Student Highlight – Jessica Njoku, PharmD, MPH Student, Biostatistics Concentration
Growing up in Nigeria, Jessica Njoku experienced firsthand the challenges that residents of Third World countries face in obtaining the basic necessities of life such as food, sanitary conditions, and shelter. However, since relocating to the US, she has come a long way toward furthering her education and training as a health care professional. Jessica received a doctorate in pharmacy from Texas Tech School of Pharmacy. As a pharmacy student, she participated in health-related community activities, such as immunization drives, medication counseling, and helping at the women’s shelter. After completing her pharmacy degree, she completed a three-year fellowship in infectious diseases at The Nebraska Medical Center (TNMC). While completing her fellowship, Jessica enrolled in the COPH Master of Public Health Program at UNMC, in the biostatistics concentration, to gain experience and knowledge for her career goals in public health. During her fellowship, she also had the opportunity to volunteer with the Bridge to Care refugee program, which reinforced her public health interest. She has completed 29 credit hours toward an MPH degree, and has one core course and three concentration courses outstanding. Jessica’s interest in biostatistics was influenced by her research and publication activities during her fellowship.
Following the completion of her fellowship at TNMC, Jessica accepted a position with Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas to head and implement their antimicrobial stewardship program. Her aim is to promote the judicious use of anti-infectives (antimicrobial stewardship), and to ultimately minimize collateral damage (such as rising bacterial resistance and emergence of multidrug and extensively drug-resistant bacteria) that poses a threat to public health.
Jessica’s goal is to complete the MPH degree in biostatistics with a certificate in epidemiology. She says “I couldn’t have chosen better graduate level coursework to complement my pharmacy degree. I plan to complete my MPH degree as a distance learning student, taking advantage of the COPH’s state-of-the-art learning technology. Thus far, my most memorable public health experience is being able to collect raw data and perform data analysis.” In the fall of 2012, Jessica will be collaborating with Team Africa Mission International (TAMI), a nonprofit organization that provides care to the least served inhabitants of villages in Imo State, Nigeria.