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Alumnus to share story at Celebration of Learning

April  16, 2013

Augustana’s 17th annual Celebration of Learning, a student research symposium, will be Saturday, May 4, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Hanson Hall of Science, 726 35th St.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Justin List '02, currently a third-year resident at Yale School of Medicine. He graduated from Augustana with majors in biology and religion.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Celebration of Learning began in 1997 and showcases the result of hundreds of hours of collaborative work between students and faculty members. The event provides a venue through which students can display and share the results of Senior Inquiry, summer research, honors capstone and other advanced research projects.

The day will open with Dr. List’s keynote address, followed by concurrent student presentations, lunch and student poster sessions, and a second session of concurrent student presentations. After the presentations, participants, their families and friends are invited to the Augustana College Art Museum in Centennial Hall to view the Senior Studio Student Art Exhibition.

When he was a student, Dr. List presented two research projects at Celebration of Learning — one on issues of objectivity and interpretation in the scientific method and another on postmodernism and religion.

Dr. Justin List with friends in Liberia.

A passion for community health care

Two years after graduating from Augustana, Dr. List earned a master’s of arts and religion at Yale Divinity School with a concentration in ethics. He graduated from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in 2010 and is currently a resident at Yale School of Medicine in the primary care program.

During medical school at Loyola, he spent one year as a tuberculosis case finding study coordinator in Uganda through a National Institutes of Health research training fellowship, and he served as a volunteer project consultant for the non-governmental social justice-based organization Tiyatien Health in Liberia.

“I really liked the opportunity to work on strengthening a community health care program in rural Liberia through survey interviews with health workers and presenting the organization with actionable items from my data analysis to improve remuneration and job satisfaction,” Dr. List said. “I found it to be one of the most rewarding health care experiences outside being a doctor to my clinic patients at Yale.”

He also has spent time lobbying for global health causes on Capitol Hill and completed a health policy internship with Congressman Danny K. Davis (IL-7) in Washington, D.C., through an AMA grant. This past year Dr. List worked in two public hospitals in Rwanda as part of the Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Scholars program.

In June, he will start in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he will develop skills in health services research, health policy and community-based participatory research while seeing patients at the Ann Arbor VA outpatient clinic.

At the core of Dr. List’s value system is a vision shared with colleagues to eliminate health inequalities, improve patient empowerment and promote human rights. Long term he hopes to be married, have children and work for either the U.S. government or in a non-profit consulting firm that works on designing chronic disease management and primary care health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. He says he might consider starting a social justice-driven health care consulting firm or running for a domestic political position.

“If I had a singular experience that defined any evolution of a life plan, I would say it was when I went to Kenya in 2006,” Dr. List said. “My encounter with poverty and social determinants of health in Nairobi squatter settlements profoundly influenced me and created a ‘burden of knowledge’ for me that has shaped the training pathway I’ve been pursuing.”

Augustana memories

Dr. List brought the sport of crew rowing to Augustana.

"I miss crew tremendously," he said. "I miss the joy and power of rowing in sync with teammates, the crisp, rhythmic motion of the oar entering the water and gliding through the currents of the Mississippi, the ritual of movement up and down the rivers and lakes during practices and competitions.

"One favorite memory of crew was when we were rusty and new and at one of our first races, one of the referees yelled out 'Augustana, please get back in your lane,' and we had some problems doing so! Our first medal at a regatta was also another favorite memory.

"I also miss Augustana Choir a great deal. One of my favorite memories was singing in Sweden at the Uppsala Cathedral in one of the most acoustically perfect settings in Europe."

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu