New Health Promotion and Health Equity program sparks passion in Charania

Shehrose Charania is one of the first students to enroll in the new bachelor of science in Health Promotion and Health Equity (HPHE) degree program, which launched this past fall.

Shehrose Charania
Shehrose Charania is a junior from
Chicago.

Housed in the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, the program is being run in collaboration with two other units within the School, the Department of Counseling Psychology and the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. HPHE responds to student interest and employer demand for health-related expertise and health education careers.

The junior from Chicago was accepted into the School of Nursing but decided to switch to HPHE when she learned about the major. She is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants and saw her parents work hard and struggle — and neglect their own health as a result.

Charania says the new major is an ideal foundation for her goal of getting a master’s in public health and public affairs. She ultimately wants to return to Chicago to work with a nonprofit aimed at improving community health.

“We just think of people in health to be nurses, to be doctors, to be pharmacists,” says Charania. “I never knew there were actual careers out there that are for advocacy and activism for the patient.”

She adds: “I’m very passionate about what I’m doing and now I’m super excited to attend the classes about things that I want to learn about, whether it be talking about promotion programs, prevention programs, intervention programs…. You really get to learn about health disparities, the social determinants of health.”