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Student Spotlight

My name is Elijah Ogunkoya and I am in my second year of the MPH program at DePaul University. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and Chicago, Illinois. I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign for my undergraduate studies in Community Health.

For my practicum, I am working at Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI), and helping with their ongoing projects. SUHI uses epidemiology to evaluate health disparities in Chicago. Their expertise earned them the reputation as trusted community partners and leaders in health assessment work.

 I currently work at Northwestern University in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery as the clinical trials coordinator. My responsibilities include coordinating all phases of the clinical trials from study start-up to closure and communicating with physicians to ensure all study-related activities are compliant with the protocol, institution guidelines and federal regulations.


Why Did You Choose DePaul?

My wife earned her Master’s of Journalism degree from DePaul and raved about her experience. I also knew several graduates in the MPH program who echoed immense sentiments about the program. The DePaul MPH program was ideal for me due to the opportunity to be a part of the first Social Epidemiology concentration cohort, the curriculum, affordability, faculty background and interests, and flexible schedule. The program mission aligns with my public health and professional interest using methodological advances in epidemiology, biostatistics, and data science to advance public health.​

What Do You Enjoy Most About the DePaul MPH Program?

I enjoy the in-class discussions I have with my classmates and professors. The skills I learned in class enabled me to conduct statistical analysis in my position at Northwestern. The opportunity to learn from a diverse group of classmates and faculty has deepened my desire to look for patterns and causes for health issues in underrepresented populations in the United States. Before the program, I understood that health disparities and inequities occurred in the many cities like Chicago, but the program has taught me how to quantify what exposures or variables are the causes of the outcome in the communities.​