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Diba Seddighi

Title of Program: Global Health with an Emphasis on Migrant and Refugee Populations

E-mail Address:

Hometown: Farragut, Tennessee

Year: Sophomore

Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2023

Description of Program: My program is designed to study and analyze the social factors that perpetuate the disproportionate health outcomes of migrant and refugee populations around the world. In order to build an interdisciplinary understanding of migrant health disparities, my program studies the foundations of public health policy; the political, social, and economic determinants of health; and the Spanish Language and Latin American culture. This program of studies allows me to form a critical foundation in both the medical sciences and the humanities, which will prepare me to serve and advocate for migrant and refugee communities while providing culturally sensitive care.

Departmental Emphases: Public Health, Sociology, Hispanic Studies, Anthropology, and Global Studies

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Laurie Meschke

Plans after graduation (career, graduate/professional school, etc.): Immediately following graduation, I hope to pursue a Fulbright scholarship to conduct Public Health research in a Spanish-speaking country. Following this, I plan to attend medical school and receive a dual MD-MPH degree. I aspire to work to directly alleviate the immediate medical concerns of migrant and refugee populations as a physician, while simultaneously taking strides to address the social determinants of health inequities as a public health professional. Ultimately, I plan to work with an international medical humanitarian organization, such as Doctors Without Borders, to provide impartial medical relief to victims of war, disease, and disaster.

Other Academic Interests: Philosophy, Child and Family Studies, Globalization, and Political Science

Study Abroad: I plan to study abroad during spring semester of 2021 in Oaxaca, Mexico through the SIT study abroad program. This program highlights the realities and human impacts of undocumented migration, border enforcement, and the related social tensions. I also hope to study abroad in the UK during the summer of 2021 through the Fulbright UK Summer Institutes in order to obtain a comparative understanding of different healthcare systems and their effects on community health.

Research Experiences or Internships: As an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Department of Public Health under Dr. Meschke, I am working to develop recruitment presentations, community engagement events, and training procedures for Youth HOPE, helping at-risk youth develop and implement strategies to address Opioid Use Disorder. I also plan work a summer-long internship at the World Health Organization in 2021.

Part-time employment; Hobbies; Campus Clubs/Activities: On campus, I am a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program and a Student Assistant at the International House. I also volunteer with Remote Area Medical, Centro Hispano, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. I love to read, cook, travel, and paint.

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