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OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY: MEET EDITH UBA
Name: Edith Uba
Degree & program: Master of Arts in Health Promotion
With a graduate degree from the United Kingdom and a bachelor's from her native Nigeria, Edith Uba brings a world of experience to her studies at Dal. Focused on improving health through advocacy, she studies youth involvement in the reduction of single-use plastics in her home country.
Can you describe a moment or experience at Dal that made you happy?
I have lots! Getting into a class where you don’t know anyone can be daunting. Fortunately, I felt so welcome by all of my classmates. I was also delighted that there was one other African student—also from Nigeria! Schooling has been quite strenuous, so I also cherish the moments that I get good feedback from my lecturers. I experienced an especially big dopamine rush after successfully passing my pre-defence. These, among many other moments are experiences I will never forget.
Why did you choose Dalhousie?
My family loves education. My father always wants to see his children achieve their dreams, however they want to. I was looking for a university with a research program and a good reputation and Dalhousie is one of the best universities in terms of research. I also appreciated the process of enrolment. I was connected with many resources from the outset like the Writing Centre, members of the local Black community, and financial support from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
I felt really well received at Dalhousie with regards to my culture and my race. It was also the first time that I was able to have a smooth immigration and student visa process. Generally, I was happy that I was given resources, materials, and connections that I needed to forge ahead with my life and career.
If you are writing a thesis, what is your research about?
I just rounded up my research study on plastic pollution of Nigeria and the level of engagement youths should have in reducing plastic pollution. Since youths are the future, they are active actors on our environment. They are inheriting the Earth. When you give children this information, and teach them about what our environment holds for us and how it can be more conducive for the next generation, it can inspire a reduction in plastic pollution. I’m also studying whether green alternatives that can decompose could be beneficial to this cause and how it can generate income via recycling and upcycling.
What makes Halifax feel like home? What do you like best about the city?
I very much do miss my parents and country however Halifax feels like home enough that I often ask myself “Why go back to Nigeria?” I love the way of life, the constancy of the lights, the safety and security, the spots that allow you to feel and appreciate nature and that help and resources are accessible by anyone. I love the waterfront and Citadel Hill, both of which I can see from my apartment! I also love how walkable Halifax is.
I have built strong roots here in part by working as a community residential worker at Metro Community Living. In turn, I feel both moral and financial support reflected back on me through my network in Canada.
What advice would you give to future international students from your country?
I have felt that Dalhousie is a home for all and did not feel like an outsider. Dalhousie was a place where I felt support to achieve my goals both small and large.
If you’ve needed it, where at Dalhousie have you found support?
I was grateful for the Faculty of Graduate Studies newsletter which always highlighted various opportunities. Financially, it was worth it for me to attend Dalhousie because with all of this support, I was able to focus on my studies.
Being from Nigeria, the Black Student Advising Centre (BSAC) and my friends made me feel at home. It was fun, I was able to network with other students, staff, and faculty from African and of African descent, and I was even able to eat jollof rice! Mrs. Ronke Taiwo from BSAC was always the first person I knew I could run to if I needed anything.
I was also very thankful to get support from the International Centre, who helped me when I was in the process of finding accommodation, tax filing, and provided immigration workshops.
Finally, I would like to shout out my supervisor Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan, and my research committee members Dr. Rita Orji and Dr. Ingrid Waldron (also my lecturer). I would also like to shout out Dr. Daniel Stevens (my lecturer/TA instructor) and Dr. Lois Jackson (my lecturer) all whom were extremely helpful, taught me how to critique things analytically, and were always there when I needed them.
What services at Dalhousie have you found useful?
Academically, I really appreciated the help I got from the Writing Centre. I would like to thank Aidan Hayes for his skill and care in supporting me.
In planning my career, I enjoyed attending a LinkedIn workshop with Natasha Breward from the Pulse Health Innovation Sandbox. It is now clear to me how to navigate my online presence to get into the job market.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I am working toward an interdisciplinary healthcare career. I will be applying to nursing school (preferably Dalhousie) because I am interested in clinical services. I would like to bridge my Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, my Master’s of Public Health, and my forthcoming Master’s in Health promotion and cap it off with nursing to bring public health field work and clinical work together.
Tell us something about yourself that readers might find surprising?
People usually think I am shy but really I am quite happy and energetic! I like to think outside of the box and enjoy being crafty. I come from a community (Nnewi-Anambra state) in Nigeria that is very business-forward. I plan to use craft work to advocate and promote public health. I would like to use proceeds from selling this work to create scholarships for students.
Find Edith on social media:
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