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Public Health Students Put Spotlight on Global Health for International Education Week

On Thursday, November 17th, students from the Department of Public Health in the College of Health and Human Services once again brought global health issues to the attention of the university community as part of International Education Week(IEW).

The event, The Bigger Picture: Public Health from Global Perspectives, gave international students from various public health disciplines the opportunity to share aspects of their culture and to teach about some of the major health issues in their countries. Volunteers hosted tables and developed materials highlighting health issues in such countries as Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Iran and the Philippines. Additionally, the students shared cultural artifacts, traditional outfits, and music to bring their message of global health to life.

The Bigger Picture was sponsored by the Department of Public Health and by the WKU student chapter of the Kentucky Public Health Association (KPHA). The event was planned, organized, and implemented by Zona J. Ascensio, MPH candidate and vice president of the Public Health Undergraduate-Graduate Associated Students (PHUGAS); Nadia Khan, MHA candidate and president of the Student Healthcare Association; and Umar Kabir, MPH candidate and PHUGAS president. All of the organizational efforts were greatly supported by Dr. Grace Lartey, Director of the Bachelors in Public Health program and member of the IEW Planning committee.  Ikbal Parveg, MS-EOHS candidate, assisted with the event’s planning as recruitment captain. Finally, Casey Cahill, MPH candidate and KPHA secretary, headed WellU®'s representation and supported the event in numerous ways.

Nadia Khan also managed Bangladesh’s representation at the event. When asked why she felt it was important to be present and demonstrate her culture to the campus community, she had this to say: “The fair was organized by the department as a way to help the rest of the university learn that we are not that different. We come from different places, yet we all thrive for the same thing. Highlighting our cultures and informing people about the public health scenarios in our respective countries is an excellent way to bridge any gap that exists among students on this campus and create a bond that will help everyone survive through these trying times.”

Since International Education Week happened to fall on Antibiotic Resistance Awareness Week, the CDC’s Get Smart about Antibiotics mascot also made an appearance to remind students that antibiotic resistance is a growing global issue. Dr. Marilyn Gardner, Graduate Director of the Master of Public Health Program, explains, “The WHO reports that antibiotic resistance is found in every country, and that new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally.  The inability to treat common infectious diseases is resulting in prolonged illness, disability, and even death.” MPH students, as part of their capstone project, have partnered with the Kentucky Department of Public Health to spread the word about antibiotic resistant infections and antibiotic misuse in our state. Check out their Facebook page to learn more.

The Department of Public Health appreciates all the representatives for their participation in The Bigger Picture and would like to acknowledge their efforts. Those who attended the event and represented their countries are as follows:


  1. India:

    •  Akshay Kumar Nuguri, MS-EOHS and India Leader

      • Volunteers: Mounica Reddy Chinthakindi, MS-EOHS; Divya Gadde, MS-EOHS; Harshitha Ponnala, MS-EOHS; Gurpreet Bhatia, MPH- Health Education; Vasantha Laxmi, MS- EOHS; and Curie Benson, MS-Computer Science


  1. Nigeria:

    • Umar Kabir, MPH-Environmental Health and Nigeria Leader

      • Volunteers: Temidayo Ogungbemi, MPH-Health Education; and Chiamaka Nwazojie, MPH-Environmental Health



  1. Bangladesh:

    • Nadia Kahn, MHA and Bangladesh representative 



  1. Taiwan:

    • Yu-Hsuan Chen, MPH- Health Education and Taiwan representative



  1. Iran:

    • Bahareh Amanishahrak, MPH-Health Education and Iran representative




  1. The Philippines:

    • Tracy Layug, BSPH- Health Education and Philippines representative




These students and all of our volunteers did a fantastic job! Their hard work and creativity really made this year’s event a success.


Contact: Zona J. Ascensio, MPH candidate and Vice President of the Public Health Undergraduate-Graduate Associated Students (




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 Last Modified 9/25/14