Student Highlight: Olugbadero Yerokun-Houessou, MSc
Hometown: Lusaka, Zambia
Degree Program/Concentration: Master of Public Health, Health Policy concentration
What brought you to the field of public health? I have always enjoyed molecular science and trained to become both an HIV and cancer researcher. I worked as a research scientist in the HIV drug resistance department at the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) for a little over a year, and this was my first real exposure to a combination of molecular science and population-based health research. I enjoyed interacting with the community and taking part in community-based programs. This was when I decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in public health so that I could learn more about community outreach, and eventually, tie in my research experience with community intervention programs.
What do you like most about the COPH? COPH is very student-oriented. The college provides many opportunities for both practical experience and professional development through internships, volunteer positions, workshops, etc. I also enjoy the friendly environment and have made lasting friendships with both students and staff members.
What are your career goals after graduation? I recently started working as a public health educator and will continue to work in this position after I graduate. My work focuses on coordinating and implementing community intervention programs that will increase screening rates for breast, cervical and colon cancer. The end goal is to decrease cancer mortality rates. I hope to tie my current experience with my background in molecular science to create relevant policies aimed at improving the health of communities.
Three things people may not know about me:
- My favorite delicacy is roasted Mopane worm (locally known as “infinkubala” in Zambia).
- I have visited 19 countries so far. My lifetime goal is 50 countries.
- My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on December 31st.