Tippie graduate dubbed 2018 Global Citizen of the Year Award finalist

The experiences of UI alum Jeremy Marks traveling through China, South Africa, and Europe made him a finalist for the 2018 Global Citizen of the Year award.

Kinsey Phipps, News Reporter

Five hours after his University of Iowa graduation ceremony in May 2018, Jeremy Marks was on a plane to China.

Before heading to graduate school this past fall, Marks took every opportunity he could to see the world, he said. He enrolled in a two-week course called Business and Culture in China directly after graduation.

Searching for more, he opted to do an International Education of Students  internship in Cape Town, South Africa, immediately following the conclusion of the course in China. His cultural experiences paved the way to becoming a 2018 the group’s Global Citizen of the Year Award finalist.

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According to its website, the Global Citizen of the Year Award recognizes students who intern or study abroad and make an impact in the international community. Students are recognized for philanthropic, academic, or personal efforts abroad. One winner is chosen, and Marks is among two others as finalists, each receiving a cash prize. The winner speaks at the organization’s Abroad Annual Conference in Chicago.

“When I left Cape Town, I had no idea about this award. I became really close with a lot of people from IES and from my internship site,” Marks said. “The IES director down there asked me to apply. I thought I’d be a competitive applicant for the award, because I studied abroad twice with it in the same summer.”

Marks earned a degree in management last spring, and he headed to graduate school this past fall at Rush University in Chicago to pursue a master’s in health-systems management, he said.

During his undergraduate years, he was an active volunteer at UI Hospitals & Clinics, clocking in more than 1,400 volunteer hours. He was promoted to chairperson of the college student leader board his senior year, said Jean Reed, UIHC director of volunteer services.

“Jeremy sets goals and attains them with uncommon perseverance,” Reed said in an email to The Daily Iowan “. He exhibits a calm and easygoing demeanor, whether presenting to a room full of 200-plus new volunteers, being interviewed by a panel, or meeting with senior leadership. His demeanor inspires those around him to develop a positive service outlook as well.”

His involvement with UIHC allowed him to find a path in life, he said, and paved the way to his internship in Cape Town. Marks interned with the Western Cape Department of Health and worked at New Somerset Hospital, where he created a medical-equipment loan registry for staff.

After his internship in South Africa was completed, Marks had a few weeks before classes began at Rush University, he said. He took that time to travel and visit friends in Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.

“Study abroad has had a huge impact on what decisions I made,” Marks said. “Every time I go abroad, I gain more perspective about the world. We are more alike in this world than different.”

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UI Adjunct Lecturer Alexander Taylor sees Marks’ global experience to be an advantage in wherever life takes him post-academia, he said.

“He has a global view on things, especially when it comes to health care,” Taylor said. “He understands complex challenges facing health care today. Oftentimes, young professionals have a narrow scope. Jeremy was able to think a bit more long-term and strategically. His strategic outlook and ability to look at the world more holistically will serve him very well.”

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