Are there any connections between social needs and chronic conditions when dealing with uninsured patients utilizing free clinics? How can free clinics progress with 47 million left uninsured? When African transnational migrant women are forced to work in the United States, how does it affect the entire family in regards to their diet? These are questions that Anuoluwapo Osideko sought answer to while conducting an individual research project and working as an undergraduate researcher in Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Anuoluwapo realized just how much she loved research when she began an Introduction to Research course with Dr. Priscilla Fortier. In her sophomore year she was accepted into the McNair Scholars Program, for students interested in pursuing a PhD., and began work with Community Health lecturer, Dr. S. Notaro who assisted with her first project, which focused on those who are uninsured in Champaign-Urbana and utilizing free clinics in the community. She stayed with Dr. S. Notaro from her sophomore year till now, as she continued to conduct her independent research titled, “The Analysis of Social Needs and Chronic Conditions of the Uninsured Utilizing a Free Clinic.” She began working with two Community Health doctoral students, Kelechi Ibe-Lamberts, and Daudet Ilunga Tshiswaka, under Prof. Schwingel Aging and Diversity Lab in their pilot project called “Understanding Transnational African Migrants Health Behaviors: The Case of Diet.” She stayed as a research assistant through her junior and senior years, contributing to their umbrella project. She is looking forward to seeing her name included on the project paper, which will be submitted for publication.
“Coming to UIUC, I imagined myself working with molecules in a Molecular and Cellular Biology lab, I never saw myself conducting research,” Anuoluwapo says. “What answers could I possibly be looking for in healthcare? But that’s the greatest part about research, it is the fact that I am the one who creates questions that don’t have answers.” A soon-to-be 2015 graduate, Anuoluwapo is applying to Master’s in Public Health programs and hopes to begin a Ph.D. program immediately after. Ultimately, she would like to teach at the collegiate level, just like her mentor while conducting research.