Meet fourth-year BSPH student Jahara Wakeel
Each month, the College of Public Health is shining a spotlight on one of its students. For August’s feature, meet Jahara Wakeel a fourth-year undergraduate student in public health with a specialization in public health sociology. Between working for undergraduate admissions and participating in student organizations, Wakeel has developed a strong passion for public health and its ability to transform lives.
Why did you choose public health?
Because I can learn how everything in society, from education to socioeconomic status, affects the health of different populations. I feel that public health is a great degree that can lead to many opportunities to create change in the lives of Americans.
Can you tell us a bit about your extracurricular work and activities?
I’m an undergraduate admissions mentor, and I assist students and parents in the admission process by answering emails and phone calls.
I’m also part of the Multicultural Public Health Student Association and am the former president. It's been fun being a part of MPHSA, because I have the opportunity to be surrounded by other students passionate about issues pertaining to health. We’ve organized events for students, faculty and community members to educate themselves about public health so they have more information to better serve vulnerable communities.
How have these experiences enriched your time at Ohio State?
These experiences have helped me realize the value of the information we hold in the public health field and how important it is for us to educate others. Through classes, organizations and internships, we are constantly learning more about vulnerable populations and how they are disproportionately negatively affected, and more individuals in society need to know this information.
Can you tell us a bit about your undergraduate research experience with environmental health sciences professor Darryl Hood?
I was a research assistant for Dr. Hood’s lab during my first two years at Ohio State. The goal of the research project was to determine if there was a correlation between a local waste transfer site and adverse health effects in the community, specifically related to infant mortality. I analyzed surveys completed by individuals from the community and created tables to organize data.
What advice would you give incoming students
Reach out to professors, because many of them love helping with class selection and career goals. I’ve loved being able to connect with my professors about possible opportunities and connections they have with individuals working in the field.
I would also advise other students to apply to opportunities even if you feel you’re not qualified, because you could be offered the position and you have so much room to learn and grow.
How do you see your education shaping your future?
My education has helped me narrow the path I am going down. The information I’ve been given will shape the way I approach any career I end up pursuing. Public health is a field that I am very excited to be a part of.