Dr. Donald Hopkins, IES Abroad Vienna (1960-61) alum and Special Advisor for Guinea Worm Eradication at The Carter Center, will provide remarks at IES Abroad’s Chicago Alumni Networking Event on Thursday, October 27, 2016.
Since 1980, Dr. Hopkins has led the fight against Guinea Worm disease through his work at the CDC and The Carter Center. Dr. Hopkins has been an important factor in the advancements to eradicating Guinea worm diseases. Under his leadership, the number of cases worldwide has been reduced from an estimated 3.5 million in 1986 to just 22 in 2015.
Dr. Hopkins’ came to the realization that he wanted to research Guinea Worm disease during a visit to Egypt while studying abroad. Dr. Hopkins, studying with IES Abroad in Vienna at the time, embarked on the journey to Egypt with a friend, but getting there wasn’t as easy as taking a flight. They took a train from Vienna to Istanbul, then to Greece, and from there they boarded a ship to Egypt.
Though the journey was long, it was worth it. Dr. Hopkins was fascinated by Egypt’s sights and sounds. As his trip went on and he spent more time with the locals, he realized something significant. Dr. Hopkins said, “I began noticing all the flies around people’s eyes. I didn’t know what it was, but I noticed they had pathology in their eyes—a disease called trachoma. I was struck by that, and that experience made me decide there in Egypt in February 1961 that I wanted to study tropical diseases. I was fortunate in that when I got to the University of Chicago Medical School, I got to work with Dr. Lewert who was researching tropical diseases. I knew from before the age of six that I wanted to be a doctor, but that experience in Egypt really set me on my way and helped me focus on my specialty.”
Dr. Hopkins is an important example of how impactful and valuable study abroad can be. Whether it’s discovering something new, changing someone’s world perspective, or just meeting new people, study abroad opens the door to a range of possibilities. It also sets the foundations for alumni, like Dr. Hopkins, to make a difference in the world. It changed the course of his life and the lives of millions since and helped him become a leader in his field.
We are very happy to welcome Dr. Hopkins to our IES Abroad Chicago Alumni Networking Event to discuss the progress towards his goal and explain how his trip to Egypt while studying abroad inspired him.
Please join us on Thursday, October 27th, for the Chicago Alumni Networking Event and to meet Dr. Donald Hopkins:
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Union League Club of Chicago
65 West Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604
Be sure to register here.
Click here if you’re interested in learning more about our alumni events and ways to network with IES Abroad alum.