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November 6, 2023

Q&A with Former Global Health Institute Student Fellow Kearney Capuano

In this interview with Kearney Capuano (H’24), a spring 2023 Global Health Institute (GHI) student fellow studying global health with minors in philosophy and psychology, Capuano shares her experiences in Tanzania with her GHI faculty mentor as well as what led her to re-establish a student club focused on global health issues at Georgetown.

Nafisa Jiddawi (NHS’14) and Kearney Capuano (H’24) in Tanzania
Nafisa Jiddawi (NHS’14) and Kearney Capuano (H’24) in Tanzania

What projects have you been working on lately?

During summer 2023 I worked with my GHI student fellow faculty mentor, Dr. Kelley Anderson, and Dr. Krista A. White, associate professors at the School of Nursing, on community and child health promotion and efforts in Tanzania. While in Tanzania, I also visited WAJAMAMA, a Women's Health and Primary Care Center founded by Georgetown University alumna Nafisa Jiddawi (NHS’14). Currently, I am completing an internship as a global health associate at the Kaizen Company and collaborating with the Georgetown Ministry Center, which aims to help the homeless achieve stability.

How has your work with Dr. Anderson as part of the GHI student fellows program impacted your current work?

My work with Dr. Anderson was my first professional experience in the field of global health. I enjoyed working with her on real-world health challenges. It has helped me succeed in my current job because the Kaizen Company undertakes similar projects.

You are currently helping to re-establish the Effective Altruism Club at Georgetown. Has the scope of the club changed since its foundation?

I originally founded the club with a wide range of projects, but this time, I’ve narrowed it down to focus on global health issues. We intend to meet once a week to discuss cost-effective and viable strategies, sources, and charities that are effective and not harmful. These discussions aim to humbly approach altruism, understanding that no one knows the correct answer.

Are there any upcoming events for the club?

In the next couple of months, we will be hosting a small fundraiser for a global health charity that we will select in spring 2024.

Has effective altruism interested you throughout your studies at Georgetown?

The philosophical concepts underlying effective altruism have interested me for about four years. I appreciate that effective altruism focuses on rationality, prioritization, and cost-effectiveness.

Do you wish to explore any particular fields or projects in the coming months?

I hope to continue working with the Kaizen Company and find ways to get more involved with them. I would also like to delve deeper into the neuroscience of empathy and what drives altruistic behavior.