Meet Ugo Ejidoh, Fall MPH Intern (UAB)
What is your major at and why did you choose it?
My major is in public health, and I have chosen it because of the growing concerns regarding global environmental issues and disease epidemics. Let me also add that I am a Nigerian trained pharmacist. I have realized that pharmacists’ role has gradually moved from the traditional function of just dispensing medication to more direct patient care and disease management practices, hence my reason for getting a master’s in public health.
Where do you go to high school?
I went to a Turkish high school in Nigeria named the Nigerian Turkish International College. I studied there from grade 7 through grade 12. In the Nigerian school system grade, 7-9 is referred to as Junior high school, and 10-12 is referred to as senior high school.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
After completing my master’s degree in public health at UAB, I hope to get a job at a governmental agency or health care organization where I can put my knowledge to good use. After that, I plan to further my education to the Ph.D. level.
What is your dream job?
As a pharmacist and public health professional, my job intersects at a point, and so I would like to use both degrees to my advantage. Besides dispensing medications, I would like to be a medical counselor, an educator, and an environmental advocate.
What do you hope to learn while interning with Gasp?
Gasp is an organization that is concerned with advancing healthy air and promoting environmental justice. I believe that the organization’s mission is in line with some of my goals. I hope to learn how they strive to achieve their goals and hopefully use it to bring environmental justice to certain disadvantaged communities in Nigeria.
Why is our mission to reduce air pollution important to you?
I come from a country where people think it is normal to live in a polluted environment, so it is not just about the minority communities suffering disproportionately but also the whole country. As a child, whenever I went on vacation outside Africa, I always noticed that other countries’ atmosphere was clear. I would ask my parents why the atmosphere always looked dull back home, but they will laugh and say, “because this is a white man’s land.” Little did I know that reason for the hazy atmosphere was industrial pollution, generator fumes, uncontrolled bush burning, broken transportation systems, untarred roads, etc. I think it is safe to say that majority of the population in Nigeria is exposed to unhealthy air. My goal is to reduce air pollution in Nigeria through education, advocacy, and policy amendment.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is spaghetti. I enjoy it however it is being made.
What are your hobbies?
- I love playing board games
- I enjoy cooking sometimes
- I love traveling
Who or what are your influences?
I like to have positive people around me because I am easily influenced by people or the things I watch on TV. I notice that I pick up a few habits after spending time with some of my close friends.
What are some other fun facts about yourself?
- I speak a bit of Turkish, which I learned in high school.
- My favorite color is white.
- I have never tried eating a crab as much as I want to.
Michael has been with Gasp since April 2013 and now serves as the Executive Director. Previously, he was director of public relations for The Modern Brand Company where he managed communications for the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership’s Champions for Health campaign. Before joining The Modern Brand, Michael served as public relations and marketing coordinator at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.Michael has years of experience and extensive training in the areas of public health and environmental protection. He is a member of the board of directors for the Southeast Climate & Energy Network. Michael worked tirelessly for years to pass Birmingham’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which passed in 2017 and led to the creation of the Birmingham Human Rights Commission in 2019.
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