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Macy’s Program Provides Undergraduates with Interdisciplinary Health Leadership Training

May 22, 2017

Early next month, two Dornsife students will celebrated for completing the Macy’s Undergraduate Leadership Fellows program, a leadership development program for Drexel students in health professions.

Nneoma Njoku, BS Public Health ’17 and Suvekcha Bhattachan, BS Public Health ’20, are the first two public health majors to complete this program since the Dornsife School of Public Health started conferring undergraduate degrees in 2016. The for-credit leadership certificate program is designed for undergraduate students who have majors in nursing, health professions, and public health.

“Every Macy Scholar offers a different perspective on what leadership means to them,” says Njoku. “The program challenges us to think critically about various health issues. Ultimately, we hope to stretch the barriers of what can be achieved as health professionals in our ever-changing society.”

Macy’s Fellows learn how to address complex issues within a safe and inclusive environment.

Njoku recalls when her class took part in a privilege exercise, to highlight how people benefit or are marginalized by systems in society. “It was incredible to witness everyone come to their individual realization of their own privilege. Everyone had different experiences and it helped us all understand one another better.”

On field trips to Independence Blue Cross and 11th Street Family Health Services, the cohort saw how leadership skills that they’d learned about in class were being applied in professional health settings.

Students from all health disciplines connect and bond as a cohort, providing additional opportunities to work with people from outside their majors.

“As a commuter student, I have always felt a little disconnected from the Drexel community. Prior to this program, I only knew other students from the Dornsife School of Public Health because that is where I spend most of my time on campus,” says Njoku. “Through Macy Fellows, I was introduced to other students from health-related majors. I find it very rewarding to understand how the leadership skills we are learning through the Macy program can be applied in nursing, health sciences, and behavioral health.”

The program also helps students develop a professional network. Each student works with a mentor throughout the program.

Njoku’s mentor, Lisa B. Holland, an attorney at AmeriHealth Caritas, has provided her with support and guidance, particularly with post-graduation plans. Njoku plans to take a gap year to travel, work, and apply for graduate school with the intent of pursuing an MPH starting in Fall 2018.

“A recent panel discussion in one of our Macy classes has inspired me to expand my horizons and apply for a dual degree in which I will seek both my MPH and JD,” she says. “I look forward to the challenge and hope to one day utilize my newly developed leadership skills to help mold the American health care system so that public health is a more primary focus.”

Applications are closed for the group entering the program this fall; students interested in applying next year’s cohort should contact Phi Nguyen, director of Student Services and Alumni Relations. 

More information on Macy's Leadership Fellows program