Student standing in hallway looking at camera
Political Science
Public Health

Where are you from? 

I was born and raised in Mililani, Hawaii.

Why are you interested in political science and public health as your fields of interest?

I am interested in both political science and public health because I wanted to pursue a career primarily in public health and open the door to conducting work abroad in developing countries. During my high school years, I lived in Kenya and while I was there I got to see international public health initiatives, which really caught my interest. Because of this experience, I would like to spend a portion of my career back in East Africa working on public health initiatives. 

What has been your experience as a student of both the College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College?

As a student in both the Honors College and the College of Liberal Arts, my experience has been wonderful. I find that some of my favorite classes at OSU have been international affairs courses, as I get to learn not only how the governance and communities in other nations work, but how they interact with each other and our own. As for the Honors College, I’ve taken many colloquies on subjects I had no prior knowledge in and always found them to be fun and engaging.

Have you started your honors thesis? If yes, what’s the topic and/or focus of your research? If not, are you considering any ideas so far?

Although I have not started my thesis yet, I have a thesis mentor and a brief idea on what I want to focus on. Last year, I read the book Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Path to Peace by David Blattman, which was an interesting read and an optimistic take on conflict. Although it seems like the world is constantly fighting, Blattman reminds us that violence is the exception to the rule, and for every act of violence that happens there are countless other situations where we choose peace. For my honors thesis, I would like to apply the framework of Blattman’s teachings to either a recent or current conflict, and break down the many how and why peace “failed” according to the book. 

What have been some of your favorite classes taken?

PS 342: Politics of Corruption - After living in Kenya and hearing about their history of corruption scandals, I was interested in this course so that I could draw connections between actual cases and the theory behind corruption. Through this course, I was able to further my understanding of Kenyan corruption scandals through writing papers on the Goldenberg Scandal, where the equivalent of 600 million to 1.5 billion US dollars disappeared into the pockets of the political elite under the guise of gold export subsidies. 

H 425: Foundations in Epidemiology - H425 was an interesting course for me as it directly relates to my career goal of becoming an epidemiologist. I was also impressed at the accessibility of the course, because the instructor had grown tired of traditional textbook options for the subject so decided to create one themselves, making it open access and free for all students.

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I hope to go to med school with the goal of being accepted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service, which is an applied epidemiology training program with the CDC. I plan to use this to establish a career in the CDC working in the field of public health, responding to domestic as well as global disease outbreaks. 

How do you feel that your experience in CLA and HC is setting you up for success?

I personally feel like my experience in the CLA and HC has been beneficial in giving me a unique perspective and path that will help me in my applications to med school. The Honors College degree and experience with my thesis will come in handy, and my experience in the CLA has equipped me with qualitative skills and experience that may be seen as useful.