Alumni Spotlight: Hanan Rakine '19

Hanan Rakine is a winter 2019 graduate of the undergraduate Department of Public Health. Hear how her undergraduate experience in the program shaped her into the public health leader she is today. 

Why did you choose public health as a degree of study at Wayne State University?  

During my second mission trip to Nicaragua in 2016, I spent an extensive amount of time educating the community about the prevention of Diabetes and Hypertension. I also created a free two-day health clinic to address the inequalities systematically affecting the marginalized communities. After my two-week trip, I truly understood the meaning of public health and its true impact on the greater good. This experience led me to switch my major from biology to public health during my Sophomore year and I never looked back!  

What career or education path did you pursue after completing the program?  

After completing this program and graduating with a B.S. in Public Health with honors in winter 2019, I decided to take a gap year before beginning medical school to continue the projects I developed my undergraduate years. I am currently on the board of directors for initiating Detroit's Care Mobile, a mobile health clinic that will provide free ophthalmology and primary care services to underserved children in Detroit (squeals!!!). Additionally, I am continuing my leadership as the American Medical Student Association's (AMSA) Health Care for All Chair and RESULTS Fellow to fight for health equity and social justice in underrepresented and disadvantaged communities. 

How did the public health major prepare you for success after graduation? 

I can honestly say that my Public Health degree has prepared me tremendously after graduation. I have been able to effectively analyze and assess the needs in my community to innovate a model to eradicate these disparities. When creating the mobile clinic, conducting research at Michigan Medicine and leading my Health Care for All Campaign, I always reflect on the classes I took at WSU. They taught me to critically analyze my community, be a self-aware researcher, and always evolve with the idea of providing critical necessities for those around me. The underlying mission of the program has molded me into a strong leader in improving health care policies and creating projects to alleviate the burdens placed on marginalized communities.  

What advice would you give to current students to ensure they make the most out of their public health experience? 

Definitely stay involved with ongoing projects, but don't be scared to create your own! If you see a need in Detroit, get your hands dirty and become a grassroots organizer! Also, do not forget to build a close relationship with your professors and always ask what research they have going on! I often found myself talking to everyone around me because I became heavily invested in improving Detroit for the better and wanted to make the most out of my time there!