Recent SSIS Grad ('19) Publishes Book Exploring Medicinal Practices Around the World

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Recent SSIS Grad ('19) Publishes Book Exploring Medicinal Practices Around the World
Tanya Olander

Stemming from a long line of traditional medicine practitioners, SSIS alum Debby Nguyen (‘19) says it was her upbringing in her parents’ independent pharmacy that kindled her love for learning about cultures, people, and their relationship with medicine. A love that ultimately led her to put pen to paper. 

A full-time pharmacy student at Northeastern University in Boston, Debby has just completed her first book “Pills, Teas, and Songs: Stories of Medicine Around the World.” In the book, Debby explores the diversity of medicinal practices around the world and their cultural and historical significance.

'SSIS Instrumental in My Love for Writing'

Debby says that SSIS was instrumental in her love for writing, and she remains in touch with many of her teachers. "Ms. Fetterolf gave me the best book recommendations (The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie Society!), Mr. Khan’s AP Literature class taught me how to analytically read before I write, Mr. Lauer and his history lessons taught me to be analytical and compassionate, Mr. Crawford’s Xiklo club encouraged me to keep writing poetry, and finally Dr. Katz who I had for AP Bio taught me to always be curious," she shares, saying that there are many other teachers and counselors who positively impacted who she is today, but that "the list would go on forever."

Former SSIS History teacher, Mr. Lauer, congratulates Debby at her SSIS graduation. He is one of the many teachers at SSIS who had a huge impact on her.

Combining a long-time passion for writing with her passion for all things healthcare-related, Debby takes readers on a medicinal journey around the world. From indigenous Lakota healing ceremonies to Ayurvedic antiseptic cream from India, her excitement about the richness of medicinal practices around the world is, excuse the pun, infectious. 

To say that Debby’s calling to become a pharmacist is in the blood is an understatement. Her grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather all practiced traditional Vietnamese medicine. Through their stories, Debby learned how traditional Vietnamese medicine persisted and adapted over the years despite invasions and war, which she also shares with her readers.

Debby's authorial debut "Pills, Teas, and Songs: Stories of Medicine Around the World," is rich and culture and heritage.

We are convinced that readers of “Pills, Teas, and Songs: Stories of Medicine Around the World” will be as inspired by the stories as they will be by this young woman who is clearly fulfilling the SSIS mission of living a “Purposeful Life as a Global Citizen.”

Debby Nguyen’s book will be shipped worldwide and can be pre-ordered through December 15 on her Indiegogo page.


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