Sylvia Mejia, BS CLS - "CLS Provides a Great Foundation of Knowledge"
What would you tell a prospective student who is interested in clinical laboratory sciences?
Do you want to be in the healthcare field? Do you want to be part of lifesaving missions? Do you not want to be directly involved with patient care? If so, then the CLS Program is for you. Even for those thinking of going the premedical route, the CLS program provides such a great foundation of knowledge. The best part is that there is a demand for MLS/MLTs, and you are guaranteed a job after graduation. I was in a supervisory position for two years, and we had a lot of applicants with biology and chemistry degrees who were struggling to find jobs. After being on the job for a couple of months, most wanted to go back to college to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in CLS. I find it interesting (also from my own personal experience) that the CLS degree was not promoted like other degrees. I was just lucky enough to be told about it by someone early on in my college experience.
Claudia Yagel, MOT - "Enjoy the Journey"
Tell us about the most interesting experience you had as an OT student.
My study abroad experience in Guatemala with a fellow OT student and two PT students. I grew so much, not only as a therapist in training, but as a person. We went into an orphanage to help special needs children with adaptations and resources.
Daniel Millar, DPT - "Remind Yourself That You Are Already Worthy"
What is the most important piece of advice you would give yourself if you could go back in time to your first year as a PT student?
The biggest piece of advice I would give myself would be to remember that I deserve to be in the PT program just as much as each of my classmates do. Even if I’m the only one that looks like me or comes from my background, I have every right to feel like I belong. I’ve learned that everyone, especially students from underrepresented minority backgrounds, feels imposter syndrome at some point in their journey. The best way to combat it is reminding yourself that you are already worthy. No letter grade, accolade, or degree will change that inherent truth.
Ahmed Alarabi, PhD - ''Choose Your Mentor Wisely''
What sparked your interest in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program?
As a health professional and physician, I was always interested in finding solutions to physical health problems outside the domain of physical health and in looking at the bigger picture. For example, I worked with patients who had poor physical health because of life stressors. Also, I treated patients who couldn’t afford to get proper treatment. It was clear to me that physical health is influenced by other factors such as mental health, socioeconomic background, etc., and in some cases, these factors have the biggest impact. This understanding intrigued me to investigate the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program.
Alexander Obeng, MPH – "Community is the Core of Public Health Work"
What do you believe are the unique strengths of the UTEP Master of Public Health program that set it apart from others nationally?
After I completed my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science in Ghana, I made the decision to pursue a graduate degree and was very particular about the schools I applied to. My decision to apply for a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree stems from my special interest in the physical environment and its relationship to human health, specifically child health. What stood out to me about the UTEP MPH program during the application process is that the faculty members and staff were highly resourceful. In addition, it was relatively easy to find faculty members whose research aligned with mine, or with whatever research interest students may have had.
Osinachi Ibilah, MSW – “Social Work Fits into Any Sphere of Life”
What sparked your interest in a social work career?
I have always been interested in working with people and assisting or advocating for those whose voices need to be heard. I received my bachelor’s degree in law from The University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. When we were about to move to the United States, I began exploring what I could do. I found that social work suited my interests in social justice, human rights, and advocacy. It was still somewhat integrated into the law (even though the legal system in Nigeria is different from that of the United States). I can say that social work is in my blood, but I didn’t quite understand it or know that there was a profession for it until I explored a career in social work. Social Work is diverse, and it could fit into any sphere of life, and I like this about the profession.
Joy Leos, BS Health Promotion - ''Public Health is All About Service''
What would you tell a prospective student who is interested in the UTEP Public Health program?
I would tell them that public health is all about service. If you sincerely want to help the community, impact change, and have a job that takes you on an adventure, then the Public Health field is a great option to explore. There is so much work done that most people aren’t aware of, whether it is community education, disease surveillance, prevention work, case management, clinical outreach, connection to resources, and so much more. Public health is a critical player in every aspect of whole communities. Public health professionals influence policy change and behavior change, protect the community from public health threats, prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and work hard every day. Public Health students have the world at their feet, and the timing could not be better for them to join one of the hardest working teams in the nation