Our Students

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.



Bredina Coale, 

Berdina graduated in Spring 2017. As a GPSI intern with the Illinois Department of Public Health and was honored as the recipient of the 2018 Brian T. Milbrandt Memorial Intern Award for Excellence. The award was presented at the GPSI annual recognition breakfast held on April 11, 2018. Bredina is shown on the right with Paula Jimenez, her internship supervisor. Bredina will hold a dual Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Public Health.

Oluwafikayo Adeyemi discusses why UIS is the best choice for him.

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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.


Fulera Salami

My name is Fulera Salami and I am a May, 2018 Graduate from the UIS MPH-Environmental Health Online program. I received my Bachelor of Science from the American Public University, Charles Town, West Virginia in 2015. I currently live in Silver Spring, Maryland and I work as a Financial Analyst Contractor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

I was skeptical about pursuing my masters in an online environment, but I was encouraged by others who have done it successfully. After much research and enquiry, I applied to several programs but I settled on the University of Illinois Springfield program. I am very glad that I made that decision. The online courses were very rigorous. I was compelled to do more research than I had ever done in my life and even though the work was hard, it was rewarding in the end. I took me two years to complete my  MPH-EH degree and I am very satisfied with the results.

When people ask me about online education, my response is, “If I am a hiring manager and I have two applicants with the same credentials but one took online courses while the other did on campus course, I would hire the applicant who did the online program.”

The reason is that the online student had to work twice as hard as the other to obtain the same degree. Online studies require more discipline and one has to be self-motivated all the time in order to keep up with the volume of work while taking care of other work and personal responsibilities.

I served in the army for four years and worked with the public health department. My MPH degree will help me further my education and the skills that I learned are invaluable to my future of working in the field of Epidemiology. I intend to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology. I love to travel and do lots of sight-seeing in my spare time.

Chrisopher Vemagiri Marbantang

My name is Christopher Vemagiri Marbaniang. I am a dental school graduate and professional actor. I recently graduated with a Master’s of Public Health with a Concentration in Environmental Health from University of Illinois- Springfield. I am also a motivational speaker and health educator.

I chose to get my Master’s degree to substantiate my knowledge on the Health care system in United States as I am a strong advocate for the “Prevention is better than cure” motto. I was elated to know that I am the first MPH student to be chosen as the Commencement Speaker for University of Illinois-Springfield in 2018. I was also the recipient of the International Student Leadership Award. I have been a student leader on campus for 3 years and have championed many health causes for the student body at UIS. I am a three-time Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Nominee which is given to the best actors in each Theatre Production decided by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) respondents that pick one actor to represent the University at the Annual Regional Theatre Festival. I have travelled the world to campaign for causes such as Feed the Hunger with Rise Against Hunger Organization and Fight against Human Trafficking in Asia with Red Alert Organization. I am a proud founder the Smiles for Miles Initiative and The Healing Beyond Hospital Non-profit Organization. I hope to build these platforms to address issues plaguing our communities today.

In the Fall of 2018, I will begin my Doctoral program with Texas A&M University, School of Public Health, College Station. My focus will be on Global Health and Environmental Health Promotion through Theater and Film. I plan to continue in Academia but also follow my passion in acting in TV and Film to be able to finance my health projects and reach out to all communities both in Urban and Rural areas globally. I represent the minority communities across the world via social media platforms. Through my YouTube channel, I try to reach out to the youth on a global scale and I plan to continue to work with struggling teenagers and young adults to help them better love themselves, stay positive and grow mentally and physically healthy. My long-term goal is to expand as a motivational speaker, reformer, health professional and researcher in Health Promotion through Theater and Film in disadvantaged communities and give back to the community selflessly.

Regina Adigwe

My name is Regina Nneamaka Adigwe and I am a 2018 graduate of the Masters of Public Health (MPH) program at the University of Illinois, Springfield (UIS). The MPH program at UIS was a perfect fit for me. The class sizes were not too big affording me maximum interaction with my classmates and professors who were helpful in and outside the program to achieving my career goals. Each course I took ignited my passion for solving public health issues and helped me further shape my decision after graduation.

I decided to pursue a Masters in Public Health to develop the necessary skills and knowledge I needed to solve public health issues and I can honestly say that through this program, I have been equipped with the right knowledge for the next step in my career which is to continue my passion in solving public health issues through research. This has informed my decision to acquire a PhD in Environmental Health and Engineering.

I love to dance, enjoy swimming and traveling, in my spare time.

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 recently graduated with distinction from the UIS Online 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

Lusiana Galindo

My name is Lucy Galindo and I am a May 2018 graduate from the MPH-Environmental Health program. I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology from UIS in 2014 and shortly after, I moved back to Chicago where I currently work for the Office for Research Safety (ORS) at Northwestern University. ORS is an office with a variety of different professionals who are there to ensure the protection of individuals working in research laboratories as well as protecting public health and the environment.

I chose to complete an online MPH-EH degree at UIS because while I completed my bachelor’s degree at UIS, I had nothing but great experiences with the faculty and staff. I wanted to expand my knowledge in public health for my current work position. So, it was not difficult for me to choose the UIS MPH degree program. While living in Chicago it was convenient for me while working a full-time job and I knew it would be great being a part of UIS once again. Being able to complete a Master’s degree online with so much ease wouldn’t have been possible without the staff and faculty who are a part of the MPH program!

The MPH-EH degree has helped me develop new skills for my current position and has also given me the tools that I need to grow as a professional in the public health field. Thanks to my MPH, I know that I am able to continue to ensure the protection of individuals, public health and the environment at Northwestern University with more success.

Lucy is fluent in Spanish and in her spare time, enjoys volunteering with Chicago Cares, a volunteer organization that hosts Bingo time for senior citizens, cooking dinner for youth homes and special events/projects throughout the city to encourage all of its citizens to volunteer while making a difference in their communities. Lucy loves traveling, long distance running and spending time with her family.


Nate’ T. A. Russell

My name is Naté T.A. Russell, I received my associates degree from Robert Morris University in 2012 with an Associates in Applied Science with a concentration in Paralegal Studies. After completing my Associates degree, I transferred to the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2013. I then completed my undergraduate in Legal Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice in the Spring of 2016.

I am current pursuing my MPA/MPH degree, at University of Illinois at Springfield. The reason why I returned to graduate school is because I enjoyed the UIS campus atmosphere and wanted a higher degree in the health and public sector. I am currently a Graduate Student Intern at the Illinois Department of Public Health and the President of the Public Health Association Club at UIS.  After graduating,  I plans to pursue a job in healthcare management. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also, enjoy traveling and shopping.

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

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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.

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.

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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.

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.”

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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.

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
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.

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






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






 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 Fitzpatrick






 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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