This profile originally appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Bowdoin magazine.
Bowdoin major: Physics
Hometown: Whitman, Mass.
Title: Founder and President of Communities Without Borders; primary-care practitioner at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
First time traveling to Africa: 1987, traveling with my mentor Dr. Julius Richmond and a delegation of health experts from the Soviet Union. Two years later, while working way off the beaten path in Mbuji Mayi, Zaire, I decided with a group of Congolese health workers that education is the most fundamental issue for development.
Most rewarding part of job: Meeting and talking with the children [we serve], and giving them awards when they pass their exams.
Greatest impact: Motivating groups of people to help children halfway around the world.
Why the focus on Zambia: I had an intense visit in 1999 that enabled me to meet and appreciate a number of Zambian health professionals who I thought were doing excellent work. I also got to know a lot of grassroots organizations. I now visit the country for two to three weeks each year.
Most surprising for a new visitor to Zambia: Hopeful, positive attitude in the face of dire poverty; the giving spirit of the people.
Favorite piece of furniture: Easy chair, for reading.
On my nightstand: Collection of poems by Naomi Shihab Nye.