Monday, January 25, 2016

Student Spotlight: Joniece Barnes

Joniece Barnes is a senior Health Education major in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences. In addition to her studies, Joniece serves as President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association.

Why did you select Health Education as your major? 
I became interested in the field of the health in high school, soon after taking my first anatomy and physiology course. I researched this field more and found this area most intriguing. I believe that Health Education would be the best path allowing me to help my community become more aware of best health practices. At my previous institution, I studied Physical Education and found similarities in the curriculum of Health Education; therefore, once I transferred to UDC I changed my major to Health Education. 

How has the Health Education program been beneficial to your life? 
First of all, I feel that my major matters; it’s a major field of study that currently holds value and will continue to hold value going forward. Research shows that due to advances in technology and medicine, people are living longer; as such, health education will become more of a major priority. Secondly, the Health Education program brings critical focus to ensuring and extending quality of life measures for all. For me, the benefit lies in knowing that I will be able to make a positive difference in lives of people. 

What have you gained during your matriculation at UDC?
Through my matriculation here at UDC, the Health Education program has afforded me the flexibility to participate in other campus activities. Many of my classes took place in the evening thus allowing me more time to explore and participate in various campus organizations.

What would you like to do with your degree?
My degree will be used as a stepping stone to advance my education in the health field, focusing on community programming designed to enhance the lives and futures of the D.C. residents.

You also serve as USGA president. What do you do in that capacity? 
As President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association, I am responsible to the student body for overseeing the undergraduate community as it relates to the academic and social advancement of students. As the leader of the USGA, I am the voice of the students.Together with my staff on the Executive Council, we organize events and activities that allow students to connect and engage one another.

What would you like to say to new UDC students, who are just starting out? 
Become involved in campus activities or find a campus organization and get involved. Make the most of your undergraduate experience. Also, take advantage of the many internship opportunities. In order to get the most out of your undergraduate experience, you must commit yourself to the process. 

What would you like to say to your fellow UDC students and colleagues? 
I first would like to say, “Go Firebird Nation!!" No really, I would say that while I realize that our University is in transition, this University can only be as great as those who matriculate. We make the difference. Some will always complain about everything; some will get what they need and leave without looking back. Let’s be the ones who go forward and represent the tremendous. 

What are your thoughts on the new student center? 

I’m very encouraged by the opening of the new Student Center. It speaks to the joint commitment of our city leaders and the University leadership. It speaks clearly to student friendly interest. …And the interior design is really is beautiful, with state of the art furnishing and equipment. 

How do you envision UDC in 2016? 
The University of the District of Columbia is poised to become a leading institution of higher learning in many areas of concentration. Our Board of Trustees and University administrators have taken bold and progressive measures to improve the college experience at all levels and continue their efforts to break down many barriers which impeded our progress in the past. 

Ms. Joniece Barnes can be reached at Click here for more information on the UDC Health Education program.

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