How did you find your way to the UW?
When I first moved to the United States, I enrolled at Green River College in Auburn, WA. It was my dream to eventually study public health and the UW has one of the best public health programs for undergraduate studies.
Can you share an interesting fact about yourself?
I grew up in the far western plains of Nepal. My family and I worked the land to grow all our own food. We didn’t buy anything except for salt and sugar. As a young boy, my brothers and I would get up very early before school to work on the farm. It was really hard work but looking back, I am so thankful I had that experience. It taught me how to become a hard worker and to develop patience.
Why did you decide to major in public health?
I always had an interest in studying diseases and their causes. More importantly, I care about people and their well-being. I believe public health is the backbone of any well-functioning society. By working in the public health sector, I'll have the privilege of improving people’s quality of life and that excites me.
How did your childhood in Nepal impact your passions in public health?
I grew up where access to health care and public health education was very limited. I always had compassion for people who were suffering from health issues due to various socioeconomic factors. In ninth grade, my sociology teacher challenged my class to do the extraordinary for our society by studying health-related issues such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and other chronic diseases. I was inspired by his teaching and became interested in public health and researching a cure for HIV/AIDS.
What do you find most interesting about the field?
It looks at upstream and downstream factors to eliminate health disparities and inequalities.
What experiences at the UW have been most influential?
At the UW, different perspectives and opinions are valued and encouraged in the learning process. This has helped me to feel comfortable to share my insights and has had a great influence on my learning experience.
Additionally, the practical learning through group discussions and projects have helped me to connect with the real world. The UW teaching staff are always eager to listen and incredibly patient with students from different backgrounds and cultures.
What are your professional goals?
I plan to pursue an MPH in epidemiology. I’m most interested in the field of infectious disease prevention and control. I still have a burning desire to research a cure for HIV/AIDS. I can see myself as a specialist in infectious diseases. My long-term goal is to work with the World Health Organization and combat infectious diseases globally.
Tell us about your extracurricular activities.
I’m involved in church outreach programs, music ministry and a weekly Bible Study. I find church to be a great place for social interactions.
What’s one piece of advice you have for prospective students?
College life can be overwhelming and you might feel lost at the beginning. Start with exploring the topics and subjects that interest you most and delve into those without being afraid. Make friends and connect with your professors and TAs.