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Health Studies Alumna Awarded Outstanding International Student Recognition

Sacha Villegas
Sacha Villegas

School of Public and Population Health alumna Sacha Villegas, who graduated in December 2022, was awarded “Outstanding International Student” from Boise State University’s Center for Global Engagement  last fall. This award “recognizes an international student who has excelled in an academic field.”

Villegas was nominated for the award by SPPH Professor Jaime Sand.

Jaime Sand
Professor Jaime Sand

“Sacha was an eligible student who has demonstrated a clear dedication to her education through excellent grades, quality work and initiative in gaining more experience,” Sand said.

To Sand, an outstanding international student is someone who is involved in the community and is willing to bring their perspective into classroom and campus conversations.

“Moving to a new country to pursue your educational goals is pretty outstanding on its own,” Sand said. “But I think an outstanding international student at Boise State seeks out the unique opportunities that our university and city offer, and considers how to utilize their experiences to better their community.”

Villegas’s first degree, which she received in her home country of Colombia, was in Psychology. Villegas decided to a second degree with Boise State University after helping an American family find the biological family of their adopted son.

“They offered for me to come to Boise State University to study English,” Villegas said. “They became my sponsors — an act for which I am endlessly thankful for.”

When deciding what to study at Boise State, it felt natural for Villegas to continue in the health field. After her first semester, Villegas said she realized just how important data is to the health field, so she added a Health Informatics and Information Management emphasis to her degree. ”

For Villegas, the highlight of her college career was meeting new friends, staff and faculty from all areas of the world.

“The most rewarding experience at Boise State is the people I met,” Villegas said.