Laura Moro of the Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice program has been named the 2017 Gurtler Scholar. The $60,000 award, given to one Returned Peace Corps Volunteer at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, is announced each fall.
Moro served for two years in Sao, Senegal, training health workers and local villagers on nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, and malaria prevention. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst and a master’s in public health from Boston University.
“The Peace Corps gave me a second family. It taught me the true meaning of cultural understanding.”
“I still can’t believe it’s true,” Moro says of the Gurtler Scholarship, adding of her experience in Senegal, “The Peace Corps gave me a second family. I have formed such close relationships with the host family I lived with in Sao that I often find myself wondering whether my little brother has gotten better at math in school, if the youngest is walking yet, or how my mother’s bad knees are holding up. Peace Corps also taught me the true meaning of cultural understanding.”
She also found love. “I was placed nearby to another volunteer in Senegal and he is now my amazing fiancé,” Moro says, adding that Johns Hopkins won her over pretty quickly too.
“With every interaction I had with faculty and staff, I got the feeling that there was a strong sense of community here, and I was already being welcomed as a member. … Eventually, I want to pair my nursing skills with my global health background to contribute to improving outcomes for mothers and infants in developing countries.”
ABOVE: Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Moro with colleague Adama Mar in Senegal