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Dr. David Aday, Jr.
Retired Professor, Sociology and Community Studies

Previously Academic Director of Students for Medical Outreach and Sustainability (SOMOS), Paraiso, Dominican Republic) and Medical Aid Nicaragua: Outreach Scholarship (MANOS); Continuing source of support and consultation for the SOMOS and MANOS teams

“My teaching and research interests focus on community and international participatory development. This interest emerged over a career that focused on crime, regulatory arrangements and theory. It reflects a deep distrust of hierarchical and coercive strategies of “helping” and “managing” in human affairs. My work in the Dominican Republic and in Nicaragua represents a shift from issues of security and social control to those of health and well-being. I see the two as inherently related and believe that effective communities must find ways to solve these and other persistent and thorny problems. Students have taught me much over the years — not the least, the need to continue to learn and to press forward to create and use knowledge. Students are responsible directly for my current work in community health and for my involvement in the two most exciting projects (SOMOS and MANOS) of my now lengthy career.”


Yemi Zewdu Yimer

Yemi is a pre-med, Biology major/Public Health minor in the Class of 2018. After graduating, she plans on being involved in health-related statistical research to prepare for a career in health.

“SOMOS encourages some serious critical thinking and hyper-self-reflexivity as we consider best practices for moving forward, and ethical implications of our work so far. We operate under the understandings that good intentions alone are not enough, and that implementing health initiatives in partnership with the community is the root of truly sustainable improvements in health. SOMOS has been the most formative experience of my college career, and I feel lucky to be working with such brilliant people.”

Sachi, class of 2018, plans to major in Geology.

Leo, class of 2018, is majoring in Kinesiology and Health sciences with a concentration in Physical Therapy.

“SOMOS has given me an insight on international development and has provided me the chance to contribute to communities in need that I would have never known existed.”

Sonia, class of 2019, planning on majoring in Economics with a minor in Public Health. She wants to go to medical school and maybe work with Doctors Without Borders.

“Being a part of SOMOS has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in college so far. It has challenged me while also allowing me to grow and explore.”


Anissa, class of 2018, is majoring in International Relations with a minor in French & Francophone Studies.

“SOMOS approaches community development with an emphasis on the community and the concept of partnership. While on the team, I’ve learned both the challenges and, most importantly, the rewards of striving for meaningful change. It’s been a fantastic experience and one I know I will continue to look reflect upon for lessons.”

My name is Matt Adan, a SOMOS alum from the class of 2017. I joined the project in the fall of 2013 and had the pleasure of working on the SOMOS team for four years. I’m originally from Belleair Beach, FL, but currently live in New York City, where I am attending medical school at Columbia. The SOMOS project was truly the most defining part of my undergrad experience and I am better for having grappled with the theoretical and practical issues that the team tackles. I love talking about SOMOS, so if you’re ever looking for an alum’s perspective, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Morgan, class of 2017, has been a member of the project since her freshman year and is majoring in Hispanic Studies. She plans to attend medical school and pursue and MD/PhD or MD/MPH – whatever she does, she’ll be doing research and seeing the world.

“How can you encapsulate SOMOS in one quote? From the people, to the experience, to the challenge of the research, SOMOS is the dream team. If you like to challenge the way the world of development views its role and its impact on targeted communities, while getting your hands “dirty” in the experience, you’ve come to the right place!”

Katie, class of 2017, is majoring in Public Health. After graduation she hopes to go into the public health field with a focus in community level health promotion.

“The experience I have gained working with SOMOS has opened so many doors for me- academically, professionally, and personally. Joining the team is definitely one of the best decisions I have made in college.”

Raya, class of 2017, is majoring in Neuroscience.

Melanie, class of 2017, is majoring in International Relations.

“SOMOS is more than a service project and seminar. It’s an organization that aims to understand how to effectively and meaningfully partner with others to bring positive change. It is never easy, but through our seminars and trips we work towards understanding how to overcome international development’s biggest challenges.”

Irina, class of 2018, is majoring in applied math and is doing pre-med.

“SOMOS has given me the opportunity to give back and help others in a way that is meaningful. Joining SOMOS has given me the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people as well as broaden my world view, I couldn’t ask for better teammates!”