PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

anushka aqil

“I also believe that education is not just something that you get in an institution. It is an everyday experience that you get at your work, through your colleagues, through your peers, your family, your friends, etc.”

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Health, Behavior, and Society, PhD 2021

Health communications specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

anushka’s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss what led anushka to pursue her PhD in Health, Behavior, and Society, her take on the ambivalent nature of a PhD and the ways it can act as a source of power, and the ways her identities as a South Asian immigrant and member of the LGBTQ+ community impacted her academic and professional experiences.

Learn More About anushka’s Story

I joke that Surmai (pit bull sitting in front with his head facing down) has been my longest independent relationship outside of work/school, but it’s true—he has. I was lucky when Surmai and I found each other 8 years ago and having him, loving him, and being loved by him changed my world. Pit bulls don’t have the best reputation, so getting Motuu (pit bull in the back) was an even more audacious move and yet, I ended up with a reputation of woman with the unruly-but-beautiful pit bulls in the neighborhood that you don’t wanna mess with! My boys protected me and guided me through some of the loneliest and challenging moments up to date in my life. Some think I jest, but truly, they gave me a reason to wake up in the morning, more days than I can count. Uno, the cat, joined our family only three years ago when my partner and I decided we needed a third. I haven’t slept through the night since (not by choice)…I guess that’s what having a cat is all about! These three follow me around and keep me company every day, fill me up with countless stories that allow me to connect with others and push through the awkwardness, and of course, the endless cuddles (even the cat). I wouldn’t change anything for the world with them.

I’m unsure if I was born with a passion for travel or I gained an appreciation for it over time—either way, I am immensely privileged to be able to travel all over the world and experience something different every time. Pictured here, a coastline during a hike in Aiya Napa, Cyprus.