Student Spotlight 

Ikhtiyor Djuraev

Ikhtiyor Djuraev

Hometown: Samarkand, Uzbekistan; Brooklyn, New York

Degree Program: MPH, admitted through SUNY Downstate-Brooklyn College partnership

Class Year: 2022

Undergraduate Major: Health and Nutrition Sciences 

Professional Interests: Aspiring preventive medicine physician

Extracurricular Activities/Involvement: I like to read, go on hikes, roller skate in Prospect Park, and go to the gym as much as I can. Currently, I am one of the board of directors of the CUNY Uzbek Society club that focuses on helping Uzbek students navigating their higher education and career explorations. Also, I have been working as a research assistant at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and Brooklyn College with Principal Investigators (PI’s) Dr. Xinyin Jiang and Dr. Dalloul Mudar. 

Click here for Ikhtiyor Djuraev's LinkedIn profile


1. What drew you to the MPH program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University?

As a Brooklyn College graduate, I had various opportunities to interact with Downstate faculty and students who held information sessions about their programs on campus. To me, apart from SUNY Downstate’s diversity, it is the promotion of health, education, and wellness in the urban and immigrant communities that drew me to their MPH program. As an immigrant myself and my pursuit of serving immigrant populations as a public health professional, the program’s mission aligned with my goals. I knew that this program with its strong curriculum would allow me to become a well-rounded professional, educated in the principles of health equity.


2. What is your favorite aspect of the program?

Thus far, one of my favorite aspects of the program is its rich diversity within the school. I have the privilege of learning and sharing among diverse students, professors, and faculty. Learning from a cohort that is racially and ethnically diverse is shaping me to become a culturally competent public health professional. Additionally, professors who bring their years of experience and intelligence into the classroom is preparing me to be able to approach public health issues. This unique learning environment aspect of SUNY Downstate SPH will grant me the knowledge, experience, and exposure necessary for me to succeed as a public health professional tackling health issues competently. 


3. Can you recall a memorable in-class or general SUNY Downstate experience that struck you as particularly meaningful?

I would say that meeting my academic advisor, Dr. Michael Joseph has been a meaningful experience thus far. It was a meaningful moment because we both had similar academic experiences. That is, Dr. Joseph and I are both Brooklyn College alumni with Health and Nutrition undergraduate majors. This experience allowed me to transition from undergraduate to graduate school smoothly. To have Dr. Joseph’s willingness to guide me towards my professional goals as a public health student is beyond meaningful and memorable.


4. What are your goals?

My goal is to become a well-rounded and competent public health professional. Specifically, I want to become a physician-scientist focusing on preventative medicine. I see myself diagnosing and treating diseases while promoting health among diverse populations and embarking on scientific discoveries that could help public wellness. Ultimately, I want to contribute to the betterment of our general public. And, I see SUNY Downstate School of Public Health as a stepping stone towards achieving my goal of becoming a physician-scientist in preventative medicine.


5. Do you have plans to further your education, or do you have a career in mind upon graduation?

I plan to further my education upon graduating from SUNY Downstate School of Public Health. I am currently, working towards building my application for medical school while being a full-time MPH student.


6. Do you have any advice for your fellow students who might be interested in this program?

I would say that SUNY Downstate is a great school with faculty and students from all over the world with many different cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds that will give you a unique learning experience you won’t be able to get anywhere else. The partnership with Brooklyn College and SUNY Downstate SPH made a graduate degree in public health accessible for students who are passionate and motivated about the public health field.