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.

See the winner of the 2017 Brian Milbrandt Intern Award

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.

Rump, Allison Aug 16 Allison Rump

My name is Allison Rump and I am from Springfield, IL. My MPH specialization is currently General. I have a B.S. in Microbiology from SIUC, and have had experience as a student researcher, a summer intern at Simmons’s Cancer Institute, an extern at the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department and currently a GPSI internship at Illinois Department of Public Health in the Division of Food Drugs and Dairies. I chose the MPH degree because I was interested in using my scientific background to serve the community in a tangible way. My future career goals are to serve the people of Illinois by continuing to work at IDPH. When I am not at work or school I enjoy reading, spending time with friends, and watching Netflix.

Pooja SarafMy name is Pooja Saraf
I am a May 2016 MPH graduate. I live in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois with my husband. I hail from Pune, India, which is located in the western region of the country. I completed my entire degree online for the sake of convenience.  Having an educational background in Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counseling prompted me to look deeper while noticing that many health related problems could be prevented at the initial stages.  The courses offered here allied with my interest and provided a track in preventive care and health promotion and so I enrolled in the Masters of Public Health (General) program.

Would Online be best for your busy schedule?

I am strongly interested to work on behavioral health problems such as substance abuse, chronic illnesses and mental health using the skills gained through the course-works. I worked as an intern at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department in the epidemiology division with concentration in biostatistics for the Mumps outbreak in the Champaign County and health education for Influenza to the minority populations. On the lighter side, I like to engage in nature related activities such as biking and gardening and I am slowly building up my collection of exotic indoor plants.

Taryn Moore Ju 16Taryn Moore

I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia, though I was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville August 2014.

Is Online learning right for you?

I am pursuing a General Masters of Public Health online. Most of my professional work experience involves sexual health education and HIV prevention. I am currently a HIV Youth Prevention Educator atPositive Impact Health Centers, a HIV/AIDS service organization located in Duluth, Ga. I have had this position since March 2015. My hobbies include Blogging and creating videos for YouTube.

I chose to pursue an MPH degree because I am so passionate about Public Health. I want to use this degree to take my skills to the next level and further help others. I chose the fully online degree to better fit my work schedule.

My future career goal is to become a program coordinator or director of a Public Health Program involving HIV/ STDS or domestic violence prevention at the CDC preferably.

Rosenberger, Mike May 16 Michael Rosenberger
I am from Pecatonica, IL. I recently completed my undergraduate studies in Chemistry at UIS and I am currently studying in the general track in the Masters of Public Health program at UIS. I have been working as a Emergency Department Medical Scribe for Scribe America and as the Infectious Disease and Surveilance Intern in the Communicable Disease and Control Section at IDPH through the GPSI program offered at UIS. I chose to complete a Masters in Public Health as a transition between my undergraduate studies and medical school. In addition to my professional and educational activities, I volunteer as the Chapter Adviser for the UIS Zeta Zeta Chapter of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.  mrose4@uis.edu

Rajbir Grewal Picture Rajbir Grewal
I was born in Punjab, India, but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, IL.  I attended University of Illinois at Chicago for my bachelor’s degree and went on to pursue medicine at Windsor University School of Medicine. I joined the MPH program because I believe it will help me become a better physician. In just two semesters so far I have learnt of many disparities that exist in the healthcare system, which I am eager to address as a Primary Care Provider.  On my days off I like to spend time with my 3 nieces and nephew.  They are my pride and joy!
Email rgrewa2@uis.edu

Formal portrait Dr. Tamer Hudali internal med Tamer Hudali, MD Internal Medicine

Dr. Hudali is currently a graduate student in the MPH program. He was born and raised in Jordan. He currently works as an assistant professor of internal medicine at Southern Illinois University, Springfield, Illinois.  He earned his MD degree at the University of Jordan/School of Medicine in 2009. Then he finished one year of internal medicine training at King Hussein Cancer Center in 2011 and completed internal medicine residency at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2014.

Is addition of an MPH to your MD right for you?

Throughout his career as a physician, helping patients was his primary passion. He is planning to utilize the  expansion of his knowledge in public health throughout this program to maximize patient care and safety at larger community scales and potentially at national and international levels.  Dr. Hudali is extremely interested in quality improvement and patient safety and is actively enrolled with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement through the improvement advisor professional development program.  Outside the field of medicine he enjoys playing indoor and outdoor soccer on weekly basis.  email: thudali2@uis.edu

Dunlap,Darrah Feb 15 Darrah Dunlap
Darrah is a second-year MPH-EH student and Graduate Public Service Intern. 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.

Is a Graduate Public Service Internship right for you?

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.


Emeka Ogbu Featured PicChukwuemeka Ogbu
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.

International Students are welcome at UIS!

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 pic Kafilat Shobajo
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.

Meet Interesting People at UIS!

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 Pic Morgan (Smith) Jackson
Morgan 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.

What can you do with this degree?

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 Pic Meet MPH EH Online student Chris Saxton
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 El Paso, Texas 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.

Is Online learning right for you?

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
The MidAmerica Healthcare Executives Forum has recognized Chidinma as 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.

Springfield is home of the Illinois Department of Public Health

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
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

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
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.

For assistance or information email or call 217-206-6720

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