Meet Online Coordinator June Agamah
10 Things to Know About MPH Online Coordinator June Agamah
- June is a UIS alum. Her undergraduate degree was in English education. After working with students at a medical center in Chicago, she decided to pursue a master’s in public health, which she completed in 2001. She was an on campus student but remembers remember using an online discussion board for one of her classes—very reluctantly. “I would go online and read everybody’s comments, but I didn’t want to respond myself. My professor said, ‘June, if you don’t answer, your grade will not be what it should be.’ I had to buckle down and got to work.” So if you also are not overly fond of discussion boards, she feels your pain!
- June is only part-time at UIS. For many years, her real job (though unpaid) is serving as Logistics Coordinator for the International Health & Deveolpment Network (IHDN), a nonprofit organization that she and her husband started. IHDN is a network of volunteers dedicated to helping poor villages in developing countries, primarily Ghana. Since 1996, through IHDN, June and her physician husband, Edem Agamah, have sponsored 32 mission trips with more than 362 volunteers. June organizes the volunteers, creates communication pieces, arranges travel, and fulfills countless other responsibilities—she is an extremely high-energy person! Read more about the Agamah’s work in Ghana.
- June loves to motivate students. As busy as she is with IHDN, June can’t resist the opportunity to work with students online and at UIS. “Hey, look at me,’ I tell them. ‘It worked for me.’” The most satisfying part of her job with MPH students is encouraging them to press on and dream big.
- She’s passionate about public health: “It touches everything,” she says. “The way we drive. The water we drink. Disasters. Food deserts. Access to health care, and so much more.” Every community, she says, needs public health personnel which is why she is so happy to work with online students around the country. “We go into a community and assess the situation. Then we speak to the big guys about what is lacking and hopefully they listen and make policy to change things. Finally, we assure the public that things will get better.”
- June has a huge respect for public health students: “Whether public health students are online or on campus, they go to bed thinking, ‘How can I make a difference?’” She want students to know that what they learn and what they will do matters very, very much, and she is here for them and ready to be of service.
- June is an honored alum. In 2014, June received the UIS Alumni Humanitarian Award for her work with IHDN. Read why she was chosen in the UIS Alumni Magazine (scroll to page 19( and while you’re there, enjoy her beautiful smile!
- June works on behalf of mental health in Sangamon County. Working with others, she began the Community Health Giving Circle. “We are trying to dispense information about mental health to the community in the Sangamon County area, and we invite people to come on board to give so we can give grants to mental health organizations.”
- A mistake in geography led to June meeting her husband, Edem Agamah: A friend decided to set June up with a friend: “You have so much in common, June—he’s from Ghana, your own country.” June, who immigrated to the UIS from Guyana, a country in South America, had to correct her friend. Ghana is in Africa.
- At the end of their first date, Edem Agamah told June he thought they would get married. After her friend’s matchmaking attempt, June reluctantly agreed to give Edem her phone number. They talked on the phone for several months until June decided to invite him to a concert. At the end of the evening, Edem made his announcement. “Oh, no,” she thought. “What have I gotten myself into?” Something good, apparently…This August, June and Edem will celebrate 30 years together. “He’s such a beautiful man,” she says.
- June loves to garden—and then cook what she grows. In her office, she has a photographic collage which one 4th place in a recent Sustainability Contest at UIS. The collage shows the vegetables she grows and the dishes she makes with the vegetables. She especially loves okra with fresh tomatoes, made with a Guyanese recipe. Her favorite food “in the world” is chicken curry and dahl puri, another Caribbean dish. It sounds delicious.
Contact the Public Health Department
Phone: (217) 206-6720