Yosita Thanjai '22 is a Master of Public Health (MPH) student from Madison, New Hampshire. She received her undergradute degree in Women's and Gender Studies from the University of New Hampshire.
How would you explain your discipline and/or research to those unfamiliar with the subject?
Public health is extremely broad but I think that is the beauty of this field. It is unique because I can combine multiple subjects, for example, environmental health and social justice, and still be able to study those in the public health program. To boil it down, though, it is simply a practice designed to educate everyone on how to improve the health of the general population.
Have you learned/discovered anything during your experience at UNH that’s surprised you? If so, what?
In the beginning of my undergrad career, I came to UNH having a very specific goal in mind. That goal, however, quickly changed in the middle of my sophomore year. I was fortunate enough to have the Health Management and Policy faculty and professors helped me discover my passion in health care. This surprised me because the UNH HMP were willing and very open to help me when I was not even a student in their department. I am forever grateful for the connections and people that I have met there.
What do you consider your biggest challenge?
I would say navigating post-undergraduate life while trying to find the balance of self-care and work during a global pandemic has been quite the challenge, that I have yet overcome.
What motivates you?
I would say my mom, because she never had a chance to go to college when she was younger. She came to the United States at the age of 41 with my brother and I. She had very little knowledge of English but that did not stop her from learning and eventually becoming a NH licensed massage therapist. To have watched her as an example when I was growing up, it motivates me every day to do my best.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of myself that I'm able to manage working full time and going to graduate school during a global pandemic! Never have I ever thought I'd be going to school online, let alone getting my master's degree.
Why did you choose UNH?
I chose UNH because the MPH program gives me the flexibility to enter the workforce while attending school and learning the needed skills in the public health industry. I am able to gain both knowledge and experience while in the program.
What do you plan to do with your degree?
I plan to become an epidemiologist, working at a health care organization in New Hampshire or Massachusetts.