Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Meet the Newest USP Staff Members!

Gilbert Nuwagira

Gilbert, originally from Mbarara in southwestern Uganda, was a student at Uganda Christian University from 2012 to 2015. While beginning his studies in Economics and Management, he quickly became interested in UCU’s Honours College program, becoming a member in his second year. It was in the Honours College that Gilbert first got connected with USP, becoming good friends with USP students and facilitating opportunities for them to have a richer experience in the Ugandan culture. When he became President of the Honours College, Gilbert began working more closely with USP staff in planning events and continuing to facilitate the cross-cultural friendships happening around him.

Gilbert graduated from UCU in October of 2015. Realizing how much he liked working with people and understanding the value of rich cross-cultural relationships, he decided to continue his partnership with USP by becoming our newest Program Assistant! So far, he has found his first weeks on the job “exhilarating” and “informative," and he has settled very nicely into the everyday excitement of the USP office, where no two days are ever the same. Among the students, Gilbert has already built up a reputation of being exceptionally thoughtful and caring, as well as being a good go-to person for insights on Ugandan culture and cross-cultural interactions.

Gilbert and fellow PAs Prudence and Courtney making
packed lunches in preparation for rural homestays
Gilbert chats with social work student Kylie during the
USP/Honors College Retreat at Vision for Africa

John Kabugo

John has just joined the USP team as our newest driver! John was born and raised right here in Mukono, and he has been driving for Uganda Christian University for nearly seven years. Perhaps more than any other USP staff member, John gets to see the breadth of our program every day, driving students to their host families all over Mukono, their practicum sites around the district, and even class field trips in and around Kampala. John is enjoying working in a program that allows him to interact with many different people throughout the day.

John is doing a great job helping us get around and keeping our beloved USP van clean and in good mechanical condition. But really it’s his contagious smile and his willingness to be of help that have made him an important part of our students’ everyday lives. More than just being our driver, John is also an important resource for students when they have questions about Ugandan culture, food, plants, and other observations they may have.

John prepares to head out on one of his daily drive through Mukono
Our complex transportation schedule works smoothly, largely thanks
to the hard work and coordination of Lydia, John and Innocent 

Micah Hughes

One of the most exciting new developments at USP is the development of our new Global Health Emphasis, scheduled to begin in Fall 2016. Micah Hughes, our newest coordinator who will be over the Global Health Emphasis (GHE), joined us in the office at the beginning of January, and we are excited about what he brings to the team! A graduate of Wheaton College, Micah participated in Wheaton’s Human Needs and Global Resources program, doing a six-month internship in the West Nile region of Uganda. Micah went on to get his MS in Biotechnology from Rush University Medical Center and continued working and teaching in the medical field. Most recently he founded and directed the global health program at Denver School of Nursing, where he was an assistant professor. With this program he organized and led internships abroad for nursing students in multiple countries, including Uganda.

With years of experience teaching nursing and bringing students in the pre-health professions to Uganda, Micah now finds himself at USP, constructing the Global Health Emphasis. The GHE will provide USP students in the pre-health professions with opportunities to experience work in the global health field under the supervision of Ugandan clinicians. USP already has wonderful relationships with trusted organizations around Mukono, where we have been placing social work and cross-cultural practicum students for the past 12 years. Now Micah is working toward utilizing the leadership and expertise of the medical personnel at these organizations and others to provide new opportunities for Ugandan partners to mentor our students. 

The GHE is designed to be inclusive of the many professions that fall under the global health category, and it will be open to all students in the pre-health fields (Public Health, Nursing, Medicine, Kinesiology, Exercise Science, and others). Practicum sites will range from district hospitals where students will experience direct interventional care, to community health organizations focused on health education and systemic health issues in Uganda. GHE students will look at both preventative and interventional global health and how the two are related – in addition to the overall USP experience. Micah’s ultimate goal is to mentor students and build a program that serves as a tool to help students discern which aspects of global health they are most passionate about, while experiencing career and ministry opportunities for a future in global health. 

Micah teaches the Cross-Cultural Practicum class
Micah with students and PAs picking up
snacks for the Superbowl Monday party!

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