Kevin Rwigamba

Master of Public Health

Kevin has made friends the world over while tackling population health.

Kevin Rwigamba’s MPH has taken him all around the world. Originally from Rwanda, he moved to Vancouver to pursue his master’s. His research with SFU took him to South Africa to study HIV and AIDS, and his practicum led back to Rwanda, where he was involved in a program studying discordant couples—partnerships where one only partner is HIV positive.

“For my practicum, I worked with an HIV organization. I came up with a strategy for participant retention, which will help them continue their research. Then in South Africa, over the summer, I got to meet people with lived experiences, and to collaborate with students from across Africa. I was already passionate about the research area, but it really lit a fire under me to pursue it.”

Over the last two years, he has had no shortage of adventure in the pursuit of health equity; but, he says, it’s the friends he made along the way that inspired him most.

“Our cohort is very close. We’re relatively small—there’s about 40 of us — and they’re very welcoming. It’s the same with the faculty, everyone is very approachable.” 

In between research, study, and an active social life, he also represented FHS to the Graduate Student Society as part of the faculty’s Graduate Caucus. With such a rich graduate school experience, his advice to applicants is to be strategic.

“Two years go by very quickly. Think past the degree; imagine where you see yourself in five years and then try to tailor the coursework according to that. At the same time, there’s a chance to be open-minded. The faculty is interdisciplinary. There’s a lot of paths to choose from.”

As for where he sees himself in five years, his options are open. “I’m particularly interested in global health, but I’d like to study more first. I’m considering either a PhD or a Doctor of Public Health program.”