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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

School of Public Health

Student Spotlights

Spotlight

This section highlights our students for their excellence in the classroom as well as their aspiration to become public health leaders to advance health equity. We hope these stories foster a greater understanding of the diverse profiles of our student body, our dynamic array of academic offerings and research opportunities, and our remarkable team of faculty and staff at the School of Public Health.

Read about our students and their experiences below. We are proud of their participation and accomplishments!

 

Master of Public Health (MPH) Students

 

Anika Daniels-Osaze

Anika Daniels-Osaze, Ed.D.

“I am currently writing a grant on Maternal and Child Health with one of my public health colleagues who happened to be one of my professors. This grant will provide an opportunity for underrepresented students to learn more about fields in maternal and child health and receive training that will provide access to careers in the field. I would never have considered this opportunity if it were not for the MPH program.”

Read the full interview with Dr. Anika Daniels-Osaze

Ikhtiyor Djuraev

Ikhtiyor Djuraev

"I see SUNY Downstate School of Public Health as a stepping stone towards achieving my goal of becoming a physician-scientist in preventative medicine…The partnership with Brooklyn College and SUNY Downstate SPH made a graduate degree in public health accessible for students who are passionate and motivated about the public health field.”

Read the full interview with Ikhtiyor Djuraev

Chelsea Cole

Chelsea Cole

“Having an advisor who not only understood me and my challenges but was also willing to help and give great advice/insight enhanced my experience at SUNY Downstate…Downstate’s MPH program helped me prepare for the next step by teaching me and framing my mindset to be a great multitasker, a problem solver, and an organized young woman.”

Read the full interview with Chelsea Cole

 


  

Ashanti Loadholt

Ashanti Loadholt

“Upon graduation, I would like to embark on a career that allows me to address health issues that disproportionally impact my community. These issues include high rates of HIV transmission and poor maternal-child health outcomes through program development and quality improvement of health services.”

Read the full interview with Ashanti Loadholt

Meaghan Schurr

Meg Schurr

“If you have enjoyed and appreciated your time at SUNY Old Westbury, you will love SUNY Downstate and all it has to offer. The class sizes and faculty attention are comparable to SUNY Old Westbury, and you will be surrounded by peers from all different backgrounds and walks of life, which adds perspectives and knowledge that you will not experience in other programs.” 

Read the full interview with Meg Schurr

 


 

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Students

 

Ayanna Besson

Ayanna Besson

“I have only been at Downstate for about a year and half and several opportunities have opened for me, from the public health geriatrics teaching fellowship to getting connected with Plant-Powered Metro New York (PPMNY).”

Read the full interview with Ayanna Besson

Rebecca Hill

Rebecca Hill

“Prior to enrolling in the DrPH program, I completed the 5-course Advanced Certificate program in Public Health. The classes were interesting, and the professors were engaging, responsive, and willing to go above and beyond to help students.”

Read the full interview with Rebecca Hill

Nahima Hoque

Nahima Hoque

“While an MPH student at Downstate, I interned with the United Nations (UN). The UN was my first exposure to international development and sparked my interest in humanitarian issues and the health challenges that are consequences of conflicts.”

Read the full interview with Nahima Hoque


 

Natalie Octave

Natalie Baptiste-Octave

 "During my time as a student at the school, opportunities were created for me to gain “hands-on” experience while interning at the school’s partnering community-based organizations on federally funded research projects…I have been well prepared, qualified and even sought after for exciting public health program leadership positions at hospitals, community-based organizations and government agencies."

Read the full interview with Natalie Baptiste-Octave

Eric Persaud

Eric Persaud

“As part of my field experience here at Downstate, I worked with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) to evaluate their opioids and the workplace prevention and response training program that was piloted in the summer of 2019.”

Read the full interview with Eric Persaud

 


  

Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health (MD/MPH) Students

 

Justin Ingram

Justin Ingram

“My goal is to go on to residency at an institution that fosters mentoring and prioritizes physicians' training to challenge and push boundaries for patient care and innovation in public health… When you join the MPH program, you learn concepts, ideals, and skills that can only help you achieve any goal you have in mind.”

Read the full interview with Justin Ingram

Kelita Waterton

Kelita Waterton

"Medicine and public health are being integrated more as healthcare advances. As a MD/MPH student you have the unique advantage of being at the frontlines of that change… My ideal goal is to practice medicine in NYC and to use my public health education to advocate for my patients and their communities."

Read the full interview with Kelita Waterton

Hamza Khilji

Hamza Khilji

"The MD/MPH program has provided me with the opportunity to take my education and love for fitness and help others beyond just the capabilities of a future physician. My ultimate goal is to become the Surgeon General of the United States because the role and responsibility that comes with the title would serve as the most effective means of implementing health policies that could mitigate health disparities."

Read the full interview with Hamza Khilji 


  

  

Lily Lee

Lily Lee

“I hope my MPH will teach me the skills necessary to be principal investigator in the future and work with underserved populations via community-academic partnerships. I felt that the faculty at SUNY Downstate SPH had extensive experience in this arena and have not been proven wrong.”

Read the full interview with Lily Lee

Zainab Nathani

Zainab Nathani

"I am currently interested in Primary Care, particularly Family Medicine…My knowledge from my public health courses therefore function as a vital supplement to my medical school studies, giving me a multi-dimensional, holistic, and community-centered perspective on health, which I believe will serve me well when serving a diverse urban population."

Read the full interview with Zainab Nathani 

Kelsey Sklar

Kelsey Sklar

“During my second year, I worked with medical students with MPH backgrounds to plan an inaugural Social Justice in Health conference at SUNY Downstate. I was supported by faculty and staff at the School of Public Health who helped me find community activists and speakers.”

Read the full interview with Kelsey Sklar


 

 

Rawlica Sumner

Rawlica Sumner

“Pursuing an MPH in addition to a MD simultaneously has its challenges, but those challenges will build your character, give you new perspectives, and be a better physician for the patients you will serve...With my dual degree there are endless opportunities. I hope to enter the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and focus on improving women’s health, especially for women who are of minority status.”

Read the full interview with Rawlica Sumner

 

 


 

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