An international student has brought a wealth of health and research experience to Robert Gordon University (RGU) from the United States.
Udo Obiechefu, 28, has travelled to Aberdeen for a summer internship where he will support RGU’s Healthy University initiative, Fit for the Future.
The postgraduate student, who is currently finishing a Masters in Public Health at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University.
He said: “I’d been looking for an international summer internship opportunity and my friend told me about Robert Gordon University. I visited Aberdeen last year and enjoyed being in the city so RGU was first on my list of preferred options.”
Udo contacted senior lecturer Gil Barton who plays a key role in the university’s Healthy University initiative which was launched last year.
An internship programme was developed and agreed which will see Udo carry out a wide range of work and support the Healthy University project in a number of ways, including:
- Data analysis of the recent student physical activity and wellbeing survey
- Development of the ‘Active Classroom’ including information sharing with Sydney University’s ‘Move More, Sit Less’ strategy
- Support the work of RGU’s newly launched Mental Wellbeing Society
Udo said: “The data analysis is coming along really well and it has been interesting to identify different trends between different populations on campus. There’s a clear link between health and exercise related to mental health and wellbeing which Fit for the Future is promoting through a number of schemes targeted currently at staff.”
Gil Barton said: “I am delighted that we were able to offer Udo a summer internship working on various aspects of the Fit for the Future initiative.
“He brings a wealth of experience to us from the international perspective and from his volunteer and academic skills.
“Udo has been linking with a wide range of colleagues from across the university exploring different aspects from student mental wellbeing, sexual health and physical activity.
“He is keen to learn more about how inequalities can impact on academic learning and how we support our students.”
Udo will complete his Masters by distance learning while he is in Aberdeen and away from his university work he is already enjoying life in Aberdeen.
Udo said: “I’m keen to enjoy as much of the city as possible while I’m here this summer. Aberdeen is a dynamic and diverse city with lots to see and do.
“Having the Aberdeenshire countryside on our doorstep is great and I’m looking forward to doing some hill walking over the next few weeks.”
Professor Valerie Maehle, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care, chairs the Health University Steering Group.
She said: “Attracting an international postgraduate student of Udo’s calibre for a summer internship is a fantastic coup and will be of great benefit to our Healthy University initiative, Fit for the Future.
“The project has achieved a number of key aims since it was launched last year and a lot of hard work is going in to develop a holistic and ‘whole systems’ approach to health and wellbeing across the campus for staff and students.”