Where did you live before coming to UW and/or where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Sudan but have moved around a lot over the last few decades, from Sudan to Saudi Arabia to the US to Botswana and finally back to the US. Just prior to coming to UW, I lived in Chicago, Illinois where I was attending Northwestern University for medical school.

What is your background in public health/global health?

For me, Global health is both a personal and a professional endeavor. As a member of the diaspora and with most of my family still living in Sudan, my long-term goal is to dedicate my career to strengthening Sudan’s fragmented health system and addressing the social determinants that overburden that health system. My experiences thus far have included obtaining a medical doctorate to develop a clinical knowledge base complementary to my public health studies, delivering community-based primary health care for Spanish-speaking immigrants living in Chicago, creating an educational exchange program for refugee students in Botswana, and organizing HIV/AIDS advocacy and awareness campaigns on my undergraduate campus.  

Why did you choose to get your MPH in global health at the UW?

I chose to get my MPH in Global Health at UW because of the reputation of the Department’s approach to service, teaching, and research. The reputation, which has held true, is that there is a strong undercurrent of advocacy and social justice that drives the public health interventions, coursework, and publications that are produced by the UW Global Health community. As a student, I didn’t just want to learn about research methodology and sociopolitical context. I wanted to be inspired by my professors and classmates working towards improving the health of populations while making the world a more equitable and safer place.

What has the cohort experience been like for you (so far)?

The cohort experience has been great! We were fortunate enough to start the school year in person and get to spend time together in person in small groups. Daily, I have been amazed by the accomplishments and drive of my classmates. It is really a privilege to be able to learn from them. Despite moving to remote learning for January 2022 due to the COVID pandemic, we have been able to continue getting to know each other through our seminar course.

What do you enjoy most about Seattle?

As someone who grew up in the Midwest, the first time I saw the city sandwiched between the mountains, the Puget Sound, and Lake Washington I was floored with how beautiful the city is. Not only does the geography still bring a smile to my face on a daily basis, but I have also been able to take up so many new outdoor hobbies! I love that you can go hiking, paddleboarding, skiing, and climbing all within the city or just a short drive from Seattle. 

What advice do you have for students interested in applying to the program?

Apply! You won’t regret it. You might even decide to do a PhD so you can stay longer…or is that just me? :)