Jamila Shields – Class of ’09

Jamila Shields – Class of 2009
College: Jackson State University (2009 – 2014)
Degree: BS in Healthcare Administration
Advanced Degree: Univ. of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, MPH – Health Policy & Management, 2017
Current Occupation: Public Health Advisor at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA

Who or what at UA had the greatest impact on where you are today? Why?
Yes Amy Miller (Mahoney) and Kelly Lorenzen (Irby). The both of them pushed me to be the best version of myself. Although at the time I didn’t understand their reason. I now know that they seen more in me than I did at the time. When life started to get tough while matriculating, I’d always think about their kind words and those very words kept me grounded.

How is your experience at UA impacting you now?
I always had to adjust as a student at UA. Rather it was in between semesters and having new teachers or adjusting to new administration and changes in policy. Because of my experience at UA, I’ve been prepared for a world of flexibility.

How has UA Foundation (formerly Friends of UA) impacted you and/or where you are today?
As a first generation college graduate, there were many of things that I did not know about college or life thereafter. UA Foundation helped me locate and apply to internships, I was one of the first to be accepted into the Allied Health Service Internship at CMH before UA contracted with CMH, there I met one of my current mentors KaMara White. The UA Foundation also provides financial incentives to me based on my grade point average each semester, as a struggling college student, those incentives helped out with miscellaneous expenses.

What are your goals for the future and who/what has shaped them?
I currently work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Project Officer in the Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch while simultaneously taking prerequisites to apply to an Accelerated Bachelors of Sciences in Nursing Program—I genuinely have a passion for helping individuals in disparate populations. Having worked with maternal and child health in the past, I realize that there representation needed for black women who are three times more likely to die during childbirth which is why I’ve decided to continue to pursue my passion. There are many individuals who have inspired me over the years, and it is way too many to name.