Connect with a Current Undergrad

Do you have questions about  being a student in the School of Public Health and Health Professions is like? Connect with a student ambassador who can tell you about more about SPHHP and its academic programs.

Become an ambassador for the public health program!

Are you interested in becoming an Undergraduate Public Health Ambassador for the 2024-25 academic year? Apply today!

2023-2024 Public Health Ambassadors

Daniel Fakayode.

Daniel Fakayode

Hey everyone! My name is Daniel, and I am currently a senior majoring in public health. When I first enrolled at UB, I was a pharmacy student in our 4+2 PharmD program. After spending a year within that focus, I realized that it wasn’t something that I found interest in. I thought engineering might be a good route for me, so I changed sophomore year to computer science. Again, I quickly realized that that wasn’t for me either. Over the summer, I did a lot of research on the majors that UB had to offer that aligned with what I had interest in. Finally, I came across public health. I read the bio on it and did a lot of research and watched many YouTube videos on what exactly public health was, and how I can use it to make an impact.

My aspirations currently are to go into the master’s program with a concentration in healthcare administration and reach the level of being a hospital administrator. Outside of my academic lifestyle, I work as a representative at our Office of Admissions, participate in research in the Nutrition and Health Research Laboratory, and I love to play video games on my PlayStation. Don’t ever hesitate to click the contact information below to ask me questions! 

Aria Grisham.

Aria Grisham

Hi, I'm Aria! I'm a sophomore in the honors college majoring in public health with a minor in German. I have always loved public health. When I was ten years old, I decided firmly that I would one day be an epidemiologist, and, after all of these years, that dream has held true! After graduating, I plan to get my MS in epidemiology, and I would like to eventually work in infectious disease research. Outside of schoolwork, I am the secretary of Rotaract, secretary of the Public Health Club, and I also volunteer at the Tool Library. I am currently aiming to graduate early, which has led me to gain a lot of knowledge about the BS in public health program, and I'm also very involved in activities outside of my degree, so I'm always available to chat about the BS program, time management, or how to get involved with other opportunities within SPHHP!

Cameron Kiner.

Cameron Kiner

Hello! My name is Cameron, and I am currently a junior in the Honors College studying public health. I plan to apply for the combined 3+2 Public Health degree program in the summer of 2024. I began at UB in fall 2022 seeking a different degree but after disliking some of my classes, I decided to change majors to try something different. I made the switch to public health because I found a lot of the topics to be interesting, and I quickly fell in love with the program after taking my first few classes. I have a fascination for the policy side of healthcare, which public health places a large focus on.

My plan is to pursue a career in government where I can use my knowledge of public health to make changes in our healthcare system. Outside of class, I’m a proud member and peer mentor for Leadership House. I also stay involved with SA and RHA, as well as being an active member of Aces Tennis. Outside of UB, I work for the New York State Assembly as a staffer and sing in the group Lock City Sound as a tenor! I’m always willing to talk to students and answer any questions you may have about public health or beyond!

Nathali headshot.

Nathalie Lopez

Hi! I'm Nathalie and I'm currently a junior in the Honors College studying public health. I decided to major in public health back in 2021 on a whim, and grew to love the field and everything it entails. So far I've learned so much about what health looks like in different communities and the factors that contribute, especially appreciating the strengths in each of those communities! I plan on applying to the 3+2 MPH program by the end of the school year in hopes of being able to expand my knowledge and passion for the field. I've grown to have a great interest in harm reduction and the importance it plays in community health and have planned to take classes in the fall about the topic.

Outside of academics, I love to spend time with friends and my cat and explore new places in Buffalo since I'm from New York City. I'm here as a resource and to help with any questions or concerns you may have about the school of public health, UB, or life in general!

Fatima Makama headshot.

Fatima Makama

Hi, I'm Fatima! I am a junior in the honors college majoring in public health with minors in biological sciences and English. I'm incredibly passionate about public health, with specific interests in women's health, sexual and domestic violence prevention, reproductive justice, and storytelling. My plan is to pursue an MD/MPH and build a career that combines both medicine and public health. Outside of schoolwork, I am a research assistant at the Maternal and Child Health Lab, researching the effects of pulse consumption on pregnancy and child outcomes. In addition, I am the Vice President of Islamic Relief Buffalo, Vice President of the Medicine through Literature Book Club, and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Buffalo. I also volunteer my time at Justice for Migrant Families through the phone line, and at the YWCA of Niagara Frontier as a Volunteer Advocate.

If you ever have any questions regarding resources and opportunities in relation to the Public Health program at UB, please let me know, as I'd be happy to help!

Saffa headshot.

Saffa Shaikh

Hi, I'm Saffa! I'm currently a senior majoring in public health. I initially began my journey at UB as a biomedical sciences major. However, I found it wasn't something that spiked my curiosity. Soon after, the COVID-19 crisis hit, which led me to explore the field of public health in more depth. Since, I have been very curious about public health and the vast impact it can pose on the people. After completing my undergraduate degree at UB, I am aiming to get direct enrollment into a PhD program for epidemiology. I am eager to explore the field of public health and, more specifically, areas of disease control. I can relate to the hindrances that one may encounter through the process of finding what's right for you, and I am here to help anyone who may have any questions or concerns regarding this. Don't hesitate to contact me through any of the platforms below. Looking forward to connecting with you. 

Shadine Stoney headshot.

Shadine Stoney

Greetings! My name is Shadine, and I am a junior currently majoring in public health. I enrolled in UB in 2021, and, needless to say, my college experience has been quite a roller coaster of unexpected twists and turns. Initially, I was majoring in biochemistry, but after feeling disconnected from my classes, I switched my major to global affairs since I had a burgeoning interest in international politics. Then, after reassessing my career goals, I decided that I should switch to public health because, to me, it is the perfect mix between physical science and social science. I believe that my past struggles and achievements at UB have helped to build me as a person--socially, academically and professionally. I want this ambassadorship to give me the opportunity to truly connect with other students that are interested in public health and want to learn more about the growing field, unsure about their goals or future, or students that would like to gain insight on working within our School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) department on campus. So, if you have any burning questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to me as I am always open and available to chat!

Ian Wong.

Ian Wong

I am currently a junior majoring in public health in the honors college. I switched to the public health major during my freshman year due to my freshman seminar (PUB 199). This class opened my eyes and fascinated me in the field of public health and the operations on world populations that occur behind the scenes that people are rarely aware of. I aspire to contribute to this grand cause of improving the health of the public through the field of epidemiology. I am preparing to apply to the 3+2 MPH program here at UB by the end of the 2022-2023 academic year to then work towards a PhD in epidemiology so I may gain as many connections and as much knowledge as I can to hopefully influence the public health community to further improve the world and its health. I am eager to spread the importance of public health especially as this field has gained more publicity in recent years due to the rise of COVID. In experiencing the hindrances that this pandemic invokes first-hand, I understand and relate to how frustrating and difficult the process of searching for opportunities and reaching out to others for advice is. I hope to alleviate some stress for upcoming undergraduates by providing as much information and helpful resources as possible in regards to the school of public health alongside the undergraduate experience itself.

2023-2024 Exercise Science Ambassadors

Mia Hogan.

Mia Hogan

Hi, I’m Mia! I am currently a senior in the exercise science program with a concentration in pre-physical therapy. After I obtain my degree, I plan to attend a DPT program. I must admit that my academic journey has had its fair share of bumps along the way. After enrolling at UB, I initially began as an exploratory major, uncertain about my future career path. I later switched to biological sciences in hopes of finding an interest, but quickly realized that it wasn't the right fit for me. As I explored various fields that intrigued me, I stumbled upon the profession of physical therapy. While uncertain about its suitability for me, I recognized the need for a change in my education. I took a leap and switched to exercise science within the middle of my sophomore year and immediately fell in love with the coursework. My fascination with the human body's response to physical activity has become a driving force in my educational career, motivating me to explore its complex dynamics. This passion has greatly contributed to my commitment of pursuing a career as a physical therapist, with the aspiration of positively influencing people's overall health and wellness.

Beyond my academic commitments, I volunteer as a coach for Girls on the Run and try to exercise with any time my schedule allows. I also hold a part-time job to meet my monthly living expenses. I can certainly empathize with challenges of discovering the right path for yourself, while striving to maintain balance between work and academics. If you have any questions regarding the program, learning opportunities, or life in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m always happy to help. 

Chris Kolodziejski.

Chris Kolodziejski

Hi, my name is Chris, and I am currently a senior majoring in exercise science! My original goal was to pursue physical therapy however, after shadowing and working in a clinic I realized it wasn’t for me and I wanted to go a separate direction. After reassessing my goals and shadowing different career fields, I am planning on pursuing a career in medicine and my goal is to go to medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. I feel that in medicine, you have the opportunity to impact people’s lives in a positive way and help someone achieve the best possible health outcome using your skills and knowledge something that is very important to me. Outside of school, I have many interests including going to the gym, fishing, and hanging out with my friends and working on my fishing lure company. If you have any questions about UB, Exercise Science or anything in general please feel free to reach out, I look forward to talking to you!

Michael Marciano.

Michael Marciano

Hello everyone! My name is Michael, and I am currently a third year exercise science student with a concentration in pre-physical therapy. After volunteering in the middle east for two months, I found passion in the concept of “helping someone, help themselves”. With my love for the sciences and this newfound passion, there couldn't have been a better match than a career in the rehabilitation sciences. I chose the 4+3 route instead of the 3+3 as I am looking to earn a BS in exercise science with plans to pursue a DPT straight after. This fourth year will also provide extra time to become more acquainted with the greater Buffalo community through the ES internship. One of my career goals is to start my own out-patient physical therapy clinic. The prevalence of behavior related diseases in the United States are more evident than ever which has put emphasis on preventative care and rehabilitation sciences. Physical therapy has been a driving motivational factor in my studies because of this American epidemic.

Outside of academics, I hold a position as head of social chair for the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity where I coordinate social events spanning from volunteer work within the community to inter relations between other Greek life organizations. I have two adorable dogs who constantly love to play, and I enjoy an active lifestyle via the gym and tennis. If you ever have any questions regarding the exercise science program at UB, please reach out, as I’d be more than happy to help!

Nayab Mesfun.

Nayab Mesfun

Hey y'all! My name is Nayab Mesfun and I am a senior exercise science major with a concentration in pre-health professions here at UB! After graduation this upcoming May, I plan on pursuing a career as a PA (physician's assistant) and attending and applying for PA school, after a gap year in which I plan to work and accumulate clinical hours. I am a first-generation American and college student and enjoy movies, music, and traveling. I have a passion for helping others, fueling my desire to be a PA, and through exercise science at UB I have been able to fulfill my passions and ambitions through my participation and involvement in the various clubs and organizations offered here. I have held numerous E-Board positions on MAPS (the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students), Exercise Science Club, and RHA (Resident Hall Association) and love advocating for and supporting minority students and students of color like myself. I have experience with dorming, working while in school, living on and off campus, being in clubs and on E-Boards, changing majors, being a first-generation college student and immigrant, and more so please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have because I would be more than happy to offer any advice or share any experiences I may have! Good luck in your studies and hope to see you around! 

Alexia Ruiz.

Alexia Ruiz

Hi everyone! My name is Alexia, and I am a senior majoring in exercise science with a minor in nutrition. I switched to exercise science in my sophomore year because I fell in love with the gym and working out. Once I made the switch I quickly realized I had found my home. The courses that the exercise science program offers kept my attention in the classroom and made my love for exercise grow even stronger. I found that I enjoy learning about human anatomy and how the body performs exercises. After I graduate, I plan to go for my masters in athletic training. My end goal is to become an athletic trainer for a Division I college in the south. I found my passion for athletic training through UB athletics. I had the amazing opportunity to work with the UB football team, and thanks to the amazing sports medicine staff here at UB, I found my future career. I am very excited to start this role as an exercise science ambassador! I am always open to talk about any of the experiences I have had here at UB so feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat!