Jessica Planamento, ’12, has just received her diploma from Colgate but is still hard at work. She is spending the summer working with two community organizations as a Field School Fellow for the Upstate Institute. She began the summer working with the Hamilton Historical Commission to interview elders who spent most of their lives in Hamilton about their stories and the history of the community. Jessica is transcribing the interviews and entering them, along with the audio recordings of the interviews and images supplied by the elders, as part of the Commission’s collection.
The project has given her the opportunity to meet many leaders of the community, and has taught her about the history of the community through the eyes of its residents. She has recorded many stories abou the changes that have occurred in the business district of the village of Hamilton through the years, and has talked with many residents about how the changes in farming and agriculture in central New York has impacted them and their families.
Jessica is now working with Hospice and Palliative Care of Chenango County to create a series of short videos that will provide education and support for patients, families, and the community about different aspects of hospice care. By the end of the summer, she hopes to have the series of videos available on the organization website.
Jessica is honing her interview skills in both projects, and is developing her skills in using various video editing software and technology as well. Because her goal is to go to medical school, she has found that her work with Hospice gave her the opportunity to think about a less well-known area of health care. “Many physicians lack knowledge about the importance of hospice care for terminally ill patients and their families, or only know the myths about hospice care and do not understand its true function,” she said.
Overall, both experiences have enhanced her communication and listening skills, and have given her an opportunity to work with people. She said, “I believe that I will be able to use this experience to become a well rounded doctor and draw from the skills I have gained this summer throughout my career.”