In Focus: Nuzhat Quaderi '14
Tell us about your background and what let you to be interested in the field of community health.
I believe strongly in the words of Arthur Ashe, "From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." As long as I can remember I have been involved in community service and leadership activities. In high school I was involved in a diverse array of after school activities that involved both the sciences and the arts, but the majority of my time and passion was always allocated to community service.
I started my college career in 2006 at Binghamton University and received my Bachelor of Science in Biology. Interestingly enough however, it was not my background in science that led to my interest in community health. At Binghamton University I was privileged enough to get the opportunity to serve as a resident assistant and a leadership consultant. As I became more involved in residential life and programming my passion for serving the community only grew stronger. After holding several public health and service events I realized that I wanted to pursue advanced training in community health so I could do what I love the most; serve the public and help in creating healthy communities and healthy people.
What made you choose Hofstra University's M.S. in Community Health?
Choosing the right program was certainly the most difficult task while applying to graduate school. I had looked into many schools in the tri-state area searching for programs that would not only give me career and networking opportunities but would also provide coursework that fit my perspective of what true service in healthcare should be. I was directed towards Hofstra’s program by a colleague while I was working at NYU Langone Medical Center and after doing thorough research on the program I knew that the MSCH program was exactly where I should be. Hofstra University's program focuses on ideas that have an emphasis on areas in planning and implementing health, wellness, and disease prevention, but the programs holistic view on healthcare was what had made me decide that this was truly the program for me.
Now as an enrolled student I could not be happier with my decision. This program has proved to be everything I thought it would be and more. With a diverse array of highly knowledgeable, passionate, and compassionate professors, small classes sizes, a diverse and passionate student population, and out of classroom opportunities, Hofstra has truly exceeded my expectations.
Tell us about the work you do outside of the M.S.C.H. Program. How do you handle being so involved?
After enrolling in the MSCH program I became eager to get involved. I soon started work with a team of ambitious students on the Public Health Newsletter, started work at the National Center For Suburban Studies under Dr. Chris Neidt, started assisting with the Public Health Exchange blog under Dr. Martine Hackett, and got involved with developing a plan for implementation of a Health Leads Resource Desk initiative with the Center for Civic Engagement. I admit that on top of taking three classes getting this involved has taken a lot of active time management, however with the help of my supervisor, professors, and in particular, with the help of Dr. Corinne Kyriacou (Graduate Director, Master of Public Health and Master of Science in Community Health Programs), I have found that juggling all these activities has really been quite enjoyable. At the end of the day it is wonderful to have such great support and feel accomplished.
What are your long-term professional goals?
My true passion lies in using my background in science to reduce health disparities, address health outcomes as it relates to the environment, and serve the community. My experiences up until now have helped me grow as a leader and as an individual. I look forward to a journey of growth now as a graduate student and hope to ultimately find my place in the area of health and human services.
Have you found mentors in the Department of Health Professions?
I cannot accurately express my gratitude in words for all the help, guidance, and support I have received from Dr. Kyriacou. She has served both as a mentor and a counselor, and has never failed to provide me with vast amounts of her time even with her busy schedule as a professor and as program director. Dr. Kyriacou has not only helped me with my academic schedule but has served as a great resource in terms of helping me manage my out of classroom activities.
It is also true that every single one of my professors has provided me with great support and has pushed me towards the right direction. I have even had personal conversations about future plans and life outside of academics with my professors! I am truly grateful to be a part of a program where the faculty is so willing and eager to take the time outside of class to get to know and direct students to more learning opportunities.
What is your advice to prospective students looking for a degree in health?
Hofstra offers programs in Community Health, Public Health and Health Administration that provide students with the tools and the knowledge they need to succeed. Hofstra’s health degree programs understand that the health fields are all interconnected so students can expect to find that they take classes that overlap into all three programs. This allows for networking beyond just one focused area of study. If you are a prospective student looking for networking opportunities, knowledgeable and caring professors and advisors, enthusiastic enrolled students, out of classroom opportunities, and are passionate about healthcare I would highly recommend looking into a degree at Hofstra University.
How have you collaborated with peers in the program so far?
I have had the opportunity to work with my peers on multiple group assignments within the classroom and outside of the classroom. Since students come from all different backgrounds and come with different perspectives it has been a great learning experience to work on group presentations and projects. The ability to work well in group settings is a valuable skill and courses have a framework that have an emphasis on the importance of collaboration. I have also had the opportunity to work with MPH and MSCH students on the Public Health Newsletter.