MidAmerica Student Recognition – Deborah Florencia Romero

Deborah Florencia Romero is a health administration graduate student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is passionate about improving healthcare systems and health outcomes across populations. Her plan is to graduate in May of 2022 and go on to work for a hospital system. While attending the University of Illinois, Deborah has assisted in coding results for the UIUC COVID-19 Student Experience Survey and served on the Student Advisory Board at McKinley Health Center. She also participates in a club called Global Leaders.

MidAmerica Student Recognition – Siyao Zhang

Siyao Zhang is a senior in Community Health major at UIUC. Her research interests focus on applying data science skills to detect and predict disease outbreaks at population level. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in Epidemiology or Biostatistics after graduation. Currently, she is working as an undergraduate research assistant with AdaptLab over the summer.

MidAmerica Student Recognition – Daryah Ireland

Daryah Ireland is a senior majoring in Business Management with a Specialization is Health Care Enterprise. She is from Chicago, and is the third child of four. She will be the first of her siblings to graduate from college. After graduation, she will attend graduate school at SIUC to pursue a dual master’s degree in Health Administration and Health Informatics. She plans to become a CEO of a hospital in the future.

MidAmerica Student Recognition – Khalid Almiji

Khalid Almjjri is an international student from Saudi Arabia. In 2018, he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in General Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology from Boise State University. After that, Khalid started his master’s degree in health administration at the University of New Mexico before transferring to Southern Illinois University to pursue the dual masters’ degrees in Health Informatics and Health Administration. He will graduate with his first degree in May 2021. Khalid worked as a peer advisor at Boise State University, Center for Global Education, and as an administrative assistant at the University of New Mexico, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Currently, Khalid works as a graduate assistant at Southern Illinois University, Wellness and Health Promotion Services. He loves outdoor activities such as hiking, volleyball, and swimming, and loves traveling and learning about cultures, traditions, languages, and food.

MidAmerica Student Recognition – Sydney Phillips

Sydney Phillips is a senior in the Health Care Management Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). She is a previous associate’s degree transfer student and anticipates to graduate in May 2021. Sydney is a Provost Scholar within SIUC’s Chancellor’s Scholars Program and an active member and officer within her program’s student organization with interests in operations management and quality improvement. Currently, Sydney is job shadowing at Pinckneyville Community Hospital and mentoring with the Wellness Operations Manager of the hospital.  

MidAmerica Student Recognition – Roderick Campbell

Roderick earned his bachelor’s in Health Communications with a minor in African American Studies at Northwestern University in 2020. He is currently in the MHA program and anticipates completing his degree in 2022. Roderick chose Health Administration because his passion lies in helping others. “I believe I can be a catalyst for change on the business side of healthcare and receiving a master’s in health administration is a great opportunity to achieve those goals. I want to bridge the gap of health inequities in underserved communities, specifically Black communities, by educating people on the healthcare system and building trust from the Black communities toward the medical industry. There is a long-standing distrust between the Black community and the medical community, for a good reason, and I think that being a Black man in the healthcare industry paves the way for what Black children aspire to be, not just athletes and musicians.” Roderick is a Saluki Football athlete and President of the Black Student Union, a student-led organization under the umbrella of the newly-founded Saluki Unity (which he also helped to create). He also works as a Pharmacy Technician at Walgreens and is in the process of becoming trilingual in English, French, and Spanish! He chose Southern Illinois University Carbondale because of the people. “From my first interaction with the coaching staff, Dr. Sandy Collins, Mr. Al Taylor, and my teammates, I felt genuine energy. Authenticity is very essential to me, and I did not feel that SIU staff were trying to sell a dream, per se. As a bonus, I’m from St. Louis, so my family only has to drive 2 hours to watch me play instead of 5 hours.