Oct. 2, 2008
As a sophomore Elizabeth Nesbit has a long way to go before she finishes her time at Rice University and potentially goes on to medical school. However, Nesbit has made two journeys to rural Malawi in Africa that has given her a glimpse as to what is possible in the medical world.
Nesbit, from Waterford, Va., plays forward and midfield for the Rice soccer team. She has exceeded all possible expectations through her two remarkable trips across the world.
Both journeys--one during her high school days and one last summer--were aimed at helping Malawian children with medical issues. The first trip was more of an impulse than anything else.
"When I was in high school I told my mom, `I just want to go to Africa. I don't know why I just want to go,' Nesbit said. "I went for my junior year with my mom to Malawi in southeast Africa. It was the most incredible experience of my life."
The spontaneous feel of Nesbit's initial selfless trip to Africa does not end there.
"We ended up just buying a plane ticket, taking a leap of faith and going," Nesbit said. "We hopped on the plane--we didn't know where we were going, how we were going to get to the hospital, we didn't know anything. We didn't even know where we were staying."
After an eye-opening first experience in Malawi, Nesbit and her mother - a physical therapist - returned to the area to tend to the many injured patients in the villages. She worked in the pediatric ward with burn patients, kids with contractures from burns, and kids with epilepsies who had epileptic seizures because of fires.
Nesbit also tended to adults with strokes, HIV patients, and patients with cerebral malaria who had been in a bed for three years in addition to time in the ART clinic--the anti-retroviral treatment for pediatrics--weighing children, taking their heights, handing out drugs, counting pills.
"We helped my older brother who was at the hospital for the second time," Nesbit said. "He was on a grant to work on a project called `Frontline SMS'. Basically, we worked on training some community health workers--there are 600 of them. We trained them to use cell phones and taught them to text in information about their rural outreaching villages."
"That was a huge challenge," Nesbit continued. "They all spoke Chichewa, none of them spoke English. It was so awesome [to see the project work out with] the language barrier there."
Her final project was the completion of her BIOE 260 class at Rice.
"We designed a medical diagnostic lab backpack and I delivered that to the Baylor doctors in the capital city," Nesbit said. "I brought a huge hiking backpack and delivered it to the doctor and shadowed him in the HIV wards."
Nesbit has come out of these experiences with a different outlook.
"Honestly, I feel like a happier person since I've been back," Nesbit said. "Things I've learned to appreciate are smiling kids. The kids there are so happy."
"As for soccer--the experience helped me so much," Nesbit continued. "One of the hardest things we do for the team is fitness. I just spent the entire summer training with little kids. Coming back here and running my fitness test, [it felt as though] I was running with them, they were right there with me. I have a new perspective on life."
Her journeys to help those in need and her positive attitude make her a dedicated student-athlete and one of Tomorrow's Leaders.
Isokpunwu Named C-USA Soccer Defender of the Week
10/24/2016 - W. Soccer - Senior Jasmine Isokpunwu has been named the Conference USA Soccer Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced from its headquarters...
Volleyball Uses Balanced Attack to Defeat Miners
10/23/2016 - W. Volleyball - The Rice Owls volleyball team bounced back from a disappointing 3-0 loss at UTSA on Friday with a 3-1 triumph (22-25, 25-13, 25-14, 25-18) over the...
Rice Blanks Charlotte 2-0 For Sixth-Straight Win
10/23/2016 - W. Soccer - Goals by Marissa Topolski and Jasmine Isokpunwu paced the Rice soccer team to its sixth win in a row with a 2-0 Conference USA shutout victory over...
Stehling's Career Day Leads Owls to Homecoming ...
10/22/2016 - Football - Tyler Stehling threw for five touchdowns and caught a sixth while becoming the fourth quarterback in school history to throw for more than 400...
Malik and Rutledge See ITA Run End on Saturday
10/22/2016 - M. Tennis - Jamie Malik picked up a pair of wins, but his bid to move on in the ITA Texas Regional ended on Saturday with losses in both singles and doubles.
Hodge and Zhang Fall in Regional Round of 16
10/22/2016 - W. Tennis - Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang both dropped their third round singles matches while Hodge and Priya Niezgoda saw their doubles run end in the...
Owls Win Fifth-Straight, Punch Ticket To C-USA ...
10/21/2016 - W. Soccer - Second half goals by Aliza Wolfe and Nia Stallings helped lift the Rice soccer team to a 2-0 Conference USA shutout victory at home Friday night at...
Roadrunners Defeat Owls in Straight Sets
10/21/2016 - W. Volleyball - Chelsey Harris recorded a team high 13 kills (.321) for the Rice Owls Friday evening but it wasn’t enough to slow down the UTSA Roadrunners...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store