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ACE in China 2017 alum Shannon Richardson recently received one of the Haas Center for Public Service’s “Walk the Talk” awards for her work with the nonprofit BeAGoodDoctor and SCOPE, its volunteer and interpretation program at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Emergency Department. Shannon served for two years as Director of SCOPE before being promoted to Executive Director of BeAGoodDoctor where she focused on fundraising, stakeholder relationships, and community needs. Shannon attributed her continued engagement in service work to the impact of her time in China, saying the experience taught her how to approach service and deepened her desire to work in other countries as a global health physician.

The “Walk the Talk” award, established in 1997,  recognizes the public service activities of students involved in service through the Haas Center and at Stanford. Students selected for the award are honored for their long-term commitment, behind-the-scenes work to build organizational infrastructure, and modeling the Principles of Ethical and Effective Service.

When asked how she’s applied principles of service learned from her ACE experience, Shannon shared:

I learned the importance of preparing to the greatest extent possible to serve the communities you will be working with. Particularly, I learned the importance of communication. In China, bonding with the kids via body language and facial expressions, I learned the power of non-verbal communication. One girl would often squeeze my hand, smile, and point to the chalk. She wanted to draw with me. I appreciated moments like that. At the same time, I recognized the limitations of our connection by not speaking her language. This realization motivated me to learn languages, beginning with French, to enhance my ability to serve patients as, hopefully one day, a global health physician. With a deeper understanding of the importance of communicating in a patient’s native language, I also spent the spring and summer creating a FaceTime interpretation system in a local Bay Area county hospital as I led SCOPE, a program of medical volunteers and interpreters serving a local county Emergency Department.

In addition to her service work at Stanford, Shannon is also a member of the Stanford Women’s Beach Volleyball Team and served as co-president of the Stanford Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), where she served as a liaison between the student-athlete community and administration on matters pertaining to student-athlete well-being.

To read more about Shannon and the “Walk the Talk” award, click here.