Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Higher Ed/Community College Ed

Major Professor

Amber Dumford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deidre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janelle Perkins, Pharm.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Miller, Ph.D.


medical mission, medical students, minority students, photo elicitation, public health students


This qualitative exploratory case study investigated the healthcare profession students’ of color experience and the perceived impact of completing international service-learning (ISL). Before this study, most of the research about healthcare profession students in ISL reported had mainly White participants or reported data and findings in the aggregate. To complete this research, I performed two semi-structured interviews with each of the five participants incorporating photo-elicitation techniques. Then I performed constant comparative methods and communicated with a peer debriefer about my findings. Five participants were selected using max maximum variation based on racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, programs of study, and degree levels. The most prominent finding was that people were the cornerstone of the participants’ experiences; these people included peers, mentors, locals, and patients. Some of the more unique findings that added the most novelty to previous literature regarding experience were feeling a range of emotions; balance was imperative; and reminders of participants’ ancestral home. The most distinct area in which participants perceived impact was affirming, strengthening, and changing of values and beliefs. The implications of this study are related to service-learning, study abroad, international service-learning coordinators, educators, and employers, and intentionality towards recruiting and supporting healthcare profession students of color. Additionally, researchers may consider photo elicitation techniques to support study participants recalling a series of events.