As graduation nears, Joseph reflects on her journey
18 Dec 2019
Christina Joseph is driven to help people. As a young girl growing up in Sudan, she wanted to help heal the sick, while also styling their hair. While she may have set the hair stylist aspiration to the side for the time being, Joseph is well on her way to a career in public health, graduating this weekend with a bachelor’s degree in education and human sciences from the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The journey to graduation has not been easy for Joseph, which makes reaching this milestone even more special. When she was very young, her family left Sudan and traveled through Egypt while they applied and waited for acceptance to come to the United States. Although they were college-educated, it was difficult for her parents to find jobs in Egypt. They were anxious to get to the U.S. In 2003, Joseph’s family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where her aunt was already living.
“When we arrived to America life only got more difficult,” Joseph said. “There was a lot to learn and become accustomed to. However, we are so thankful for my aunt and the community who had already been here for years showing us the ropes. We’ve managed to overcome and have made the most of this opportunity.”
Joseph came to Nebraska in 2007. While at Lincoln High School, she began to think about college and was eager to explore her options. Scholarship opportunities led her to Nebraska, and similar to the community her family found when they came to the U.S., Joseph found a support system when she arrived on campus as a freshman in 2015.
“The university can seem large, but once I got connected through the multicultural center and other activities it felt like home,” Joseph said. While at Nebraska, she was a track and field athlete, and was active in the African Student Association and Seven Thunders.
In 2018, Joseph was one of 19 Huskers who earned a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad. The Gilman is a nationally competitive scholarship awarded three times a year by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program’s goal is to allow students to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies – making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
Joseph experienced personal, academic and professional growth during her study abroad trip to Zambia in the summer of 2018.
“My study abroad experience has definitely had the greatest impact on my college experience,” Joseph said. “I learned so much about life, myself and public health."
Zambia also inspired her to continue exploring the globe upon graduation. She is interested in the Peace Corps and plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health.
College of Education and Human Sciences