Adam Ushpol

Campus: UNC
Hometown: Durham, NC
High School: Durham Academy

I am a third-culture kid educated on three continents: Africa, Europe, and America. This multicultural learning experience equipped me with a flexible attitude and curiosity for the world around me. My respect for the socio-cultural forces that shape life was contextualized in my high school freshman World Cultures seminar and sophomore English class exploring the human condition through media, art, and literature. As a proud citizen of South Africa, somewhat predictably, Mandela and Ubuntu – Africa’s philosophy of humanness – guide me. However, I have a more recent fascination with the extremist-challenging, pluralism-promoting Quilliam Foundation, and those acolytes of death – physician-writers Paul Kalanithi and Atul Gawande.

Public Health is my choice for an undergraduate experience because it sits at the interface of morality, humanity, and biology. My grandfather’s dying initially fueled my desire to become an informed, empathetic physician; however, my interest in public health also factors in my volunteer/shadowing experiences with hospice care and child refugees, my belief that globalization should improve lives, and, most importantly, crafting ‘a life that matters’.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

By maximizing summer development experiences and study abroad opportunities, The Robertson Program is the textbook community to continue my international study adventure. Anchored by the UNC-Duke public-private partnership, it is an unparalleled opportunity to develop my leadership skills via exposure to a wide network of Robertson staff and alumni, academics, and groundbreaking thinkers. It is the next step in turning my passions into tangible, real-world actions.

Ushpol Adam 2021