Rose is a second year, Joint Doctoral Public Health student majoring in Global Health at San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kyambogo University, Kampala-Uganda and her Master of Health Services Research (MHSR) from Makerere University, Kampala-Uganda. Shortly after, Rose was absorbed into the Makerere University’s Public Health Department to manage the implementation of several research projects on behalf of the faculty. She then decided to complete a short postgraduate diploma in project planning and management to support the work that she did for the University.
After her undergraduate studies at Kyambogo University, Rose joined a pharmaceutical company and although she enjoyed her work, she did not want to continue working in a laboratory setting. Rose wanted to stay in the healthcare sector but she wanted to go out into the community and help people in a different way. In trying to figure out how to transition to the public health setting, Rose decided to pursue a Master of Health Services Research (MHSR) degree from Makerere University which she completed in 2013. Her MHSR allowed Rose to go out into the community where she was able to run five HIV research projects between 2014 and 2020. These projects were implemented under the supervision of the current Makerere University School of Public Health Dean (Professor Rhoda Wanyenze), who was also the one who introduced Rose to her current SDSU School of Public Health Advisor, Professor Susan M. Kiene. At the time, Dr. Kiene was running a 5-year cluster-randomized trial in Uganda and hired Rose to manage the project which is what led her to pursuing a doctoral degree at SDSU and UCSD.
Rose’s past and present research surrounds HIV prevention. Her interest in HIV stems from the long-standing global pandemic nature of the disease. Moreover, Rose emphasizes that 80 percent of HIV infections happen in sub-Saharan Africa. Rose also points to the fact that Uganda has a population of about 45 million and 1.5 million of those people are living with HIV– which is causing strain to an already overwhelmed healthcare system. Rose plans to focus her future research on HIV prevention, especially within populations who are most at risk, which include commercial sex workers, fishing communities, pregnant women, adolescent girls and young women. Rose has published at least 10 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals with four currently under peer-review. She is also currently working on another manuscript using data from one of her Advisor’s ongoing projects about reducing heavy alcohol use and improving care engagement among men living with HIV in Uganda’s fishing communities.
In June 2021, Rose received the Global Grant Rotary Scholarship, which is a $32,000 award intended to cover SDSU mandatory campus fees, living expenses, housing, health insurance, and travel expenses during the period of Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters. The Rotary Foundation provides scholarships to graduate students who have demonstrated long-term commitment to certain areas of focus such as peace-building and conflict prevention, disease prevention and treatment, water sanitation and hygiene, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, community economic development, and a focus on environmental health. A key feature of the Rotary Foundation is that it partners with a Rotary Club in the scholar’s country of enrollment, and a Rotary Club in the scholar’s home country, which in this case is Uganda. Rose was able to demonstrate that her previous and current work as well as her future career prospects align with a focus on HIV prevention and treatment.
After completing her doctoral degree, Rose plans on conducting independent research in HIV prevention and treatment, teaching and providing mentorship support for early career researchers in her home country and beyond the sub-Saharan region of Africa.