Ashiye Aator, MPH

Boston University School of Public Health
Health Policy/Global Health

What inspired you to study public health?

I am first generation Nigerian-American, so hearing that my aunts and uncles did not want to go to the doctor when they were sick was very strange to me. Growing up in the USA, my mom was a teacher, so we always had good insurance and getting treated for anything was never an issue. When I was in college I took my first Public Policy class and instantly fell in-love. The summer between my junior and senior year of college I spent time with my Uncle who works for the Nigerian National Population Commission and he showed me statistics concerning the overall health of the Nigerian population and they were lower than I was expecting them to be in the 20th Century. Going into my senior year, I looked into the different types of Public Policy and discovered Public Health. I started considering Master’s programs and the classes offered and the topics covered and I instantly fell in love.

What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?

My most rewarding experience is being taught by so many professors who are experts in the field of Public Health.

What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were starting out in public health?

Keep your mind and heart open, you may go in with your mind set on a particular concentration, but you could become interested in and fall in love with something completely different. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone!

What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?

The biggest challenge public health should be focusing on is teaching students how to properly interact and assist communities of color.