Nicki Hussini is a fourth-year majoring in Global Public Health in the College. Nicki co-founded UVA's chapter of Natural Teeth, an organization that promotes a world where all smiles come naturally, working to educate and emphasize oral health in elementary schools and other areas of need. Nicki is also a Peer Health Educator, volunteers in a microbiology lab, and is the outreach chair for a student hip-hop group.
How did you first get involved?
I've found that spending quality time away from work and other commitments has been gratifying in the past. After reaping the numerous benefits of being a student at this University, I was always looking for ways in which I could give back to the UVA and Charlottesville communities. Setting aside time to do volunteer work I'm passionate about is always a great way to recharge and meet new people.
What has been most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect that comes with my community involvements is being able to see how meaningful our work can be to others. Whenever I do volunteer work through Natural Teeth and see that the kids we volunteer with are engaged with our program and excited to learn more, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment.
How do you plan to be involved in the community in the future?
Natural Teeth is currently working to expand their volunteer work to other elementary schools and areas of need in Charlottesville. Doing this will allow us to schedule volunteer events more frequently and take up more student volunteers!
How would you encourage others to get involved?
Find something that you're really passionate about and figure out how you can get involved with it. It takes some effort to really understand which organizations and involvements around Grounds will bring you the most joy, but once you do figure it out, it'll be incredibly rewarding. If the commitments you're looking to get involved in don't exist, create them yourself! Everything is possible.
What has been the greatest class you have taken at UVA?
The greatest class I've taken at UVA is GNUR 5390: Intro to U.S. Healthcare, taught by Professor Rick Mayes. As someone who is very interested in healthcare policy, this class was a great way to expose myself to the field. Professor Mayes is also awesome.
If you could do one thing to make the world a better place, what would it be?
If I could do one thing to make the world a better place, I would instill a deep sense of empathy in everyone. I think that the ability to empathize with one another would improve all aspects of the human experience and help us see eye-to-eye.