Janice Okeke (a 2012 grad with a minor in sociology) was accepted into six Master of Public Health programs that have concentrations in Epidemiology, including Emory University and Columbia University. Speaking about the choice between these two options, Janice commented on the difficult, but amazing, position in which she found herself: "These two have numerous internship opportunities and world renowned faculty members," says Janice about the final two contenders. After making visits to both schools, Janice has decided to pursue her MPH at Columbia in the fall.
Janice will graduate this spring with a major in Biology and a minor in Sociology. Janice had initially planned to take the MCAT and apply for medical school. After an internship with the Mississippi Department of Health with their West Nile Campaign, however, she realized that her true passion was public health. "I liked the idea of improving the health of the public through interventionist methods such as education and research of diseases," she says.
Sociology has served Janice well in her evolving career plans because it relates to the public aspect of public healthcare because of its focus on different groups and the social dynamics of stratification. Like, sociology, public health examines factors such as race, gender, social class, and socio-economical status, with an express focus on health.
Before starting at Columbia in the fall, Janice will work with the CDC in Atlanta this summer.
During graduate school, Janice will study epidemiology and wants to concentrate in maternal and child health. She also plans to participate in several internships. After attaining her MPH, Janice wants gain some experience before returning to school to receive a doctorate. About her ultimate goals, Janice said, "I envision myself in Mississippi to help with the public health crisis this state is facing, and hopefully with the training I have received, join with other healthcare professions to combat the disparities that face the Mississippi public."