Student Profile: Faith Ogungbe, PhD in Community & Behavioral Health Promotion

Faith Ogungbe

Tell us about the research you are engaged in as a doctoral student at the Zilber College. What impact will it have on the community? What excites you most about it?

My intended research topic is to elicit some of the factors that influence the generational differences in observed birth outcomes of West African immigrants in the United States. Depending on some of the associations found, I believe that this work can be helpful in making commentary about actions that can be taken and policy changes that can be made to improve birth outcomes for this group, as well as for the population, more generally. I’m excited to understand more about the topic I’ve chosen and I’m also excited that through data collected from this intended research, there is the potential to make commentary about the system as we know it and, hopefully, improve the things we have control over.

What inspired you to pursue your PhD at UWM?

When I was applying for public health doctoral programs, I found out that UWM had a program in public health; I grew up slightly south of Milwaukee in Racine County and I was excited for the chance to get to experience Milwaukee more as an adult. Furthermore, after researching the faculty at the College of Public Health, I found faculty members (including my current academic advisor) who I really wanted to have the opportunity to work with. I’m happy with how it has turned out so far.

What differences do you hope to make in the world with your work in public health?

My overall interest is in health equity. The reason I am doing my PhD is to do my part to ensure that people have equitable access to healthcare and that there is an equitable distribution of healthy outcomes, overall.

What has been your favorite experience so far as a doctoral student?

Bittersweet and I am surprised I’m even saying this — I am very proud of myself for getting through my qualifying exam process. It was rigorous and it was a lot of work, but going through it made me feel capable, and it really made me think “I’m a serious doctoral student.” I suppose it was only a glimpse of what is to come, but I’m even more confident in myself and my ability to do the work. So, the qualifying exam has been my favorite experience because of how it made me feel and how it reminded me that I am, indeed, qualified (pun definitely intended).