Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Leadership lived: Public Health major plans to use theatre passion to educate others

Christopher Vemagiri Marbaniang, a graduate student at the University of Illinois Springfield, hopes to combine his two passions, public health and theatre, to educate people about important health issues.

“I plan to use my skills as an actor and education in public health from UIS to promote health through theatre and TV shows, such as documentaries or film after I graduate from UIS. I believe the best way to communicate health is through entertainment,” he said.

Vemagiri Marbaniang was recently part of the UIS Theatre production of “Machinal” and has appeared in three other productions at UIS. He says theatre and acting have always been a passion for him.

“What I love about theatre is that you can invoke emotion in people and you convey a message when you use your body, your face and your words to inspire people or tell a story through a character that you play,” he said.

At UIS, Vemagiri Marbaniang is treasurer of the Student Government Association, chair of the Student Organization Funding Association, a senator on the UIS Campus Senate, vice president of the UIS Public Health Club, a worship leader for the University Bible Fellowship, member of the UIS Mock Trial team and has served as a host for the International Festival since 2015.

Vemagiri Marbaniang also interns with the Office of Health Care Regulation at the Illinois Department of Public Health through the UIS Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI).

“What brought me to UIS is the Graduate Public Service Internship Program, which is a very unique program,” he said. “This program has given me the opportunity to work with a state agency downtown and it is in sync with my major.”

Outside of UIS, Vemagiri Marbaniang has worked as a motivational speaker campaigning for healthy living and has rallied against drug and sexual abuse in children, teenagers and young adults. He also has a YouTube Channel where he posts motivational talks about life lessons. He also blogs about beauty pageants and has mentored contestants in public speaking and confidence.

Vemagiri Marbaniang, who was born in India and calls Alabama home, says he’s glad he chose UIS and encourages other students from around the world to consider the university.

“UIS is a small campus, however it is the small campus that gives you a great opportunity to learn more because of the focus that people have on you. You can focus more on your skills and on your instructors and professors can help you hone your skills to become a better professional,” he said.

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