Why did you decide to attend Loma Linda University School of Public Health?
I looked at a few private schools, public schools, as well as a school in Lebanon at first. After much searching and finally settling on a concentration in global or international health, LLU SPH started to look a lot more attractive. The Global Health department had great faculty with very interesting paths. This MPH is also the only International/Global Health MPH that requires its students to go abroad. Last summer I had to go to the Philippines. I was so excited to be able to use the skills that I had learned in class in an international setting half way across the world with classmates who then became colleagues as we worked on solving local issues in a developing country
What has been one of your most valuable experiences at LLU SPH?
One of my most valuable experiences while in attendance at LLU SPH has been our Integrated Community Development course that I mentioned above took place in the Philippines. I was able to use the skills learned both in class and in our local projects and apply them while in the field. Our personalities in my class were truly bared as many of our classmates had not traveled internationally before. The experience re-emphasized why I went into global public health in the first place: working with people of all backgrounds and experiences.
What are your career goals?
Global Health has taught me to think big. I would be content working in a local hospital, ensuring patients know how to access health, are educated on what is available to them, and how to improve their lives over all. But I now know what I could do and there is no way that I am going to limit myself. I see myself one day working overseas for a government agency, helping to restructure the health care systems of entire countries. I also see myself going medical school and working with neglected tropical disease, urban health, preventative medicine, and ensuring doctors have proper training in countries with few doctors. I could also very well end up owning a bakery and partnering with a major organization and doing a “Toms” style one-for-one program where each loaf of bread supplies a loaf of bread in a village.
Like I said, I have big dreams as I am winding down with my studies. My current career path will be working in Bere, Chad, working toward clean, accessible water, reducing malaria, and educating expecting families on pre-natal and birth care. I will be there for approximately two years before my other career goals really start to kick in.
How did your program train you for your current and future career?
The Global Health MPH provided me with more than just knowledge. It provided me with skills required to assess problems, fix them, and evaluate if that was the best approach. With professors who have worked in a myriad of situation, I always felt I had the necessary resources to follow my career goals. More importantly, I have gained colleagues who I will keep in contact with for decades to come as we will all be movers and shakers in the world of public health.