Pay it 1964ward – Doctoral student working to educate underserved populations in lactation

The Changing the Faces of Education – Pay it 1964ward campaign is underway and is already making a difference in the lives of our students. At Union, 100 percent of funds that donors designate to scholarships go directly to the student.

Scholarship recipient Tangela L. Boyd is passionate about using her Ph.D. to help bring about change for more perinatal education for black women. Her vision is to see black women gain more access to breastfeeding programs.

Tangela is an affiliate faculty member in the UI&U Maternal Child Health in Human Lactation degree program and a graduate of Union’s Master of Arts degree with a major in Health & Wellness and a concentration in Human Lactation. In addition, she is an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Certified Lactation Educator (CLE), Certified Childbirth Educator (CCCE), and Certified Postpartum Doula (CPD) who has a passion for working with breastfeeding mothers. She also is a member of United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA) and International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA).

Tangela Boyd, Ph.D. studentIn the Q & A below, Tangela discusses her plans to use her Ph.D. to transform lives and communities by helping to eliminate maternal mortality among black women.

Q. How has the scholarship you received impacted your academic career?
A. My scholarship encourages me to keep moving forward with my education. It confirms my investment in Union and Union’s investment in me.

I’m the mom of four sons, a senior at West Point, a freshman at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and 14-year-old twins, so obviously, the scholarship is a blessing.

Q. Union’s goal is to transform lives and communities. Can you share how this goal impacts you and your community?
A. I want to use my Ph.D. to help transform the breastfeeding rates for black women.
Unfortunately, in the black culture, there are not a lot of women who breastfeed. If it were the norm, I do believe more women would consider breastfeeding. It can be hard promoting something that you really do not understand and live. There are negative perspectives such as a lack of support and a lack of confidence that affect the decisions of black women to breastfeed.

My goal is to create a lactation curriculum/program for the underserved population. Lactation education advancement is a key to changing this outcome. I want to create podcasts and work with HBCU’s to help change this disparity. Education and support can make a huge difference.

Q. Union is known for its commitment to social justice. How will social justice be interwoven in your career plans?
A. Union’s commitment to social justice is interwoven through the curriculum and faculty. Union brings out inequality issues. As a student and faculty member in the Maternal Health degree program, I am encouraged to discuss social justice issues with students and colleagues. As I continue to pursue my career, I plan to use what I learn at Union to provide support for increasing breastfeeding rates among black women and shed light on racial disparities and lack of access to good health care.

Q. What are your plans after you earn your degree?
A. I want to use my degree to develop lactation curriculum/programs to educate underserved populations, especially black women.

You can learn more about Tangela and her work at her web site Mommy Milk & Me Inc.

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