Wofford College’s 38th Presidential International Scholar will spend the 2021-2022 academic year studying the relationship between public health and culture in Argentina and South Africa.
Hector Ortiz ’22, a triple major from Saluda, South Carolina, studying biology, philosophy and Spanish, was selected for the independent research abroad experience.
“Hector has an undeniable passion for service and has served the Wofford campus and the greater Spartanburg community since he arrived at the college,” says Dr. Nayef Samhat, Wofford’s president. “His curiosity, thoughtfulness and carefully crafted research proposal should lead to meaningful work and discussion that will benefit our entire community.”
Ortiz’s research will focus specifically on how Argentina and South Africa manage tuberculosis and Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Jeremy Morris, assistant professor of biology, will serve as his faculty mentor. [The COVID-19 pandemic forced him to change countries. Ortiz studied in Ecuador and Kenya.]
“A better understanding of this relationship between public health and culture is vital to improving health outcomes of patients in all societies and will play a critical role in addressing inequities in health care that have become all too clear during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Ortiz, whose concentration is in medicine and the liberal arts.
Ortiz has honed his data collection and analysis skills over the past three years at Wofford. He’s worked on four different community engagement projects with collaborative teams consisting of faculty and students and has partnered with community organizations in Spartanburg.