Student Ambassadors: Online MPH

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Student ambassadors are current students of the Online Master of Public Health (MPH) program who help prospective students learn about the program and all it has to offer. The ambassadors have a wide variety of experiences and interests.

If you’re interested in connecting with one of them and learning more about the OMPH program, please email us (

Zyna Bakari

Zyna Bakari (she/her)
Graduate Research Assistant | UW Center for Anti-Racism and Community Health (ARCH)

I grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio and earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 2016. Since graduating, I have worked at non-profits, focusing on advocacy, community engagement, and managing direct service programs in diverse communities.  

My public health journey began during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading vaccine efforts in King County’s Black communities at the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. I also served as a Thought Partner for the Washington State Department of Health, supporting equity strategies throughout the pandemic. Currently, I am a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Anti-Racism and Community Health, a community-driven academic hub and research center within UW’s School of Public Health.  

I chose the Online MPH program to blend academic knowledge with my practical experience. Particularly, I wanted to learn more about health communication, health behavior theory, and implementing public health interventions. This program allows me to attend a world-class institution, while having flexibility in my schedule. Also, I love the emphasis on equity and social justice, and being part of a cohort filled with inspiring, like-minded people.  

If you’re interested in the Online MPH program, please feel free to reach out! I’d love to chat with you and answer any questions!  

Joseph Shoji Lachman

Joseph Shoji Lachman
Policy Manager | Asian Counseling and Referral Service

I’m proud to be a 4th/5th mixed-ethnicity Japanese American born and raised in Seattle in the Online MPH program! After completing my undergraduate degree at Yale University in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health, and spending a couple of years abroad in Japan, China, and Taiwan for language and culture study, I felt ready to come back to my hometown to start my career.

Since 2017, I have worked at Asian Counseling and Referral Service, which provides vital social services to over 30,000 community members annually in over 30 languages. I currently serve as the policy manager, helping to oversee and lead our legislative advocacy efforts. 

My recent involvement in the Health Equity for Immigrants Campaign to ensure all undocumented Washingtonians can receive healthcare led me to realize that it was time to deepen my public health knowledge and skills. With this program, I have been able to maintain my employment while getting my degree, while also teaching yoga and being a cat dad! 

The program has been a wonderful experience so far and I have learned so much from my instructors and peers. Please feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to know more about the program! 

Mayra Muratalla Muñoz

Mayra Muratalla Muñoz (she/her)
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Advocate | SafePlace Olympia

Hi! My name is Mayra and I live in Olympia with my dog Swiper. In 2017, I graduated from the UW with a BA in Medical Anthropology and Global Health. I am a SA & DV Advocate at SafePlace, a non-profit organization serving domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking survivors of all genders. This work is meaningful to me as a survivor myself and because I believe survivors deserve to be heard, have choices, and a safe path to healing and empowerment.
I chose the Online MPH program because I wanted the opportunity to move towards my goals, while not creating burdens for myself. As a low-income, disabled, Latinx woman, currently undergoing treatments in my county, I needed a program that aligned with my goals, but also had a flexible schedule. I was interested learning skills to improve policy and processes for survivors at the state level.
Feel free to connect with me for more about my experience in the program and if you want any info on resources I’ve used as a student!

Maleah Nore

Maleah Nore (she/her)
Tribal Public Health Contractor

Hello! My name is Maleah Nore. I’m Tlingit (Alaska Native) and I was raised in Southeast Alaska. I first started my public health journey when I became a survivor of childhood abuse. An overwhelming anger at the system pushed me to try to make a difference. I’ve now been working on grassroots and non-profit projects relating to the prevention of child abuse, domestic violence, and suicide in tribal communities for over 7 years.

I chose the Online MPH program because I wanted a program that would support my Indigenous worldview, provide an engaging and valuable educational experience, and be flexible enough for me to continue working. I made the right choice! I’m so happy to be in this program. I feel deeply supported by the teaching staff and my peers, and I learn useful skills every week.

With my MPH, I hope to support tribal resilience and mental wellbeing through prevention and treatment centered around cultural connection with the natural world. I don’t know what that career will look like yet, but I trust the Online MPH program will help me get there.

If you want to know what it’s like to be in the program, please reach out!