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Gabreilla Farland – Overcoming Her Greatest Battles

Gabriella Farland knew from a young age that she had a love for language and travel, as well as an internal longing to help others and a nerdy fascination with science and health. That is why Farland originally came into the University of Oregon as a Biology major planning on pursing a pre-medical track in college. However, during Farland’s second term of college, a friend asked her to take a Global Health course with them, and since the course went with her general track, Farland decided to check it out. “I wasn’t aware of the International Studies major or that a subject area like Global Health existed. I had always loved science, but the STEM field was missing the elements of humanities and social sciences that I also loved. I was immediately drawn to the global health course material, and it felt like all of my academic interests were finally falling into place,” said Farland.

It was in that Global Health course where Farland discovered her true passions and made the decision to switch her studies to Global Health (GH) and International Studies (INTL) because the programs combined her passions for health and culture, showing how they intersect and impact how we view and approach health. “My area of study challenges me to approach health from a holistic point of view and problem solve from many different angles, which constantly brings something new and exciting in the process of trying to do some good,” said Farland.

Farland has since loved her experience in the program. Farland has taken courses ranging from Schizophrenia Across Cultures to Global Reproductive Health to UN Interventions and Conflict Resolution. The INTL program allowed Farland to study many different things and grow in her academic career, which she feels has prepared her to continue to grow. The INTL program has also helped Farland see the world in a different perspective. “I feel this is at the root of the International Studies program,” said Farland. “I now see the world through multiple cultural lenses and perspectives and hold the view that there is a beauty in the diversity of these perspectives.”

Farland’s experience in the program has been tremendous, but she could not have done it without the inspiration of her mother, who inspires Farland everyday with her patience, intelligence, tenacity, courage, and compassion. “Not only was my mother a first-generation college student, but she was also a pioneer businesswoman in an environment of mostly men and a loving mom who preserved at home and in the workplace after suffering two strokes,” said Farland. Farland’s mother’s ability to overcome challenges also helped Farland help her deal with her biggest challenge of living with a chronic illness of her own. “Each day that I am healthy is a small victory and learning to live with my chronic illness rather than let it define me and takeover my life is a win in my book,” said Farland.

Because of her integrity to fight her biggest battle, Farland knows that she isn’t afraid of challenging any obstacle that comes in her way, especially the time she climbed her first ever mountain in Patagonia, Argentina. “I am proud of accomplishing other academic and professional pursuits, yet this in particular, was an accomplishment that I am physically, mentally, and emotionally very proud of,” said Farland. It felt nearly impossible for Farland to climb the mountain at certain point, but it was a true testament that if she set her mind to something and believe in herself, then she could accomplish anything.

For these reasons, Gabriella Farland is a Future Global Leader!