Fun Fact: “I once fell into the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. In another life, I found myself stranded in Cambodia.”
Dr. Brendan O’Farrell is the director of the Interprofessional Healthcare Residential College (IHRC or “iRock”) Living Learning Program. He works within the Office of Student Affairs in the College of Health Sciences. Brendan’s role is to continue to support the College’s mission of diversity, inclusion, academic excellence, and career preparedness at the undergraduate level.
One of his goals for the college is to see a greater number of CHS students participate in high-quality education abroad opportunities. He believes that education abroad has the potential to be truly transformative in the life and practice of future healthcare providers.
Dr. O’Farrell has amazing plans for the College of Health Sciences, but what really motivates him is watching his students succeed. While the definition of success can vary, Dr. O’Farrell is a firm believer that success is fundamentally rooted in a desire and commitment to “give back” to those around you.
Recently, the IHRC won a $27,000 grant to support first-generation and underrepresented minority students. This was a student-led initiative. The students spoke to the donors and grant-issuing authority about the positive impact the peer mentors had on their future careers and academic lives, and, in turn, how they now have the desire to give back and help those around them. The majority of these students are returning to the IHRC next year to serve as peer mentors for the new, incoming students. When it comes to giving back, it doesn’t get any better than this!
Being a part of the College of Health Sciences, is exciting in itself. But the most exciting part about working in the College for Dr. O’Farrell is the fact that the College is growing so quickly. What really makes this place hum is the collegiality and a mission of service. Whether we’re talking research, education, or clinical practice, CHS is all about giving back and improving society. That truly is a lot to be excited about!