GBS 2017 – Intro from Harvey

Hello! My name is Harvey and I am the student leader of the GBS program this summer, to Hong Kong and Zhuhai, China. Having participated in the trip last year, I found it such a rewarding and exhilarating experience that I wanted to share it with a new team this year.

About me: I am a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Bioengineering, and I plan on going to medical school after I graduate. I am an international student from Vancouver, Canada, but my family is originally from mainland, China. Thus, I speak Mandarin, and it helps me get around in GBS.

Including myself, we are a team of 14 students this year heading over to an underprivileged region of Southern China to produce orthotics for young patients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders. We will be accompanied the entire time by an adult chaperone from the university (Dr. Ocek Eke for the first 5 days and Chambrel Jones for the rest of the trip).

The workflow of the program is relatively straightforward. We spend the first few days learning how to create molds in Hong Kong. For the next few days, we are in China measuring our patients at the clinic. Then, we return to Hong Kong to produce the orthotics, and finally we return to the clinic in China to make final adjustments and fittings. There, we also hold a ceremony to reflect on our accomplishments over the two weeks. As always, we will have a few days in which we are not working to explore the city and learn about its culture. Hong Kong is a city that holds awe-inspiring vistas and monuments such as the Giant Tiantan Buddha and Victoria Peak. From what we’ve learned, Zhuhai is a wonderfully cosmopolitan hub.

Our team has been preparing diligently over the past 8 weeks for this program, and we have learned a lot not only about orthosis fabrication, but also about culture, history, and societal issues in present-day China. Throughout these 8 weeks, we’ve also come to know one another as a team, having bonded over food and engaging activities. Once in Hong Kong, we will expand our team by including our partners from HK PolyU and from WUSTL.

We are currently a week out from departing for the program, and we are eagerly making final preparations. I will be sending out some important documents such as itinerary and contact information to your emails soon, so watch out for those. This blog will also be updated daily while we are on site, so that you can keep track of our day-to-day activities. (Entries before this one are marked (OLD) and are from last year’s trip. Feel free to browse through those.)

If you have any questions, please reach out to me personally by email:, or by phone: 267-438-1230.

Harvey Huang

Full class photo below.
Back row from left to right: Barrington, Alex, Evan, Dr. Eke, Shyon, Wing, Jack, Vishal, Abby, Rohit
Front row from left to right: Dr. Chan (lecturer), Kayla, Shivani, Eden, Nhu (not coming), Cindy, Dr. Bogen, myself.



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