In this interview, Karina Wang, Brown University class of 2021, discusses the COVID-19 global pandemic, her participation in a protest for racial justice following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, and the University’s decision to transition multiple varsity athletic teams to club teams.
Wang begins by explaining why she decided to attend Brown University noting the open curriculum and her experience visiting campus with her brother. She remembers the joy of arriving on campus early as a member of the women’s rugby team in addition to the struggle of not getting placed into a first year seminar. She also details the work she has done with Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinician Educator, Mary Flynn, teaching nutrition courses at the Miriam Hospital in Providence.
Wang goes on to recall the moments leading up to classes going online. She remembers feeling uncertain about what the University would decide to do and then the rush to help her friends move after the decision was announced. She also explains why she decided to stay in Providence instead of returning home to Canada. Additionally, she talks about her work at the Rhode Island Free Clinic where she helps uninsured and low income Rhode Islanders get comprehensive health care, including COVID tests. Wang explains what this opportunity has taught her about healthcare inequalities in Rhode Island and challenges with language barriers. She also notes the differences in experiences with the pandemic among her friends and family members in other states and countries.
Continuing on, Wang discusses her need to engage challenging materials that teach her about race and racial inequality in the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death. She also describes a protest for racial justice that she attended in Providence. In closing her interview, Wang addresses her time on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and her surprise when she learned about the transition of many varsity athletic teams to club teams.