Dr. Ijeoma Opara was not always clear about her career path, but she wanted to be sure that she was an expert in whatever field she chose. Her Nigerian parents did not try to push her into any career but instead just told her to be the best at whatever she chooses. After losing her parents due to complications with diabetes, Dr. Opara wanted to address the issues that her community faced so that this does not continue happening which landed her in her current research position.
At a young age, she knew that she needed to take her academic success into her own hands. After getting to her senior year in high school, she realized that she did not have the classes that she needed to get into a four-year university. She instead started at community college and earned her associate degree before continuing on to get her bachelor’s degree.
Dr. Opara thought when she was finishing her bachelor’s that she wanted to go to law school. She took the LSAT twice and got into law schools but chose to not attend because she did not feel it was her true calling. Though Dr. Opara faced many trials and tribulations, she ended up exactly where she was meant to be. Learn more about her journey by listening to Episode 37 of The Research Her podcast.
About Dr. Ijeoma Opara
Dr. Opara received her Ph.D. in Family Science and Human Development at Montclair State University, her Master of Social Work from New York University, Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at New York Medical College, and a Bachelor of Arts from New Jersey City University.
Currently, Dr. Opara is a professor at Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare and Visiting Faculty at Yale University School of Public Health. Dr. Opara also directs a consulting agency that offers training to youth, community-based organizations, companies, and schools on various topics related to substance use prevention, sexual health, and more.
Connect with her:
LinkedIn: Ijeoma Opara, PhD, LMSW, MPH
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