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PHD, Doctorate, International Health, Africa, Kenya

January 10, 2013

Clean food, drinking water that is safe, and quality medical facilities are features in Americans lives that many can, and thankfully so, take for granted.  Having been born and raised in Kenya, I saw and experienced firsthand the devastating effects of infectious diseases, multitudes of children orphaned by AIDS.  The healthcare system itself is literally crippled by a lack of funding at the hands of the corrupt, a situation that had a stranglehold on resources and abilities to serve the poor, sick and the needy.

 Coming to America, has enabled me to engage in exceptional educational opportunities, and solidified my certainty that my future lies in International Health.  Indeed, my graduate Public Service Management program, within which I have focused on healthcare administration, has narrowed my research interests.  Engaging in a PhD International Health program will facilitate my research into healthcare disparities, improving healthcare systems in emerging nations, and interventions to reduce infectious disease mortality.

 Earning a PhD in International Health will allow me to bring a number of my goals, plans – my dreams – to fruition, namely, upon building my exposure in the field, serving one of America’s finer educational institutions as a professor of International Health.  Not only would I be ensuring the future of International Health research and interventions, but also, I will be able to bring contemporary research alive in the classroom for aspiring students.  I can also give firsthand accounts of what life is like without proper public health protections that many in the world enjoy as a matter of course, bringing a sense of the imperative nature of our work.  Furthermore, I would be adding to the value and relevance of the research teams within the university I would be privileged to serve within.  Simultaneously, it is my ambition to use my university research to contribute to the work of and lead within an international healthcare organization, specifically those whose mission is to improve healthcare systems in developing nations.

 I bring with me to the student body, and International Health research program a solid foundation in research and strong analytical skills that will enable me to conduct my own research work.  My education has been truly multidisciplinary, as International Health is by its nature.  Having completed a BS in Biology, I gained valuable insights into the needs of Public Service Management and Healthcare Administration, and fleshed out my understanding of more administrative, financial and even political concerns.  I feel completely prepared for my work in International Health, and have solid evidence of my ability to excel in a PhD program in having earned an academic scholarship and completed my graduate work with an excellent GPA.

 My future as a professor will bring with it a role in my community that is built on trust.  I truly appreciate this role of responsibility, and my desire to give back to the community is very real.  Indeed, I have given back already by volunteering and being awarded for my work in both StogerHospital and RushHospital.  Volunteering and serving the public has made me a more grateful and humble human being, and has further convinced me that I want to aid in changing other people’s lives for the better everywhere.  Moreover, I will be a role model for African Americans, showing that anything can be accomplished in this country through hard work and a constant focus on your dreams.

 Coming from Kenya, I have a worldview that is quite different from my academic peers.  I do not mention this simply to increase the diversity of the student body.  Completing my undergraduate education in America, as well as living and working here, I developed an ability to interact effectively with not only my fellow colleagues, but since having experienced life as an immigrant, I feel particularly sensitive to the needs of many minorities; combined with this is my ability to speak three languages fluently.

 There is a need in International Health work and education to understand and appreciate our differences, be it cultural or socioeconomic, an appreciation of the rich tapestry of life that we are all a part of on earth.  A future professor needs to be able to interact effectively with people of differing cultures, ethnicities, nationalities and creeds.  This is critically important given the vast influx of person with varied backgrounds into America’s educational system.  Given my cultural competency, I feel I will be completely adept at reaching out to my diverse students, no matter their country of origin.  This is what I bring to the student body, as well, one in which I anticipate many opportunities for group assignments, teamwork and projects.  With my unique academic foundation in the sciences, as well as Public Service Management, I feel that my ability to apply scientific analysis to business situations will shed light on many other students’ own methodologies, as I learn from theirs’.

 When I was first considering my academic path to a PhD in International Health, I was struck by a question that came to my mind: what greater proof of our humanity can we possibly provide than the care of those that so direly need our help?  I simply cannot go on in my life without remembering those in need.  As a boy in Kenya, I wondered why no one was helping.  No longer will I wonder who will make the difference in people’s lives.  I am that someone and my day has come.

 The classroom, filled with experienced faculty and accomplished student body will enable me to share my own analyses, test others, come to unexpected conclusions and learn that much more from the collective meeting of ambitious minds.  I completely embrace the fact that there is more than one leadership method, that there is ample room for improvement in my own style and what better place to learn such lessons than in the classroom.  It is in the classroom where our missteps can be turned into learning experiences, and in study time, we can reflect on our interactions, integrating them into our own distinctive path.

 I look forward to my time at your incredible institution, and am eager to share my experiences and be led by professors that set national benchmarks for academic excellence.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

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