Caitlin Castina

Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
Heinz Programming Area: 
Children, youth, and Families
Study Abroad Country: 
International Experience

Caitlin Castina spent six weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she studied Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe for the first three weeks, and The Holocaust and Genocide during the last three weeks. In her spare time she enjoyed hygge, cozy time, with her host family and her Danish roommates. Caitlin was able to immerse herself in the Danish culture by trying traditional Danish foods, including: pickled herring, open faced sandwiches, elderflower drink, and frikadeller (Danish meatballs). While taking Health Delivery and Prioritization in Northern Europe, Caitlin had the opportunity to spend the day volunteering at the AIDS Foundation where she learned how the local charity helps the gay community and what they are doing to help stop the spread of HIV. During The Holocaust and Genocide class, she was able to interview a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, who was only six when he was smuggled into Sweden to escape the Germans. She also attended a five-day study tour in Poland where she revisited the concentration camps Chelmno and Auschwitz, Schindler’s Factory, and many other historical sites and museums. While Caitlin was abroad, she learned to look at the world with heightened senses. Every experience was new, challenging, and interesting, and although it had the potential to frustrate, each day was very enlightening and profound. It changed Caitlin’s life, her lifestyle, her mode of thinking and her plans for the future.

Community Engagement Experience
CEE Title: 
Women for Women

For her CEE, Caitlin created Women for Women, a three-month project involving the active participation from the Bradford community. Caitlin and her team visited Bradford Area High School to give a presentation on diversity and culture. The UPB team then asked the students to create a design symbolic of their own diversity and culture. Upon completion, Caitlin and her team constructed a diversity quilt using their own designs and those of the students. They also put together a short documentary of the project and displayed the quilt and video at the cultural festival on the UPB campus in February and also at the VIH luncheon in March. Once the quilt is sold, the money earned will go to Kiva, a non-profit organization that provides micro-loan funding to those in need in other countries.

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