JumpstartTU Archives - Center for Global Engagement


Nursing student Rachel Hamel’s Guatemala experience

woman in nursing scrubs on a cobblestone road smiling for a picture
Rachel Hamel

In summer 2022, nursing senior and track-and-field student-athlete Rachel Hamel completed an externship at a labor and delivery unit at Hillcrest South Hospital in Tulsa. At its conclusion, Hamel traveled to Guatemala, where she volunteered at a rural nonprofit health clinic for three weeks.

Hamel initially had difficulty studying abroad due to the pandemic and her busy schedule as a student-athlete and nursing student. “I made a trip that combined all the elements that I wanted it to without compromising my other commitments,” she said. Hamel also went to Panama with JumpstartTU, which confirmed her desire to study abroad again. “I also have a minor in Spanish,” said Hamel, “and wanted to go somewhere I could practice my fluency while also developing my nursing skills.”

The clinic where Hamel volunteered focused on the nutritional and primary health care needs of the surrounding communities.

“I worked alongside the doctor and the clinic staff assessing patients, creating an inventory system for medications and hosting educational sessions for the communities,” she stated. Some days, Hamel’s clinic had nutritional educational events with more than 50 women and children of smaller communities: “We welcomed women and children to come on the same scheduled day to the clinic for a checkup, an educational session about nutrition and when to come back to the clinic. These were called ‘una jornada,’” Hamel said. Other days, they went directly to homes whose children needed a medical or nutritional intervention.


“This trip deepened my interest in global health and opened my eyes to the vast health care needs, barriers and opportunities outside of the United States. I feel proud to have had the opportunity to take the knowledge that I learned at TU abroad and come back to Tulsa with new perspectives to integrate into my nursing career.”

Hamel has accepted a job at the pediatric intensive care unit at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. Working with children in Guatemala piqued her interest in the pediatric field of health care: “My time in Guatemala opened my eyes to how significant primary care is.” Additionally, Hamel’s externship with Hillcrest allowed her to witness newborns in need of additional post-natal support. “Both experiences helped me determine that I wanted a career in pediatrics.”

Want an education that takes you all over the globe? Want to improve lives while doing it? Check out the Oxley College of Health Sciences to see what options they have available for your bright future.

JumpstartTU wins IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation

The University of Tulsa’s JumpstartTU program has been recognized by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with the annual Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. TU was honored Jan. 27 at the January meeting of the IIE Board of Trustees. JumpstartTU and the other programs that received the prestigious award are at the forefront of developing new models to build international partnerships, internationalize campuses and promote study abroad. The awards recognize the most outstanding initiatives among the member campuses of the IIE Network, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,300 higher education institutions.

TU and the other winning universities will receive a cash award of $1,000 and a certificate from IIE’s president. Representatives from those institutions will make presentations to the board that highlight their programs and promote best practices, and participate in a conversation about the future of international education.

The four winners and three honorable mentions represent the broad diversity of higher education institutions in the IIE Network. They include a community college and major research universities and institutions from Pennsylvania to the South Island of New Zealand. The programs these institutions run take their students all over the world and bring international issues to campus. They demonstrate the important work being done to prepare students for a competitive labor market that prizes the ability to work across cultures and encourage them to develop a better sense of their own roles as global citizens. IIE’s core mission is to advance scholarship, build economies, and promote access to opportunities; we are aided in this by our close partnerships with like-minded institutions like this year’s Andrew Heiskell Award honorees.

Andrew Heiskell AwardTU is the winner of the study abroad category. JumpstartTU is a one-week experiential trip the summer before a student’s freshmen year that blends learning about another country and culture with field experience alongside local partners in Panama to discover global issues in an international context. Students who have attended JumpstartTU report having a cohort of friends before beginning TU, stronger confidence that they will succeed and an enhanced view of the world in which we live. Faculty and staff team leaders are inspired by the program, interact with the students at a deeper level and return to campus with energy to look at their work differently with enhanced global perspectives.

IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education Winners

Internationalizing the Campus
Winner: Rice University, Brasil@Rice
Honorable Mention: Texas A&M International University, Reading the Globe

Internationalizing the Community College Campus
Winner: Harper College, The Global Region of Focus Initiative

Winner: Lehigh University, Lehigh University / United Nations Partnership
Honorable Mention: Kansas State University, The Australian Initiative and Oz-to-Oz Program

andrew heiskell awardStudy Abroad
Winner: TU, JumpstartTU
Honorable Mention: University of Otago, Tūrangawaewae, Pōkai Whenua

About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. We work with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. With support from donors, we also create initiatives that protect students and scholars in danger, expand teaching and learning across cultures, and provide opportunities to underserved populations. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,300 member institutions.