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Dr Robert Edinger with Son David


MPH Public, Community, and Behavioral Health

It was difficult not to be aware early in life of deficiencies in health provision, unequal availability of health services and to endemic disease, such as cholera, and especially affecting the rural population, in my home country of Rwanda. From an early age, it had been my hope to do something about the situation that I witnessed around me but I was unsure how I might achieve this. My interest in public health, as a particular field of study and practice that would enable me to ‘make a difference’, came when I was in sixth grade when we were made aware of the World Health Organization’s Millennium Development Goals. It occurred to me then that this was a discipline which would equip me to make a real difference involving, as it does, health education, disease prevention and the study of inequalities in healthcare.

My objective in making this application is to acquire the highest level of skills and knowledge in my chosen area of study and particularly in Community and Behavioral Health to enable me to return to my home country and assist in improving the health of rural families. Ultimately my ambition is to found an NGO to advance public health of rural populations in Rwanda and surrounding countries and also to pass on my passion and knowledge to a new generation of Public Health specialists by teaching.

In my undergraduate studies, I have acquired knowledge that has developed my understanding of public health issues. Being a double major student in Pre-Professional Biology and Environmental studies has provided me with insights on how humans relate to their environments and the consequences of such interaction. You will note that my GPA score is exceptional and will provide an assurance of my potential to excel within the program. In addition to relevant academic studies, I have also sought opportunities that would allow me experience what public health means in the real world. As you will observe, from my CV, I have significant experience as a volunteer and intern in activities relating to health and to the disadvantaged, both here and in Rwanda. During my Rwandan internship, I learned a great deal about the deficiencies in the system and the challenges faced by healthcare providers in the face of scarcity of resources which, I believe, will be of significant relevance in my future studies and work.

I believe that exposure to ‘real life’ situations are vital to those studying this specialty to ensure that real people with real problems do not become mere ‘budgetary units’ or statistical data in the minds of those who have responsibility for improving the lives of real people. It is my intention to seek such ‘real world’ exposure throughout my future studies and career to ensure that I retain my focus on the underlying ‘why’ of my studies and work.

I am particularly interested in research relating to the control of infectious diseases most prevalent in the developing world. I am aware of the success of several countries in the control of Ebola and would be interested to establishing and comparing how this success was achieved in different countries and how ‘best practice’ might be replicated in the case of other diseases and in the case of other countries. Cancer prevention and the relationship between literacy and health are also areas in which I have an interest and in which I would be interested in assisting research.

In addition to my undergraduate science studies, I have undertaken courses in sociology and psychology which I believe is highly relevant to the program and my future work. I have also taken math courses such as discrete math, algebra, statistics and calculus which have developed my logical thinking and will assist me in the application of statistical methods in research.

I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people from many social and ethnic backgrounds and relate well to others. I enjoy sharing information about my own culture and learning about others. I speak two African languages; I also speak French and English and have a basic understanding of Spanish, which I intend to improve. I also have a well-developed sense of humor.

This application is made after careful thought and research. I am particularly attracted to your program because of the prestigious faculty, the relevance of the areas of research being undertaken to my personal interests and objectives and by the successful outcomes for graduates of the program. I look forward to adding to the diversity of the student body and sharing my own unique insights from my life experiences and academic career. I am confident that I shall be able to ‘add value’ to the department, the university and to do credit to both in my future career.  

I am confident that I possess the academic ability, determination, diligence, as my academic success to date will attest, together with the passionate interest in this field of study that will enable me to acquire the high level of skills and knowledge from the program that will fit me to be one of those who can identify and implement vital changes in the provision and sharing of health services in my country and beyond.

Thank you for considering my application.


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