Will you tell us more about your global health journey?
Although I had some childhood interactions with people doing development work, I surprisingly didn’t think seriously about them. I wanted to go to dental school but missed that boat and ended up with a college degree in Food science and Nutrition. I therefore started my adult life actually as a food scientist strongly leaning towards food microbiology. I didn’t get my “dream job” after college and ended up working for a Gates-funded project in rural Ghana. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and re-thought my life goals! I got into grad school for a Masters degree, worked for 6+ years in global health and the rest they say is history!
Why did you decide to pursue your PhD at Gillings in the Department of Nutrition?
I love UNC. I was here ten years ago for a Masters degree, and I loved the experience. It made sense to come back for a second dose of the warmth! Seriously though, UNC is the place to be; it provides a nurturing environment with a good balance of academic and professional training whiles recognizing that other areas such as family, mental health, etc. are important too. Also, UNC’s pedigree is a big deal in Global Health.
What does “global health” mean to you?
Global heath is equity in health for everyone everywhere. It also means recognizing that everyone deserves to live the same quality of life as anyone else.
What has been a highlight of your time at Gillings?
My work, my mentors and the selfless researchers here. I have met some very terrific people!
What are your plans for post-graduation?
I am interested in working for a non-profit/industry anywhere in the world. I am open to other offers, too.
If you could have dinner with any celebrity, whom would you choose?
Catherine Zeta Jones. I love her movies.