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Kyle Polen focuses on intersection of culture, community health

"Arizona native [and Scottsdale Sister Cities Board member] Kyle Polen, came to Arizona State University as a Flinn Scholar. Four years later, Polen is graduating this spring with dual degrees, a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the School of Molecular Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in global health from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change.

Polen is also a student at Barrett, The Honors College, and has been accepted to 13 medical schools. He said his passion for science and medicine started at Chaparral High School and grew while attending ASU.

Polen wants to pursue a career as a physician with a global presence focusing on the science and humanistic aspects of medicine. His interest in global health was ignited by his experiences in Sister Cities exchange programs.

“These experiences really helped me develop a sense of cultural humility and with ASU’s global health program, I knew it would give me a strong foundation to continue studying the intersection of culture and community health,” Polen said. “Global health was a great choice because it supplemented my traditional pre-medical coursework to provide a more holistic understanding of the health-care landscape.

“The sciences gave me a microscopic understanding of disease, but global health gave me an understanding of the macroscopic factors that contribute to social determinants of health.”

Polen received the Distinguished Merit Award from the School of Molecular Sciences. The award is presented to a graduating senior in recognition of an outstanding academic record in a biochemistry degree.

Polen talked with ASU News about his college experiences." Excerpt taken from ASU News. To read the full article in the ASU News, please click here.


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