Celebrating the 2017 Global Health Certificate Graduates

Global health certificate graduates celebrate completing their program May 4 at the Carson Gulley Center.

Graduate, professional, capstone and undergraduate students gathered to celebrate their global health certificate graduation on May 4 at the Carson Gulley Center. They were among the 275 students who received a Graduate|Professional|Capstone or Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health at the conclusion of the 2016-17 school year, the largest class in the GHI’s history. They included engineers, journalists, nurses, teachers, pharmacists, scientists and economists, all who devoted a significant portion of their time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to studying and understanding the determinants of health and disease.

“The classes I have taken through Global Health have transformed the way I think about the world. It has helped me see issues in a very intersectional manner, as I learned there was no simple cause or “solution” to any issue. It pushed me to be a better activist and understand my own identity more.” —Swetha Saseedhar, College of Letters and Science, undergraduate certificate earner

The undergraduate certificate is offered through a partnership between GHI and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. GHI and the Department of Population Health Sciences in the School of Medicine and Public Health collaborate to offer the graduate|professional|capstone Certificate. The certificates’ coursework discusses health and particularly the need to improve access to care for all. They also introduce students to the field of public health, a model for promoting health and well-being that seeks to identify and address the root causes of health problems for populations rather than individuals. Through a nine or 15 credit program of preparatory course work culminating in a global health field experience, graduates are prepared to address health disparities in a context of cultural diversity.

“[The global health certificate was] one of the best decisions of my life as it helped me determine my future career goals.” —Madison Thalacker, College of Letters and Science, undergraduate certificate earner

Since the creation of the graduate|professional|capstone certificate in 2006 and the undergraduate certificate in 2011,188 students and 1,269 students, respectively, have completed the programs. The undergraduate certificate has quickly grown to be the largest certificate program on campus. Graduates have gone on to become global health leaders in Wisconsin and across the world.

Here is what a few of our graduates had to say about their experience with the GHI:

“The Global Health Certificate opened my eyes to health equity, both in my backyard and across the globe. It instilled a passion for community based public health work and provided me with a community of students and faculty concerned with social justice, health as a human right, and targeting vulnerable populations. This foundation was essential in directing my career path and I can’t wait to continue my knowledge in this immense and inspiring field.” —Emily Lynch, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, undergraduate certificate earner

“Thank you for opening my eyes to health and the disparities of health that are prevalent locally and worldwide.” —Amanda Winter, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, undergraduate certificate earner

“I’ve traveled abroad many times in the past, but this was the first time I went with a specific mission to help and understand public health concerns in a rural population.  It was my most rewarding trip to date and opened my eyes towards mitigating future public health threats. I am excited to continue research and working with vulnerable populations as they face emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats.” —Johnny Uelman, School of Medicine and Public Health, graduate|professional|capstone certificate earner

“I learned that to work in community with unique challenges, I have to form meaningful and long-term relationships with individuals and the community as a whole … I learned that it’s valuable to have patience and flexibility. Things can change in the community and your’ll have to go with the flow. … I learned about health promotion and prevention over treatment. I got to understand the challenges faced by the community, such as health care disparities and their impact.”—Drammeh Ummulkhair, School of Nursing, undergraduate certificate earner

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More information on the graduate|professional|capstone certificate and the undergraduate certificate.

By Catherine Goslin/ May 17, 2017