Lauren Trumble ‘19 wound up a stellar career as a UVM student athlete—she’s headed to medical school next year, and capped off her spring track season with a record-breaking first place finish in the 1000 meters in the 2019 America East Track and Field Championships.

Trumble entered UVM on a pre-med track, but one of the most influential courses was a first year TAP class “Street Children,” taught by Anthropology Professor Jonah Steinberg. The class examines the desperate experience of children around the world who are abandoned by society and left to survive on their own.

“That opened my eyes to the importance of global and community health,” Trumble said. “Jonah had this phrase ‘If other people have to live it, we should have to learn about it.’ That’s always stuck with me.”

It became a guiding principle for Trumble, who decided to minor in UVM’s anthropology in global health program which uses social science approaches to health care. It also prompted her to volunteer at Fletcher Allen Hospital, which has an inpatient ward for children with serious illnesses. Trumble paid regular visits to the hospital, playing with the children, reading to them, often just holding them. The work gave her fresh perspective on her personal challenge of balancing academics with her responsibilities as a scholarship athlete. 

“In college it’s really easy to get sucked into the bubble of ‘Oh, I’ve got two papers and a test this week and how am I going to get all this done?’ Then you hold a really sick child and you realize ‘I’m actually OK.’ That whole experience was valuable for me on a lot of fronts.”

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Kevin Coburn