A grad student develops a health record system for an orphanage in Africa

From her home in London, Mishal Ahmed developed an electronic health record system for an orphanage in Benin. She did it as her capstone project for Fordham’s new online master’s degree program in applied health informatics, which teaches students to create cost-effective information systems for hospitals and health care providers.

“Rather than just reading and learning from theory, I want to practice it,” says Ahmed, who graduated from Fordham in May and is continuing to work with Humanity First, the international relief organization that put her in touch with the orphanage.

“Whenever a child enters the orphanage or is adopted, they need to fill out forms and submit them to the government,” Ahmed explains. “The orphanage wanted to make those forms electronic so they’re more safe, secure, and easily shareable.”

Ahmed says the Fordham program helped her develop her skills in information technology, artificial intelligence, and programming. And although she never had a permanent physical campus, she participated in two Fordham-hosted residential workshops at Oxford University’s St. Edmund Hall, where she met some of her classmates and other professionals.

With her new degree, she’s looking forward to continuing to “create something that will help people in the real world.”

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Taylor is a visual storytelling strategist in Fordham University's marketing and communications department, where she documents University life through photography and video. Since joining Fordham in 2018, she has served as a writer, photographer, videographer, and social media manager, dividing her time between University Marketing and Communications and the Office of the President. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Stony Brook University's School of Communication and Journalism and her master's degree in public media from Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared on NPR, NBC New York, and amNewYork METRO.