PhD graduate in population studies in health Dr. Chinenye Nmanma Nwoke (PhD '22) is setting the foundation for research on maternal depression and anxiety disorders among African immigrant women in Alberta.
A pivotal study that is the first of its kind in Canada shows how Chinenye was able to excel here at ULethbridge. With help from colleagues, staff, faculty and friends, Chinenye was able to pursue her doctorate degree and she plans to continue doing impactful research for her community.
Be gentle with your journey! The journey to getting an education is yours and yours alone. It could have ups and down, but with resilience and determination, you will make it to the finish line. An African proverb says "it takes a village to raise a child". As it relates to getting an education, do not be shy or afraid to ask for help from fellow students, TAs and/or professors. Having a community of friends/family/professors/staff cheering you on all the way will make your journey a very smooth one.
The following are Chinenye's reflections on her time at ULethbridge and what enabled her to be as successful as she has been.
What was your research based on?
My research examines maternal depression and anxiety disorders within two years of birth among African immigrant women in Alberta.
What unique opportunities did you get by taking part in this research?
With my study being a first of its kind in the whole of Canada, it was a learning experience for me from start to finish. I was able to form strong partnerships with community leaders, community members, religious leaders and some immigrant-serving organizations across the province.
What are your biggest takeaways from being involved in this research?
The biggest takeaway is that maternal mental health is crucial and more attention (research, funding, policies) is needed in the area for racialized immigrant women, including African immigrant women (a fast-growing demographic in Alberta and Canada).
What is your most memorable ULethbridge Experience?
My most memorable ULethbridge experience was being given the opportunity to engage in both research and teaching assistant opportunities. It exposed me to other students, professors and staff beyond my department. I also really enjoyed the student-led Health Sciences Journal Club.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your time at ULethbridge?
Networking is key! Be it with fellow students, professors, and other staff both internal and external to one's own faculty or school.
Is there someone specific who has an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
I'm super grateful to my supervisory committee, as their mentorship, support and guidance got me to the end of this journey. From the University of Lethbridge community, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Professor Brenda Leung (my supervisor), Professor Olu Awosoga, and Professor Glenda Bonifacio. Thank you to Professor Sheila McDonald from Alberta Health Services as well. Thank you all for being a part of my journey.
Did you receive scholarships and awards? If so, please tell us a bit about how they helped you throughout your studies.
I received the SGS Dean’s Scholarship, the SGS Tuition Scholarship, and the Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship. These really helped to ease the burden of having to work full-time while completing my studies, ultimately reducing possible financial stressors. My sincere appreciation to all donors.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
Continue to engage in impactful research for my community, especially in the area of maternal mental health.
What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
Be gentle with your journey! The journey to getting an education is yours and yours alone. It could have ups and downs, but with resilience and determination, you will make it to the finish line. An African proverb says "it takes a village to raise a child". As it relates to getting an education, do not be shy or afraid to ask for help from fellow students, TAs, and/or professors. Having a community of friends/family/professors/staff cheering you on all the way will make your journey a very smooth one.
Update your contact information with Alumni Relations.
Find us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn
Read more about your fellow alumni