On Monday night, doctor, professor, philanthropist and humanitarian Paul Farmer came to Virginia Tech to promote the work of his public health organization, Partners in Health. His presentation covered some of the projects PIH is currently involved in and discussed his treatment of tuberculosis and AIDS in Rwanda and other parts of Africa. The following day, the Collegiate Times was able to sit down with Farmer to talk about his feelings on Virginia Tech and about what he's been able to accomplish so far.
CT: Was this your first visit to
PF: It was my first visit, my very first, and it was a real delight. I was very impressed with the students and with the mission of the university.
CT: What did you think of it?
PF: The campus is very beautiful. It's obviously beautiful seeing the image of it, but the really beautiful aspect was the people. Seeing the students working on the various projects and seeing them fulfill the mission of Virginia Tech was great. Its real beauty was the human architecture of it all.
CT: What brought you here for the presentation?
PF: I had a number of reasons to come here. I have some friends who are students here and some who are alumni. Also some people from VT have reached out to help us with some issues in Haiti so it was for them as well. I was also drawn by the mission of the university itself and the work that VT Engage is doing. It was definitely an overdue visit.
CT: When did you discover Mountains Beyond Mountains would be Virginia Tech's common book?
PF: I'm very embarrassed to say, but it was quite recently.
CT: What did you think about that?
PF: I thought it was great. I think it's a book really about teamwork, people pulling together for a difficult but attainable set of goals. A lot of the work described in the novel was started by students when they were students so it applies really well to the university.
CT: Do you still have a relationship with Tracy Kidder?