Friday, February 3, 2023

Fulbright Scholar Joins UM School of Applied Sciences

By Cameron Smith

University of Mississippi

Ruaa Al Juboori, UM assistant professor of public health and data analytics statistician with the Institute of Child Nutrition, is working to help the center use data analytics to improve nutrition and food security in the nation. Submitted photo

Ruaa Al Juboori has joined the University of Mississippi faculty with a goal of highlighting the impact data analytics can have in the public health field. 

Al Juboori, an assistant professor of public health and data analytics statistician with the university’s Institute of Child Nutrition, will teach biostatistics and global health classes. 

“I was fortunate to land in this position,” Al Juboori said. “I always envisioned myself working in a place where I can both interact with brilliant students and keep the path of my research activities.

“In this position, there is a great potential to explore the ICN training and evaluation data using my analysis skills, including geospatial analysis techniques. This will help further their research scope to incorporate the social determinants of health and their effects on nutrition and food security in the nation.”

Data analysis and modern ways of visualizing that data are vital skills to have in the public health sector, Al Juboori said. 

“Our work requires supporting public health theories with evidence-based facts derived from qualitative and quantitative data,” Al Juboori said. “Therefore, learning different statistical techniques early in their studies will open doors for them in the job market both in academia and industry.

“Our public health students need to have data analysis skills to help them use the evidence base to analyze and address public health challenges. One of my goals as a faculty member teaching biostatistics is to design and develop courses that allow the students to have hands-on experience to analyze real-world data.”

Al Juboori first came to the U.S. in 2016 as a Fulbright Scholar studying public health at Wright State University. She joined the Ole Miss faculty after completing her doctorate at Saint Louis University. 

Her experience as a Fulbright Scholar was eye-opening to countless opportunities to better serve the world, she said. 

“I learned that public health problems are not just in socially and politically unstable countries only, but they take different shapes and forms across nations,” Al Juboori said.

Having Al-Juboori on staff has already proven beneficial for public health students, said Allison Ford-Wade, interim chair and professor of health, exercise science and recreation management. 

“I had students come in my office asking when she will be teaching them again; they learned so much,” Ford-Wade said. “Students don’t always ask for more stats classes.”

For more information about public health programs at the university, visit https://hesrm.olemiss.edu.

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