Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” monthly series. Learn how our Union Institute & University (UI&U) graduates are living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment.
Featured this month: Natashia Conner Education: 2014 Union Graduate Maternal and Child Health – Human Lactation major
Profession: UI&U Professor Natashia Conner, MS, CHES, IBCLC in the Maternal and Child Health – Human Lactation major
Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?
A. Obtaining my B.S. in Maternal Child Health was world-changing for me. I started this program after having two traumatic births and what I would consider a mildly successful breastfeeding experience. This program opened my eyes to the issues of infant mortality and health disparities that exist within the African American community. I have since dedicated my life’s work to reducing health inequities that contribute to these disparities. As a result, of completing this program and working in the field of lactation, I went on to successfully breastfeed my third child for four years!
Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?
A. I most admire the administrative staff of my alma mater. Being a local resident (of Cincinnati), I remember spending many days working on countless assignments in the library/computer lab with my newborn baby. The staff was super encouraging and supportive. The support I received from the staff played a tremendous role in my ability to meet my academic goals.
Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?
A. I encourage all of the students to utilize the services offered. The writing center is there to assist you. I remember complaining about how difficult the professors seemed to be when it came to perfecting my writing. Now that I am on the other side, I see that it was all for my benefit. Although college is hard at times, and life situations arise, things do get better and it will be well worth the struggle in the end.
Q. What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
A. My greatest accomplishment has been helping over 3,000 women, infants, and families through their breastfeeding journey. There is nothing more rewarding than to see a mom/dad achieve their goals.