A Seattleite takes on the Midwest!


      Have you ever had that feeling that you are exactly where you are suppose to be? After 3 weeks of being a graduate student at University of Michigan School of Public Health, I can say I have truly made the right decision!

      My name is Selam, a first year student in the Health Behavior and Health Education(HBHE) program.  I completed my undergraduate degree in Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. I worked for about 3 years before starting my MPH. I am very excited to share my experiences at the school and about life in Ann Arbor with prospective students and the Umich community.

     Michigan is not completely new to me. I moved to Detroit after graduating from college and worked as a community organizer for an interfaith advocacy program. To be honest I did not think I would like living in the Midwest, I am originally from Ethiopia and have been a Seattleite since I was a teenager-both of these places have mild weather. I was pleasantly surprised! Detroit won my heart; my neighbors were welcoming, the coffee shops and restaurants I frequented knew my friends and I by name and I went to more art shows than ever in my life. Though the first couple of months of winter were rough, I finally got snow boots and some really heavy jackets and acted like a local.

      It was through my work that I was first introduced to the University of Michigan.  I meet Amy Schulz, a HBHE professor who conducts Community Based Participatory Research in Detroit.  I was very impressed to see a university professor with that level of community partnership.  That initiated my interest in the school. When I left the state of Michigan, I knew I would be back. Sure enough here I am!

      I can’t wait for all the adventures of these next two years, and I will be sure to write regularly to keep you posted.  Please ask me any questions; I will do my best to answer them.

Peace, Selam

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