Undergraduate Symposium highlights international work

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Among the research projects showcased at this year’s University of Wisconsin–Madison Undergraduate Symposium, several focused on international topics.

Seniors Jordan Wackett (left) and Beau Trapp (right) were among the presenters. The pair met while on a medical service trip to Nicaragua, and went on to develop a project — with a Wisconsin Idea Fellowship grant through the Morgridge Center for Public Service — that focused on teaching CPR to hospitals in San Salvador, El Salvador.

“When we got back from (Nicaragua) we wanted to do something more sustainable than medical tourism. So we started working with some of the physicians we met down there just to try and brainstorm what we could do,” Wackett says.

In January, they went to three hospitals in San Salvador and set up training sessions to teach the staff about CPR.

“The biggest thing for me is that it is sort of ubiquitous with anything health-related or working as a babysitter when you are a young teenager, you get CPR training. When we were down there, we saw hospitals that didn’t even have defibrillators to help people if their heart stopped beating. So we saw (CPR training) as something that is really powerful to us here, let’s take the knowledge that we have and translocate that to Central America,” Wackett explains.

— Text and photo by Jeff Cartwright