Q&A with Aditi Kamat and Rohini Rajgopal, Student Global Health Committee Co-Chairs
Morghen Philippi, MPH global health concentration student and graduate research assistant for Research, Innovation and Global Solutions, interviewed Aditi and Rohini about SGHC, their visions for the future of global health, and their favorite places in Chapel Hill.
What is the Student Global Health Committee?
The Student Global Health Committee is a student organization within Gillings School of Global Public Health dedicated to discussing and engaging with topics from all sectors of global health. We strive to build bridges across concentrations and provide personal and professional growth opportunities in the field of global health.
What does “global health” mean to you?
Global health means understanding that the health of each of us, regardless of where we live, is intertwined in some way. As we have seen with the recent pandemic, we can no longer afford to only think about the health of ourselves. It’s humbling and inspiring to us to see individuals from countries around the world all working towards a similar goal, in their own unique way.
Why did you decide to engage with global health and the Student Global Health Committee at Gillings?
Rohini: The global health opportunities offered at UNC and in the Triangle were a large part of why I chose to come to Gillings. I knew that I wanted to expand my global health knowledge outside of the classroom and was excited to join a student organization that helps foster a community within Gillings for those who have global health interests. I was excited to learn from my peers and take advantage of the opportunities and resources that the organization provides its members.
Aditi: When I first was exploring a career in Public Health, I knew I wanted to either study global health or have a global approach to my work given the increasingly globalized climate we live in. I think we have an interdependency with other countries in relation to health problems and I was really interested in studying that. I chose to engage with the Student Global Health Committee because they offered an outlet for cross-concentration engagement and collaboration. It has been great interacting with and learning from people with such varying interests!
What do you hope the field of global health looks like in twenty years?
Rohini: I hope that there is a larger emphasis on and funding for uplifting work that is being done at a local level rather than a focus on larger implementing organizations.There is a lot of technological innovation that is being done at a local level and hope in 20 years that this is integrated in a more sustainable way throughout the field. I hope, especially after this year, that more collaboration and cooperation is done at a national level on issues that affect us all.
Aditi: I agree with Rohini! I definitely hope there is more integration with technology especially since we’ve seen that there are many great technological interventions that can really answer some of the public health deficits we see in some areas. In addition, I hope that we can create a more equitable approach globally to public health where we are seeing fairness and equal partnerships across all nations.
What are your dream jobs?
Aditi: My dream job would be to work in the State Department doing policy work with biosecurity and biosafety. It is something I have had interest in for a while but still figuring out my path in achieving that goal.
Rohini: My dream job would be to work for an organization that uses technology or some other innovative approach to improve the efficiency and delivery of access to healthcare in a global setting. It doesn’t really matter for who, just that they are collaborating with others and delivering health in an equitable manner!
What is one of your favorite places in Chapel Hill/Carrboro?
Aditi: One of my favorite places in the Chapel Hill is the Carolina North Forest. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve really enjoyed taking walks there to get a change of scenery from being in my house all day. There are all sorts of different trails and it is a nice, quiet area with lots of space to follow social distancing guidelines. I would highly recommend going!
Rohini: Ooh I have yet to go to Carolina North! This is an odd one but I’m a big fan of Weaver Street Market in Carrboro. It’s a local community owned grocery store that’s environmentally conscious with lots of bulk items and local produce. Everyone that works there (and shops there!) is so kind and they have a wonderful outdoor seating area and hot food bar that make for a perfect outdoor picnic combination.