Erika Ogino ‘16, Nuclear Disarmament Advocate & Alzhemier Researcher

D-E had a truly special event of hosting the Hiroshima survivor, Shigeko Sasamori, on the campus. Behind this extraordinary talk was Erika Ogino ’16 and  Erika shares her own behind the story.

“Throughout my high school career, I have been involved in activities related to nuclear disarmament (I volunteered at the NGO on Disarmament, Peace, and Security), and for my senior year, I wanted to be able to bring my disarmament awareness work to school.  I hope that everyone who comes to see this exhibit will be able to examine the facts and weigh the various viewpoints to determine what actions he or she can take in order to ensure the future he or she wants.  My hope is to engage my peers both on and beyond the D-E campus to become more knowledgeable, proactive, and responsible for the issues that affect us all,” says Erika.

She furthers, “my hope with inviting a survivor was that the issue would become more personalized. I felt that with nuclear disarmament, political and diplomatic considerations clouded and complicated the issue. If we could just see the humanitarian considerations, the issue would be much simpler. I think that Ms. Sasamori really highlighted how our lives are more valuable than war, and how we must take care of each other and the planet.”

Talking about her future Erika says, “I’m not quite sure of the career path I would like to take as I would like to keep my options open. However, I hope that I will be able to continue this awareness-building initiative throughout college and beyond. Whatever career path I choose, I hope that I will be able to benefit and improve the lives of those around me.”

There is more than advocating for a nuclear disarmament to Erika. She notes, “(for) Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP) data, I was able to show how according to the results of my analysis, physical activity was related to higher socioeconomic status, lower cardiovascular disease, and race. Although socioeconomic status, cardiovascular disease, and race are related to Alzheimer’s Disease incidence, I found out that physical activity did not decrease the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease. Although this wasn’t the result that I expected, I learned that getting unexpected results is what’s expected in research. My mentors, Dr. Manly and Ms. Sanchez of WHICAP, have been really supportive throughout the entire process. Recently, they asked me to present my findings at Taub Institute to other researchers and interns.”

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