Student and Alumni Spotlights

Aliyah Oberoi

Turning A Passion Into a Career: From Pre-Med to Public Health

Aliyah Oberoi

Public Health with certificates in Public Health Advocacy and Education, Health Disparities, Global Public Health; Class of 2024

  • Oakland, NJ
  • Activities/Organizations: President, Rutgers Veg Society; Member, NJ Public Health Association; Member, Rutgers Formula Racing
  • Personal interests: Outdoor activities, plant-based diets, tuning cars for racing

During her college search, Aliyah Oberoi knew she wanted a big school with many options, but was still close to her northern New Jersey hometown of Oakland. Rutgers was the perfect fit.

A vegetarian, Aliyah spent time researching the benefits of plant-based diets and alternative medicine treatments. This inspired her to seek a career as a functional medicine doctor. She enrolled at Rutgers as a pre-med student while also taking public health classes suggested by her advisor.

“There are a plethora of activities, cultures, opportunities, classes, and interesting clubs at Rutgers to prepare you for your future,” she said. Though her early semesters began during the pandemic, she was able to make connections with faculty and fellow students through online classes and study sessions, club meetings, and even sporting events as the world moved back to normal. “Rutgers has been such a lively and inspiring campus filled with opportunities to support its students.”

Through her public health classes, she learned about disparities in public health, influences on policy, and how to turn her passions into a career.

One of her first courses—Principles of Public Health, taught by Professor Lisa Gulla—particularly captured her attention. “I learned how broad public health is and came to realize the extent of how much public health impacts the entire population. I was exposed to so many topics within public health in those early classes, and received so much career advice,” she said. “I also enjoyed Global Health Perspectives with Dr. Mark Robson. He shared personal experiences about traveling and various diseases around the world. He also understands the role diet plays in all aspects of health.”

Aliyah would like to spread awareness of plant-based diets and ensure that plant-based foods are readily accessible in all neighborhoods, including schools and hospitals. She hopes to conduct research and work on policy change, while also educating people on the personal and planetary benefits of plant-based diets. Her current plan is to attend graduate school in pursuit of public health nutrition.

In addition to being outside as much as she can, Aliyah started her own educational Instagram account @whatthefoodinfo to educate people about plant-based diets and alternative medicine practices. Outside of her educational aspirations she also is very interested in tuning cars for racing and hopes to work on her own dream cars in the future! She is currently working with her fellow Rutgers Formula Racing members to construct a formula one race car from scratch that will be used in future competitions.