Mikka Nyarko
Poynette, WI
Faculty advisor: 
Internship title/site and brief summary: 

In the 2019 Summer term, I interned for the Botswana Global Health Internship Program. This internship took place over the course of six weeks and was in a rural village of Maunatlala, Botswana. My preceptor, Dr. Sunil Khanna, is a professor in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences as well as the Robert & Sara Rothschild Endowed Chair. My specific project was on sexual and reproductive health and youth empowerment. During the internship, we engaged key community stakeholders to develop a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education program for youth and their families.

Professional / academic / life plans after graduation: 

Upon completion of my degree, I am interested in working with an international health organization that addresses infectious diseases. Planning, implementing and evaluating public health programs has become a great interest of mine, and I would like to continue this work in my future career.

Favorite memory of being a graduate student at Oregon State: 

I enjoyed the potlucks organized for Global Health students and faculty. Great food, great people, and fun times!

Impactful faculty mentorship: 

Dr. Sunil Khanna, a professor in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences at OSU and my internship preceptor, is a faculty mentor who has positively impacted my experience at OSU. Through the coursework he taught, and internship experience, I have gained a deeper understanding of social determinants of health and cultural humility. By assisting in the research project during the Botswana Global Learning Internship Program, I had the opportunity to learn directly from Dr. Khanna on how he conducts community-based work. I have learned how collaborative efforts foster community empowerment, sustainability and capacity building. This opportunity to be mentored by Dr. Khanna has enhanced my public health skill set and career objectives.