The United Nations Foundation has selected five University of Florida College of Pharmacy students as members of its inaugural class of Global Health Fellows. The five are among 100 fellows selected from universities across the United States to participate in a seven-week online program that promotes advocacy for global health programs.
The U.N. Foundation selected 100 undergraduate and graduate students from among hundreds of applications. The students comprising the inaugural class of fellows represent a variety of majors, including pharmacy, public health, law, economics and many more.
The UF College of Pharmacy students selected are all from the Gainesville campus:
- Morgan Carson, a first-year student
- Clara-Jessica Rances, a fourth-year student
- Marry Vuong, a fourth-year student
- Joseph Washington, a first-year student
- Rubaiyat Zinat, a fourth-year student
“To have five of the 100 U.N. Global Health Fellows selected from one college is a remarkable feat,” said Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., dean and a distinguished professor in the UF College of Pharmacy. “We’re proud of the initiative that our students have shown to be advocates of global health and help communities and families around the world thrive.”
Students completing the fellowship will develop grassroots advocacy skills that will empower them to work alongside legislative officials and influence policy. The program will expand knowledge of ongoing global health issues to encourage elected officials to support lifesaving programs sponsored by organizations such as the World Health Organization. Fellows will be invited to work with the U.N. Foundation team in Washington, D.C. in Leadership Advocacy Trainings, where they will meet global health experts and a network of advocates.
“The ability to effect change and impact health on a global scale is empowering, whether it be through leading-edge research, working in the industry or helping grassroots organizations fulfill their mission and vision,” Zinat said. “As a fellow, I hope to take with me a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I contributed to the success of a project and ultimately to the well-being of people in need.”
In addition to the five UF College of Pharmacy students, three students from the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were selected as U.N. Global Health Fellows.
What interested me in the Fellows program was the opportunity to meet individuals like myself who are passionate about global health issues and the opportunity to make a change in global health policies. I am extremely passionate about providing access to life saving immunizations and preventative health measures such as mosquito nets to people in third world countries. Both of the UN’s initiatives that we focus on this semester, Shot@Life and Nothing But Nets, do just that. Overall, it is a unique opportunity and a chance to expand my knowledge and skill set to become a better health care provider.
– Marry Vuong
I have always been fond of policy and how certain levels of advocacy can produce change in legislation that has positive and negative implications. Specifically, this fellowship with the United Nations Foundation affords me a wonderful resource with health-orientated activism on the local level, along with an opportunity to play a role in global health issue organizations like Shot@Life, and Nothing But Nets.
– Joseph Washington
Throughout pharmacy school, I have become more and more passionate about global health and advocacy. I was eager to apply to the UN Foundation Global Health Fellowship program, because its mission truly aligned with my passions and goals as a future pharmacist. This program will allow me to sharpen my advocacy skills and knowledge of global health issues, including the Sustainable Development Goals put forth by the United Nations.
– Clara-Jessica Rances
The ability to effect change and impact health on a global scale is empowering, whether it be through cutting-edge research, working in the industry or helping grassroots organizations fulfill their mission and vision. As a fellow, I hope to take with me a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I contributed to the success of a project and ultimately to the well-being of people in need.
– Rubaiyat Zinat
There is a greater need for health care providers to improve our understanding of the social determinants of health and actively engage in global health policy decisions to increase access to health care and medical resources worldwide. The advocacy webinars that accompanied this program highlighted the importance of our shared responsibility to promote public health, especially in the underserved communities lacking proper infrastructure and disease prevention strategies. It was an honor to serve as an inaugural global health fellow with top students from across the nation and to advocate for improving global health alongside grassroot engagement organizations.
– Morgan Carson