Mary Ngugi graduated from the MDP in January 2021. Prior to entering the MDP program, Mary worked for an international NGO based in northern Peru. As a program coordinator, she focused on implementing public health education programs and working with community stakeholders to improve local access to medical services. It was in this setting that Mary began to observe the confounding effects of ineffective economic policies, lack of access to and education about health care services, and poor environmental conditions on livelihoods.
Mary had previously received her Bachelors of Science in Public Health from the University of Arizona, and encountered similar themes working as an epidemiology research assistant among the refugee and migrant populations of Tucson. Because of these experiences, she resolved to learn more about effective techniques for community improvement and development, solidifying her decision to pursue a Masters in Development Practice (MDP).
Through the program, Mary is gaining a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms that drive global poverty and social inequity, as well as developing the necessary skills to be a capable professional working to solve some of those challenges. Having worked in the nonprofit sector, Mary is building on her program planning background to include monitoring and evaluation, as well as to explore the themes of economic and health policy impacts in research. She is honored and excited to be working with and learning from the excellent and accomplished faculty of the MDP program.