Our Students


UIS is a university that attracts students who want to earn a degree in a supportive environment where classes are small and faculty members truly know their students, serving as advisors, mentors and friends as well as teachers. The UIS curriculum cuts across disciplines and emphasizes civic engagement. As a result, course work in every major is relevant to today’s world. Our students learn new skills and develop an understanding of their responsibility to lead and improve their communities. They test these new abilities in the real world, through a myriad of hands-on internships, fellowships and research opportunities.

Our students come from very diverse backgrounds and have varying interests! We have online, on campus and international students representing most of the United States and other countries worldwide.

You can find admission forms to the left as well as a description of competencies, education plans and internship guidelines. There is also a description of some of our successful Alumni and a page describing our student association. We have a very active and engaged student population and welcome you to become a part of our program.

Dunlap,Darrah Feb 15

Darrah Dunlap is a second-year MPH-EH student and Graduate Public Service Intern (GPSI). She received her B.S. in Microbiology from Western Illinois University in 2014. In her GPSI internship with the Illinois Department of Public Health, she has been engaged in a wide range of roles and projects, including administrative rule revisions, local government ordinance review, outbreak preparation and investigation, and research and evaluation of the public health implications of water conservation practices. She was driven to pursue environmental health because of its impact on daily lives. Her interests in public health are primarily centered on water protection, including microbiological quality of water sources, new applications of harvested rainwater and recycled grey water, and contemporary water policies. Her goal as a growing public health professional is to engage in research and policy that improves quality of life universally. Her ultimate career goal is to earn a position in the U.S. Public Health Service. Outside of her interests in public health, Darrah is passionate about cooking and an avid reader. Darrah can be contacted at ddunl2@uis.edu.


Biography-RoDina L. WilliamsRoDina Williams

RoDina L. Williams currently resides in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She is a general MPH student with an intense interest in infectious diseases. RoDina holds two Bachelor of Science degrees, both from Illinois State University. She earned the first degree in Kinesiology & Recreation (2002) and the second in Medical Laboratory Science (2010). For the past year she has served as the Secretary, Communication Chair, and Membership Chair of the Illinois State University Black Colleagues Association. Professionally, she is the Bio-Repository Manager at Nanosphere, Inc., an infectious diseases biotechnology company based in Northbrook, Illinois.
RoDina says that she opted for a Master’s of Public Health to learn more about the social and medical aspects of public health and to explore the different avenues in preventing and diagnosing infectious diseases. Her future career goals are to continue to discover ways to make contributions in preventing and diagnosing infectious diseases. In her free time she enjoys volunteering with different organizations, baking homemade desserts, remodeling her house, and as she likes to save money, couponing!​

Emeka Ogbu Featured PicChukwuemeka Ogbu
(December 2015)
Hi, my name is Emeka OGBU from Nigeria. I’m currently enrolled in the MPH general program and I work as a graduate research assistant in the UIS Survey Research Office. I obtained my bachelors degree from the prestigious University of Nigeria where I trained as a pharmacist. Prior to graduate school, I had the opportunity to work in several community, hospital and industrial pharmacy practice settings back home. My experiences as a health professional gave me great insight into the plight of my people with regard to their health and well being. I joined the MPH program in order to be better equipped to tackle the various health needs of my community. My hobbies are soccer, music, journalism and philanthropy

Shobajo picKafilat Shobajo
(Nov. 2015)
Kafilat Shobajo is currently completing her Master of Public Health Degree with a concentration in Environmental Health at UIS. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in Community Health education.  She is a full time student who works at the Illinois Department of Public Health in the office of Healthcare Regulations.

After completing her graduate degree, she will work towards getting certified as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. Although Kafilat has a strong passion for environmental health, she believes every aspect of public health is just as important.

Kafilat has also lived in Nigeria for ten years, she can speak, read and write Yoruba Language fluently. She hopes to go back to Nigeria in the future to help solve environmental health issues the country may be facing.

Morgan Jackson PicOnline Peoria Native Morgan Jackson
(Oct. 2015)
Morgan (Smith) Jackson was born and raised in Peoria, where she lives with her husband, 11 year old son, and two dogs.  She earned an undergraduate degree from Bradley University, and although she started as pre-med major, she earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Women’s Studies in 2009.

At this time, Morgan works as a sanitarian for the Peoria City/County Health Department, and is an online General MPH student with a Certificate in Community Health Education. Morgan tells us that she loves her job in Environmental Health, but her passion is in Community Health. She hopes to become a director or a coordinator of a Community Health program. She has hopes to further her education by obtaining a PhD in community health education. If not, she is considering applying for medical school.

Morgan said, “I’ve always wanted a career that intertwined my love of sociology and medicine in one. I feel that UIS MPH has provided that platform by allowing me to educated individuals about the importance of their environment while connecting them to the health services that they need.”

Saxton, Chris PicMeet MPH EH Online student Chris Saxton

(Sept. 2015)
Chris Saxton is currently completing his Master of Public Health Degree with a concentration in Environmental Health online at UIS. He also currently works for the City of El Paso, Texas as the Food Safety Manager for the Health Department.  He started his career in public health as a food inspector for the Kansas City Health Department in Missouri, and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri.

Chris moved on to work for the Jackson County Environmental Health Division in Missouri as an environmental health specialist, where he continued to do food inspections and other environmental health inspections.  He spent 14 years in Jackson County and was promoted from inspector to the food supervisor and then on to the chief environmentalist position.   He then moved on to manage the food inspections and environmental health program for the Cass County Health Department in Missouri.

Chris has received national certification as Registered Sanitarian / Registered Environmental Health Specialist from the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and is registered in Texas as a Professional Sanitarian.   He looks forward to spring 2016 graduation.  Good Luck Chris, and never forget your Public Health experience at UIS!

Chidinma Umesegha, MPH/MPA Graduate Student

(Aug 2015)
The MidAmerica Healthcare Executives Forum is  recognizing Chidinma Umesegha, a joint MPH/MPA Joint Degree, for 2015 with a certificate and a check for $100. Chidinma Umesegha is from Chicago, IL but was born in Nigeria. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Illinois State University in 2012.

Chidinma is currently in her second year of the joint Master’s degree in Public Health and Public Administration (MPH/MPA) and is also a Graduate Public Service Intern at Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Healthcare Regulation. Her professional career plan is to become a Public Health Administrator with an opportunity to develop, evaluate, and implement public health policies needed to generate awareness and empower people concerning important health issues.

Shay Drummond

MPH-EH Alum, Shay Drummond

(July 2015)
Shay Drummond is a graduate student in the MPH program with a concentration in Environmental Health.  She is also pursuing a graduate certificate in Epidemiology.  Currently, Shay serves as the Director of Clinical and Environmental Services at Adams County
Health Department in Quincy, Illinois.

Her primary responsibilities include: Coordination of the Community Dental Clinic, Environmental Health, Emergency Preparedness, as well as Immunizations and Communicable Disease/STD programming.  She also manages 25 employees and participates in local, state and national public health initiatives.

Jami Vigil

MPH Graduate Student, Jami Vigil

(June 2015)
Jami Vigil is a graduate student in the MPH program, with an emphasis on epidemiology.  She hopes to use her UIS education to create, implement and evaluate public health programs focusing on child abuse and neglect, prevention and treatment in general, and on chemical/substance dependency in particular.
Currently, Jami works as a full-time judicial officer for the State of Colorado, Fourth Judicial District.  In her role as a Magistrate Judge, she handles a full dependency and neglect docket, as well as presiding over Family Treatment Drug Court.  Additionally, Jami regularly contributes her time as a Judge with Colorado Springs Teen Court, a restorative justice project.  She is also the proud parent of 5 children as well as a licensed foster parent.

Erin FitzpatrickMPH/MPA Alum, Erin Fitzpatrick

(May 2015)
Erin Fitzpatrick is a second year graduate student in the MPH/MPA program. In addition, she  is also pursuing Graduate Certificates in Community Health Education and Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security.

Having obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in general science, she has learned that helping others and giving back to the community is her passion. Erin is hoping to utilize both the MPH and MPA in the future by working as a health care administrator with a non-profit organization.

 Emmanuel Olatunji interns at the Washington Center

Emmanuel Olatunji

Emmanuel Ayobami Olatunji, graduate student in the MPH program,  was chosen to receive a $7,000 scholarship to attend the 2014 summer experience in Washington, DC.   The program consists of three parts: an internship; a leadership forum and an academic class.  Congratulations, Emmanuel! (April 2015)

For over 35 years, The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars has helped more than 50,000 students from around the world gain valuable experience, and set them on a course of achievement, leadership and engagement in their communities.
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization serving hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has 70 full-time staff and more than 50,000 alumni, many of whom are in leadership positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

2015 Zimmerman Scholarship Winners

Our Zimmerman Scholarship Winners for Academic Year 2015 are: Ifihan Olaoye,  Trent Brass,  Nitika Sharma, Jenna Young, Jami Vigil and Arleen Gurfield.  Congratulations!

Ifihan Olaoye ifihan Olaoye

Trent Brass Trent Brass

Nitika Sharma Nitika Sharma

Jenna Young Jenna Young

Jami Vigil Jami Vigil

Arleen Guirield