science.  Her interest in public health policy was sparked after she participated in an immersion trip through the Ignatian Center to the Tenderloin District in San Francisco.  This exposure to severe poverty on the doorstep of her own school motivated her to travel abroad and further explore public health issues around the world.  During the fall of 2011 she studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she was able to soak up a political culture drastically different than that of her own and experience firsthand the ways in which access to health care and the system itself differs between nations.  Her interests lie in working with communities at the ?base of the pyramid,? utilizing the skills, resources, and human power already available at these sites to transform these groups into self-sufficient populations.  Her plans after graduation are still undetermined, but will hopefully some travel abroad while working with a social enterprise to further fight the root causes of poverty and inequality.