Anne Noel

A new path, a greater vision

By Deserae E. del Campo

A new path, a greater vision

By Deserae E. del Campo
University of Miami graduate is grateful she found her calling in global health

Ever since Anne Noel can remember, participating in community service and volunteer initiatives has always been a part of her life—especially when she was growing up in Haiti.

“I was always doing some community service,” recalls the University of Miami graduate who recently earned her master’s degree from the College of Arts & Sciences’ Global Health and Society program. “Helping my mother hand out health-related flyers at local hospitals in Haiti was something I did as a little girl. My service to the community truly started from there.”

Anne NoelWhenever Noel isn’t working as a teacher for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, she is volunteering at the Nicklaus Children's Hospital or at her local community health center. So it’s no surprise that Noel decided to apply for her master’s degree in global health at UM, but this path wasn’t her first choice.

“At first, I was on a course to attend dental school,” says Noel. “Yet, I realized that my passion to be a dentist wasn’t there.”

Noel, who was born and raised in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, says her parents’ dream was for her to one day be a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. “Those career paths are expected in Haitian families, so when I told them about my decision to get a degree in global health, they were a bit confused. Now I tell them that I can one day be the Minister of Health for Haiti, and they understand.”

In 2017, Noel earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at St. Thomas University, and before starting an online master’s program in public health at another institution, she found the global health program here at the University with the help of a guidance counselor. She began the program in the summer of 2020 and recently graduated in December 2021.

“I was so eager to start,” says Noel. “I felt like I finally found something that I was passionate about. Every course in the program was amazing and the professors were so supportive. It would be unfair to say that I have a favorite professor in the program because they each cared so much.”

Now that she has graduated, Noel is taking a year off from her studies to work in her field but plans to pursue a Ph.D.

“I am so grateful for the global health program at UM. Taking what I’ve learned here and applying it to help Haiti and its people is the goal,” said Noel. “Ideally, I want to obtain advanced training so that I can design and implement educational innovations for sustainable programs in Haiti that will last, that are effective, and that will improve the lives of vulnerable and underserved populations, and I feel I can do that with the foundation I have gained here at UM.”