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Elikem Togo

Elikem Togo, MPH '21

Elikem Togo headshot

Current position: PhD Candidate at UNC Chapel Hill

Elikem Togo, MPH, graduated from DSPH in 2021 with a major in Community Health and Prevention and an MCH minor.

Togo came to Dornsife with a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health and got involved with Dornsife’s MCH program after attending a MCH Journal Club meeting on neighborhood exposures and birth outcomes.

Highlights from getting your MPH at Dornsife?

During her time at Dornsife, Togo was a leader of the Peer Health Educators student organization and completed the Title V Internship with the Wisconsin Department of Public Health where she worked on a MCH social media campaign and developed an evaluation tool for community engagement activities.

How are you using your MCH training?

Togo is now a first-year PhD student at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she is studying Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology. Her research interests include contraceptive access and family planning, specifically among black adolescents. She is currently working on a USAID-funded evaluation project based in Nigeria.

After completing her PhD, Togo hopes to work in academia and MCH research both domestically and globally.

“I see the MCH population as the future. If we put resources into women, children, and families (the most vulnerable people in communities) it is better for everyone in the long run. I love working with people that experience marginalization. I have experienced this, and I want to help people that look like me and have experienced discrimination in one way or another. Helping the most marginalized and helping people get the resources they need to live a happy and healthy life is important. There are so many ways to make change happen- through policy, community work, advocacy, and research,” said Togo.

Togo is proud of the work she completed at Drexel for her MPH and the work she has completed thus far for her PhD program, particularly all the tangible skills she has learned, including SAS. She credits her success at Drexel to mentorship and to the professors and faculty she worked with.

Advice to current and future MCH students?

On her academic success and advice she would give to current students, Togo said, “I’m always learning, it’s definitely an iterative process. The way I conducted research two years ago is different now. I’ve gained new skills and maintained my curiosity."

"MCH is such an exciting field and there is so much work that needs to be done. It’s nice to be able to identify an area of interest that fuels your energy and the work you do."

"Take time to identify it and be open. I came to Drexel with no intention of studying MCH and now I’m getting my PhD in MCH. If I hadn’t been open to new ideas and reached out, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Other advice she would give to future MCH trainees is to focus on networking and building relationship with faculty, staff, and students.