Alumni Features Public Health

Public health and social justice

Ammara Molvi smiles near wall

Honors College and College of Public Health and Human Sciences senior Ammara Molvi’s commitment to being a well-rounded and involved community member has inspired her during her years at Oregon State University and will continue to motivate her in her career. A pre-med public health major, Ammara hopes to one day become a pediatric emergency room physician and work toward health equity both locally and internationally. 

Ammara was drawn to her major for its potential to make positive changes in society: “Public health is a social justice perspective — you’re looking at why people are coming to the hospital or why certain populations are suffering outcomes while others aren’t […] It looks at community organizing, policy action and the root causes of health issues.”

While at Oregon State, Ammara has participated in academic, social justice and community-based projects and programs. During her time at OSU, she was employed as an honors biology learning assistant, as the Associated Students of Oregon State University coordinator of wellness affairs, and as a media assistant for the Honors College. In addition to these jobs, Ammara had roles in the community as a clinic coordinator at Community Outreach Inc., a communications representative for the Ettihad Cultural Center and was an active member of the Pakistani Student Association, Muslim Student Association and the Student Health Advisory Board. 

This fall, Ammara will be defending her thesis, which analyzes how anti-immigration policies are drivers of health disparities. Soon, Ammara will be pursuing a PhD and an MD in public health in a joint MD/PhD program to further study and explore issues she had begun to research during her undergrad. 

 “The Honors College has allowed me to meet a lot of people that I feel like I’ll be connected to for the rest of my life,” Ammara says. She credits the Honors College for much of her involvement and finds value in knowing that the lessons she’s learned and connections she’s made will serve her well after graduation.

“I’m most proud of all that I’ve learned and what I’ll carry with me through life,” she says.

While remote learning hasn’t been ideal for her last term of undergrad, Ammara is grateful for the support her professors gave her and her classmates. 

“I would like to thank all the professors and people who are working to make sure that not only am I continuing to learn, but are checking in to see how my peers and I are doing during this time. These are uncertain and by no means easy times; we must remember to take care of others as well as ourselves,” she says.

This story originally appeared in Honors Link.