Prepared for public health

Mafo Yakubu '09

Graduate student
Yale, New Haven, Conn.
Major: biology

A passion for math 
In a calculus class for biology majors, Mafo Yakubu, 09 from Abuja, Nigeria, was challenged by  Dr. Donald Hooley. "I remember him asking me why I was a biology major when I seemed to love math," said Mafo. "That lead to a conversation about Mafo Yakubuepidemiology (the branch of  medicine that deals with the study of the causes, distribution and control of disease in populations) and that changed my mindset of what I wanted to do with my life." During her senior year at Bluffton, she was accepted into Yale's School  of Public Health s graduate program.

International Connection  
At Bluffton, Mafo served as a  science tutor, participated in the worship band and was active  in ICon (International Connection), a student organization with an emphasis on building friendships and sharing  experiences among students from all cultural and ethnic  backgrounds, where she served as treasurer and president.  "The Public Health School at Yale is very diverse and my  experiences with ICon prepared me for the interactions I have every day with my classmates."

Prepared for life  
It was her work in the classroom at Bluffton that Mafo feels really prepared her for life at Yale. "The school work at Bluffton is intense and my courses prepared me very well for what I am doing at Yale," she said. "Dr. Todd Rainey, my advisor, encouraged me to pursue a graduate program that would prepare me to reach my goals."

Making a difference  
Mafo's goals for her future became clearer after returning home to Nigeria for two summers. "I went home and volunteered in a hospital in my area. Coming home to see the disparity in the hospital was hard for me but it helped me stayed focused," she said. "In my country, the burden of disease affects large amounts of the populations. I want to get a Ph.D. in infectious diseases or go to medical school and then I want to go home and make a difference. "