New MPH Grad: 'As I Celebrate My Graduation, My Heart is Filled with So Much Gratitude'
As Damilola Egbewole ’23 MPH reflects on her time as a Charger, she is thankful for the opportunity to pursue internships, conduct fascinating and impactful research, and share her work with the University community that has offered her so much support.
May 11, 2023
By Damilola Egbewole ’23 MPH
As a graduate student in public health, I was excited to present my research on the carriage (the condition of harboring a pathogen within the body) of Streptococcus pneumoniae among children in daycare centers as part of the University's annual graduate student showcase. The experience was both exciting and nerve-wracking, as I had looked forward to being selected and having the opportunity to participate since my first year at the University.
The research was conducted during my internship at the Yale School of Public Health, where I got the opportunity to work with great minds and professors on the SalivaDirect team, which was highly instrumental to my learning. The research entailed using saliva samples collected from healthy and asymptomatic children in daycare centers in the Greater New Haven area and analyzing the samples for the presence of S. pneumoniae.
Patterns and trends observed in the analysis helped to draw conclusions about the prevalence of the bacterium among healthy children and how carriage rates are affected by social interaction with other children. As a dentist, I found that one of the things that excited me about the research was the use of saliva instead of the conventional nasal swabs, which provides a more comfortable, cost-effective, and scalable testing option.
As I celebrate my graduation, my heart is filled with so much gratitude. I'm thankful for all the knowledge I've gained over my time at the University of New Haven, my awesome professors, friends, lifetime relationships, and all associations I have been a part of. I have had so many memorable moments that I will not forget.