Linda Umutoni Nzabamwita

MPH, Global Health
Kigali, Rwanda

What drew you to global health?

My academic and life experiences in Rwanda, Uganda and the U.S. I grew up in Rwanda as part of the post-genocide generation and I witnessed the ways that community-based approaches and policies can improve the health and well-being of people. Moreover, engaging with peers through academics, research and life revealed how interconnected we are, on a local and global level, which calls for collaboration in the work and decision making.

Why did you choose the UW School of Public Health?

I wanted to pursue an MPH with a focus on community-based interventions to gain a deeper understanding of health inequities and the practical skills to address them. The UW School of Public Health is an excellent place to pursue this because of its multidisciplinary approach, global collaborations and experienced faculty and students.

What motivates you about public health?

I appreciate that public health uses both health sciences and social sciences to understand the societal determinants of health and to find possible solutions. It provides us with the tools, frameworks and potential for collaboration to make real, positive change.

What interests you the most about the field?

Understanding the sociopolitical and economic drivers of the health of communities and finding solutions to these complex realities through evidence-based research, community engagement and policy.

What sort of research are you working on?

I have previously conducted and supported qualitative research. One was assessing the roles community health workers play in promoting the health of immigrants in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. I also supported a program evaluation of a nutrition program that aimed at reducing stunting in Rwandan children. I am interested in mixed-methods research, working with Geographic Information Systems and community-based participatory research.

What are your future goals?

I intend to use my experiences, connections and skills to do public health work through program interventions, conducting research and participating in activism and advocacy work to influence policies. I’m not sure what exactly that looks like, but I am excited to explore various focus areas and opportunities at the UW School of Public Health.

Any hobbies or extracurricular activities?

I like going on walks to different parks in Seattle and making and drinking tea. I am also a mediocre singer and basketball player.