Meet Our Students

Activists. Researchers. Clinicians. Policymakers. Leaders. You’ll find them all — and more — at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Literally the week after I completed my thesis, I started a new leadership position with FHI Clinical, a company branching out of the FHI 360 family. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.”

Laura Dugom

Read on to meet just a few of our talented students and learn more about their experiences, achievements and goals.

Askia Dunnon, MD

Leading Systemic Change in Clinical Settings

Askia Dunnon, a trained physician, often considers the systems that shape his patients’ health. He knows his clinical training is just a piece of the puzzle — and that an MPH will give him the leadership skills and interdisciplinary perspective he needs to provide comprehensive care.

Hear Askia’s story.

Meena Gopal

Striving for Sustainable Change Through Policy

After studying neurology, physiology and social work as an undergraduate, Meena Gopal participated in several public health outreach initiatives. She decided to earn an MPH when she realized the need for systems-level change, including stronger policies and more effective implementation practices.

Hear Meena’s story.

Anna Feld

Preventing Disease Through Nutrition

Anna Feld is a pediatric dietitian who works closely with physicians, social workers and other interdisciplinary professionals on a daily basis. An MPH will hone her skills in nutrition communications, broadening her impact within and beyond clinical settings.

Hear Anna’s story.

Jeannie Hong, PharmD

Helping Vulnerable Populations Achieve Health

As a rheumatology specialty pharmacist with the Indian Health Service and a Commissioned Corps officer with the U.S. Public Health Service, Jeannie Hong serves some of the most vulnerable communities in the country. An MPH will help her build a powerful skill set and explore disciplines like epidemiology.

Read Jeannie’s story.

Victoria Oropello

Improving Mental Health for Inmates

Victoria Oropello, the director of forensic science for a Raleigh-based detention center, has almost 20 years of experience in the mental health field. An MPH will give her the advocacy skills she needs to make a difference for patients and clinicians at national and global levels.

Read Victoria’s story.

Courtney Peragallo

Improving Public Health in Marginalized Communities

Through academic study and hands-on service, Courtney Peragallo started laying the groundwork for her public health career as an undergraduate student. She knew an MPH would prepare her to solve systems-level challenges, such as the serious health disparities faced by migrant farmworkers.

Read Courtney’s story.

Laura Dugom

Leading the Way to a Better Future in Health

Earning an MPH gave Laura Dugom the confidence and skills she needed to pursue a leadership role with FHI Clinical, a nonprofit human development organization. With the online program, Dugom was able to align her education with her professional goals and meet other passionate practitioners, all without relocating.

Read Laura’s story.

Makala Carrington

Exploring the Intersection of Health and Culture

Makala Carrington, a graduate research assistant at the Gillings School, has dedicated her career to increasing equity and access — not just for the populations she serves but within the public health profession, too. Earning an MPH will help her parlay her natural leadership skills into lifelong action and change.

Read Makala’s story.

Grace Lee

Improving Health Equity for Underserved Populations

Grace Lee had every intention of pursuing medical school after earning an undergraduate degree. After spending time on a hospital floor working as a research assistant, she realized just how many variables contribute to the health of individuals and entire communities. She was eager to make a bigger impact through a career in public health.

Read Grace’s story.

Jenna Nazario

Advocating for Herself and Her Community

Throughout her 13 years as a dental hygienist, Jenna Nazario always had bigger plans to help her community. During her MPH@UNC practicum, she fought for an internship with the Rockland County Human Rights Commission, which turned into a permanent role and a new career path.

Read Jenna’s story.

Divya Venkataganesan

Creating Systems-Level Support for Older Adults

After seeing how falls can have a devastating impact on the health of older adults, Divya Venkataganesan decided to pursue her MPH so she could design health interventions at a population level.

Read Divya’s story.

Patrick Zeoli

Adapting to Change and Finding Support

Patrick Zeoli had always intended to pursue an MPH degree to combine his two passions: food and health. His plans for a residential graduate experience, however, changed when COVID-19 arrived.

Read Patrick’s story.

Are You Ready to Become a Changemaker?

Learn more about how an online MPH from the UNC Gillings School can help you launch or advance your career in public health.

I’m Ready