Tufts University

Honoring Excellence

Julia Goldberg (A'07)

USA Today's 2007 All-USA College Academic Second Team


Tufts senior Julia Goldberg had a difficult time deciding on an essay topic for her application for the 2007 All-USA College Academic Team. The USA Today-sponsored program honors outstanding undergraduates from across the country who have put their intellectual abilities into practice to benefit society. Asked on the application to describe an example of a time her academic work extended into the community, Goldberg—who has been spearheading service projects since high school—had a problem picking just one.

The women's health fair that Goldberg organized in 2005 to help female immigrants in Somerville, Mass. expand their healthcare knowledge and gain access to better care stood out in her mind, however. And it impressed the folks at USA Today enough to earn her a spot on the All-USA College Academic Second Team alongside 19 other undergraduates from across the nation.

"[The women's health fair] has been a huge, critical part of my Tufts experience and my life," she says about the two-year project. In organizing the fair, Goldberg partnered with local health clinics, women's commissions, social action agencies and Tufts' Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

A Spanish and community health major, Goldberg has taken on similar challenges even before coming to Tufts. In high school, the Tucson, Ariz., native helped to launch a free health clinic in Nogales, a city that straddles the border between the United States and Mexico. During her first few summers home from college, she volunteered in the region as a community health worker and provided nutrition, sex health education and maternal health classes to people in both countries.

Goldberg—who earned a prestigious Truman Scholarship last year—has been involved in a variety of service projects at Tufts. In addition to organizing the immigrant health fair for women in Somerville, the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service Scholar also helped a classmate develop the idea for the Somerville Language Bank, a Web-based service that allows community organizations to upload documents to a site for translation.

"I don't think I would have been a competitive applicant [for the All-USA College Academic Team] if I hadn't had all of the opportunities I had at Tufts," says Goldberg.

Next year, through the university's five-year Masters of Public Health program, Goldberg will pursue a master's degree in public health at Tufts School of Medicine. Down the road, she also hopes to develop clinical skills.

"I want to match policy experience with clinical experience," says Goldberg, who will focus on public health issues impacting the United States' northern and southern borders this summer when she works with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Health Affairs. "I think that if you are making regulations and changing policies, you need to be working with the same people you are making policies for. I want to be working with immigrants."

According to Goldberg, her upcoming summer stint with the federal government is her dream job.

"It's the exact job that I want to do for the rest of my life," she says. "I really hope I like it and fall in love."

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Profiles written by Meghan Mandeville, Office of Web Communications

Photos by Alonso Nichols for Tufts University. Homepage photo courtesy of Elliott Garber.

This story originally ran on May 14, 2007.