Growing up in New York with a father who is an oncologist, Sapha Hassan saw firsthand the impact the health field had on those in need.
She wanted to be a part of that.
“It sounds generic, but I want to help people,” said Sapha, who is pursuing her master’s degree in public health.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in biomolecular science from the University of Michigan, she began looking at the best option for the next step in her career.
“I was set on med-school,” she said. “But I wanted to look at a master’s program while I considered that.”
After doing some research, she found a master’s degree in public health would give her versatility in whatever she wanted to accomplish. The only question was where she would earn it.
“I wanted to see where I would get the most for my money,” she said.
Looking at CMU, she saw opportunities to conduct research alongside her faculty, a flexible program that gave her a “taste of everything” and a department centered around the students.
“If you come to this program you will get the most out of your education because the faculty are willing to help you,” Sapha said. “And the M.P.H. program is really flexible. Whatever I want to do, it will be helpful with that.”
She’s also taken advantage of the opportunities CMU’s program offers. She has joined Shayesteh Jahanfar, an assistant professor in the School of Health Sciences, in researching national birth data to study the association between mothers diagnosed with pregnancy hypertension and infant birth weight.
Sapha also teaches four undergraduate health science labs in CMU’s health administration program.
In the end, she said her choice to earn her M.P.H. at CMU gives her the best opportunity for success in the field.
“You can really focus on developing yourself and your own interests,” she said.
Sapha works as a medical scribe for a Mount Pleasant physician.
Her father and brother are both doctors.
Sapha tutors community college and high school students in her free time.