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Arnold School of Public Health


Arnold School of Public Health students posing

Student Spotlight

As the next generation of health professionals and scholars, students at the Arnold School of Public Health plays an essential role in impacting the health of our communities both locally and internationally.

Stories of Change

While changing locations from Rwanada, Africa to South Carolina was a major step for Doctoral student Elyse Iruhiriye, the East African native had bigger changes she wanted made; improving nutrition outcomes of various low and middle-income countries.

I've been interested in nutrition for nearly seven years now. My first job was at a research institutue, IFPRI in Burundi. Here, I saw how nutrition was related to countries' developments. This sparked my interest and was a stepping stone for me wanting to study the implementation of nutrition policy in Rwanda and various countries.

-Elyse Iruhiriye, HPEB Student

Iruhiriye spent nearly six months in Rwanda conducting interviews and meeting with district leaders to collect data for a group study entitled, "Stories of Change," an effort to understand how countries have been able to decrease malnutrition in their regions. 

When asked about the challenges she's faced during her visitation, Iruhiriye explained that data collection can be very unpredicatbale. In Iruiriye's case, there were often times when complications would arise from events in the country that would hinder her and the research team's ability to collect data.

"The study was well worth the large amount of data collection and research. It reminded me of why I came to South Carolina. We have a strong focus on global nutrition policy and food security here at the Arnold School."

The six-month study resulted in Iruhiriye discovering that Rwanda had a great deal of commitment to address malnutrition. "We learned Rwanda's government made changes to its policies and increased access to the community population to improve nutrition." Iruhiriye plans to return to Rwanda in March to present the study's results to different nutrition stakeholders.