My academic experiences have made me a stronger critical thinker and analytical writer. As an MA student, I had to write different kinds of papers, including issue briefs, executive summaries, and white papers, to name a few. These are skills that will stay with me throughout my life and career.
It’s so hard to choose! I've enjoyed putting together infographics and executive summaries on global health issues for my classes. I have to say that I’m most proud of the research project I completed for my GLOA 720 research capstone class. I examined the impact of COVID-19 on the global effort to eradicate polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is so important to continue making progress in important global health issues, regardless of what challenges come our way, so I enjoyed putting this project together. I’m also proud of the research project I completed in my senior year as an undergraduate: examining the attitudes of Pakistani Americans in Northern Virginia towards vaccination. This project is what led me to pursue more of my own research interests, like the GLOA 720 research project.
There are so many people that have made my experience at Mason so positive! Dr. Lisa Eckenwiler, Dr. Niklas Hultin, Dr. Basak Durgun, Dr. Byunghwan Son, Dr. Matthew West, Dr. Ashley Grant, Dr. Mike von Fricken, Dr. Lila Fleming, Dr. Jennifer Brielmaier and so many faculty have had a positive impact on me. Mary Denlinger and Dr. Eckenwiler first introduced me to the field of global health and health ethics for which I will always be grateful. Most recently, I had an incredible experience working as a graduate assistant to the Global Politics Fellowship with Amy Zhang and Dr. Lisa Breglia.
My advice to incoming graduate students would be to try to tailor your academic experience to your interests and ambitions. When you are assigned to complete a research paper, do it on a topic that is of interest to you. When you're thinking about what courses to take for your concentration or specialization, think about what will be the most useful to you and your career path. Also, read the weekly MA newsletters because they are full of important and useful information outside of academic courses!
My current career plans are to work in the public health field at the local and state level. In the meantime, I will be working on building my data analysis and epidemiology skills. In the future, I would like to be working on long term global health issues like vaccination, possibly teaching at a university, and traveling the world for work and pleasure!