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Ivonne Headley is a master’s degree student in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, where she is studying nutrition. She credits La Familia with helping her build community as a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill.


Sterling, Virginia

Ivonne Headley
Ivonne Headley

Area of Study:

Master’s degree in Public Health; Nutrition

What motivates you?

Not necessarily a “what” but more of a “who” — my family and close friends. I’ve been blessed with a very strong support system between my parents, sisters, and friends I’ve adopted as family. Between them and my faith, I find the motivation to keep going every day.

Why UNC-Chapel Hill?

I studied dietetics, nutrition and food sciences as an undergraduate student at the University of Vermont. Since I’ve always loved connecting with people, one of my advisors pointed me in the direction of pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that also offered clinical nutrition training. After going through the application and acceptance process at the start of 2020, when it came down to deciding which program to commit to, honestly, UNC-Chapel Hill just felt right. I’m so grateful I chose UNC! I’ve experienced so much professional and academic growth since the start of my program last fall—I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

How have you built community at UNC-Chapel Hill?

It’s important for me to maintain meaningful relationships. On top of connecting with individuals in my cohort, when I arrived at Carolina, I also immediately got plugged in with La Familia—a support group for Latiné graduate and professional students. As a second-year MPH and RD student, I’ve continued to broaden my community through in-person classes as I’ve been able to get to know more of my amazing cohort.

Describe DSS in five words!

Support & love for underrepresented groups!
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