Profiles in Public Health

An education in public health starts in the classroom but continues to evolve after graduation and into professional life.
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Rachel Zahn, MPH

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences
Office of Associate Director of Communication; Division of Communication Services (CDC-INFO)

Kendra Wilson, DrPH, CHES, CPH

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences
Office of Global Health

Andrea Vilorio, MPH, CHES

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences
Office of Global Health

Mary Harbert Morgan, MPH

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences
National Center of Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)

Marieh Scales, MPH

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences
National Center of Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)

Leigh Ellyn Preston, MPH, DrPH

Texas A&M University School of Public Health
Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

Christine Phyathep, MPH

New York University School of Global Public Health
Global Health
Bacterial Special Pathogen Branch (BSPB) Atlanta, Georgia

Angela Monahan, MPH

University of California, Berkeley – School of Public Health
Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Global Affairs, Washington, DC

Shilpi Misra, MPH

George Washington University, Milken Institute of Public Health
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), Spokane Mining Research Division, Miner Health Branch, Spokane, Washington

Joseph Madden, MPH

Georgia State University
Health Policy and Management
Communication and Education Branch (NCIRD > ISD)

Deana Li, MPH

University of Southern California

Jessica Laury, MPH

Rollins School of Public Health

Allycia Kleine, MPH

Rollins School of Public Health
Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences
Center for Surveillance Epidemiology and Laboratory Services (CSELS)

Kathleen Cunningham, MPH

University of Southern California

Makala D. Carrington, MPH

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Jessica Bell-Johnson, MPH

University of Memphis School of Public Health

Su Yeon Bae, MPH

Rollins School of Public Health

Yididya Amha, MPH

Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
Health Policy and Management
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention; Office of Policy, Planning, and Partnerships

Adam Aasen, MPH

University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Public Health Administration and Policy
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Global Affairs

Savannah (Savi) Brenneke

The pursuit of justice in the face of unjust institutions and systems that act against the health of populations.

Yve Francois

Public Health is mom where medicine is dad; you don't know or appreciate how much behind-the-scenes work happens until mom goes on vacation.

SriLasya Reddy

Public health, to me, is a platform to advocate for those who need it and an inclusive community where people are accepted and valued regardless of their race, sexuality, and gender.

Pranav Kapoor

Public Health is the link that connects people from all different backgrounds to opportunities that enable them to improve their health.

Omkari Kunam

Public Health is serving a community as a whole to promote good health based on the specific needs of that specific community in a way that is culturally appropriate.

Olivia Zarella

Public health is an opportunity to make a change to multiple of aspects of society.

Noor Ali

Public Health, to me, is the collaboration of the art and science of medicine.

Nikita Wagle

Public health to me is an opportunity to impact several lives at a time.

Ngozi Fadulu

Public Health is improving the overall health of the community

Michelle Delgado

To me, public health means promotion of health prevention while taking into consideration health inequities and social justice.

Marshae Nickelberry

To me, Public Health is all about people and the ways in which the world around them impacts their overall well-being.

Madi Bautista

Public health is everything.

Maddie Kasimanickam

Public health is the science of improving the health and safety of communities and populations through education, policymaking, and research.

Liz Lusk

Public health is the practice of assisting our people and communities in living a good quality of life.

Lauren Kauffman

Public Health is the intersection of several disciplines - biology, statistics, psychology, social sciences, and communications, just to name a few – with the purpose of positively impacting health in the larger population; health, in this context, includes not just the prevention and treatment of disease, but also the larger goal of promoting overall physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.

Lauren Bell

Public Health to me is the means to give people the access and the tools to live a healthy and successful life, which includes health education, access to healthcare services, and adequate, thorough health care.

Laura Bryson

Public health is perspective from which to study, understand, and improve the complex ways people interact with their self, community, environment, and policies that influence multidimensional health, from the individual level to the global population.

Larry Warner

To me, public health is the combination of social and healthcare services and workforces which strive to create healthy communities; prevent and respond to illness and injury; and promote health equity.

Kimberly McNally

Public health is a commitment to value the health of others and the environment.

Johnny Barba

Public health, to me, can be epitomized by throwing a small stone into still water such that the ripple effects of one seemingly small action can reach out and touch all aspects of the shore--that is, all the many lives around us.

Joba Odediran

Public Health is Social Justice.

Jacquita Johnson

Public health is social justice, an avenue to achieve equity for us all.

Hannah Aaron

Public health is the way to understand the complex factors and determinants that make up the health of populations and communities.

Gabri’el Shabazz

Do best what people need most!

Erin Manalo-Pedro

Public health is the ongoing, organized effort to develop environments for all people to feel whole, including identifying and changing conditions in conflict with this goal.

Emily Bradford

Public health is broad term used to describe a collection of efforts to identify and address areas of health concern in the community.

Liz Lusk

Public health is the practice of assisting our people and communities in living a good quality of life.

Eliza Steere

Public health to me is protecting communities from negative health outcomes through promoting positive health behaviors and lifestyles.

Destany Ware

Public Health is the advocacy for and dedication to other's wellbeing in a healthy matter, to ensure the healthiest life for oneself and one's community.

Danielle Harmon

Public health to me is the overall initiative to better the health of our communities and population through science-based research, health promotion programing and education.

Dan Popkin

Public health is a multidisciplinary collaboration to improve health on both an individual, as well as a population level.

Cheyanne Busso

Public health is the study, promotion, and advocacy of all health matters, including mental and physical health as well as the societal factors that influence safety and well-being.

Carlos Orellana Garcia

Public health is the science that promotes prevention and safety of improving the health of communities through education, advocacy, and research for disease prevention at an individual and population level.

Calli Laskowski

Public health is the continued, rigorous work to protect and promote EVERYBODY'S health.

Bryce Takenaka

To me, public health is about preventing and addressing upstream determinants that cause inequities across populations.

Bethany Ockerbloom

Public health is achieving health equity.

Anushree Gade

Public health, to me, means interdisciplinary collaboration in order to enhance overall health by identifying gaps and inequities in the healthcare delivery system.

Aneeka Ratnayake

Pubic health to me means optimizing the full spectrum of society's wellbeing in an evolving global context.

Albana Ochaeta

Public Health is a field that aims to improve health outcomes in populations--whether locally or globally--through intersectoral collaboratives focused on prevention, education, and research.

Rajrupa Ghosh

Public health is a way to improve health, preventing disease, and promoting a healthy lifestyle among the population.

Emily Gordon

Public health is a collection of innovative ideas to improve varying aspects of life for populations of people.

Kelli Gribben

Public health is an interdisciplinary field focused on advancing the health of our communities through research and practice.

Samantha Griffin

Public health is about recognizing and breaking down barriers to give everyone a right to health.

Walae Hayek

Public health is a multidisciplinary field dedicated to achieving health equity and preventing disease by addressing the social determinants of health.

Christopher Hopkins

I see public health as an interdisciplinary force that aims to improve health and wellness by building up community resources thereby improving the overall health of the nation.

Catherine Cortez

Public health is a committed, collaborative effort to investigate and address the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of achieving optimal health & well-being across all populations.

Tyler Beauregard

As a clinician, public health is what we do to promote health and well-being for more than one person; if it was only for one person, it would be clinical practice.

Linda Chyr

Public health protects and improves individual, family, community, and population health and well-being through rigorous science and advocacy.

Amber Deckard

Whether it be through advocacy, programming, or by simply lending a helping hand, public health to me is about addressing the barriers and needs of a population in order to enable them to have optimal physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health.

Brigitte Dietz

Public health is the collaboration of social and scientific disciplines to facilitate improved population health and happiness, at any and every level possible.

Katarina Domitrovich

Public health, to me, describes a public system--an overarching umbrella--which is made up of specialists trained in specific areas with the common goal: to keep the people it serves, including the environment and all its creatures, safe, and efficiently running without prejudice, without hate, without political bias, and with a constant eye on how we can do better, be better, and prepare better in the future.

Alexis Donaldson

Public health takes a scientific and data-driven approach to ensuring the mental and physical health and safety of the public.

Relicious Eboh

Public health is the intersection between society and health to aid in preventing diseases.

Ashley Fenton

Public health, for me, is promoting and educating individuals from different backgrounds and communities on health behaviors and wellness to prevent illness and injury.

Alexandra Fox

To me, public health is about bridging the gaps between healthcare and health equity through education and patient empowerment.

Deanna Gatling

Public health is a collaboration of concepts and ideas that are the foundation for building strong, healthy communities.

Teace Markwalter

Public Health is protecting the health and wellbeing of humans, animals, and the environment.

Ashley Vaughn

Public health means acknowledging the interconnectedness of our world and using it to address the root of the inequalities in health outcomes that we see today.

Clarisse Vidal

Public health protects and promotes population health.

Evelyn Zavala

Public health is almost everything around us, it is what keeps all of us healthy and well!

Gen Zhu

Public health is to improve the health and wellness of people through scientific research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and various programs and services.

Tate Atkinson

Moving towards equity in our communities health

Juliana Barounis

Public health is the overall well-being of human beings and society, in terms of mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.

Courtney Blondino

Public health is everything and everywhere.

Joshua Castro

Public Health is a multisectorial approach toward protecting and prolonging life by improving the quality of health of all people and their communities.

Sydney Chaves

Public health is challenging inequities to create a better life and health for the greater good.

Priyanka Shrestha

Public Health is health that we decide to choose for ourselves as a community, a country, and the world itself.

Madison Snitker

Public health is the effort to improve and protect the health of all people to ensure they have the knowledge and tools to live their healthiest lives.

Anthony Surace

Public health means ensuring everyone has a fair chance at living a happy, healthy, and productive life.

Vincent Varvaro

Public health to me is the goal of achieving a more healthy population, both nationally and internationally - through policy, research, and medicine.

Andrea McGowan

Public Health is the recognition that solving our nations health crises require holistic, contextual, and comprehensive approaches executed by interdisciplinary teams.

Marcus McKay Jr.

Public health is the interdisciplinary field of study whose sole purpose is to investigate, inform, and intervene on any subject that causes harm to the health of the mass population.

Amelia Metcalf

Public Health is advocacy for the health of all; the advancement of science results in improved population health and overall quality of life.

Amanda Mohammed

Public health is about preparedness and incorporating a health equity lens to promote healthy outcomes for all.

Taylor Munro

Public health focuses on the health inequities and injustices that disproportionately affect people and strive to improve the health and well being of those communities, the environment, and social structures.

Athena Nguyen

Public health is working towards a more just, sustainable, and humane world.

Nihmath Nasiha Pattamaniar Sultan Maliq

Public Health is a field that strives to ensure complete well being of the population at large (all people without discrimination).

Brittney Peterkin

Public health is the practice of the educating communities and promoting prevention methods to improve the health outcomes locally and globally.

Alyssa Rentuza

Public health to me is not just the social, economic, judicial, medical, and biological factors that contribute to individual and community well-being, but also finding where we can contribute to and bolster the systems that support this well-being.

Jen Roux

To me, public health is the opportunity to extend humanity towards others and connect individuals, community and populations together through shared compassion and recognized interdependence.

Gabrielle Gussin

Public health describes a dynamic field that engages people from many different disciplines to understand, address, and intervene on the complex drivers of human health and disease.

Ana Francisca Soares de Castro Mendes

I believe that every day is a rewarding experience because I have the opportunity to learn and work with brilliant people in several areas.

Marija Aleksandraityté

Public health has led me to express my desire to help society be healthier and more active.

Vina Himmatus Sholikhah

Learning with society to understand society's health situations and solve problems that best fit their needs.

Sergio Alves

The biggest challenge in public health today is addressing the multifactorial components that affect disadvantaged communities.

Smitimedha Das

People typically choose public health, when they are keenly interested in helping others and improving society.

Jorge E Vilches

My decision to study public health was inspired by the possibility of make changes improving health status on the population, impacting a lot of people and not only at individual level.

Aibatyr Iskazin

There is nothing more rewarding than the fact that you helped someone, and their quality of life had increased because of you.

Jeffrey Zen Liu

I believe that all people should have access to affordable healthcare regardless of economics, race, or other issues.

Emily Houston

Public Health is behind-the-scenes efforts to prevent disease and injuries and improve quality of life.

Marta Moniz

Public health ends and begins with people and it’s always for them that all matters are or should be directed.

Nan Chen

Please never lose your passion for pursuing the field of public health.

Su Pei Khoo

Health is a basic human right and public health is a dynamic field of study.

Blessed Chetachi Egbuchulam

Public Health affords the opportunity to reach the unreached, thereby impacting lives and ensuring that people don't become victims of diseases that can be prevented.

Khawla Nasser AlDeen

Reflect and think of the needs in the community and issues you are passionate about and have the courage to create your path within public health.

Pedro Villela Chavez

I am passionate for Global Health and my love for this area of study has taken me to organizations such as The United Nations and the World Bank.

Bryan Buckley

It will be important for the next generation to translate the amazing stuff we are doing in public health in a way that gets government leaders attention and promotes investment in a robust public health infrastructure.

Joshua Yudkin

I am very interested in cardiometabolic diseases and believe they are all the biggest public health threat.

Lucas Buyon

I'm currently focusing my dissertation on leveraging new ways to use genomic data to inform malaria epidemiology, vaccine development, and policy.

Haley Greene

I aspire to improve infectious disease reporting and control efforts in developing countries…

Puja Shah

My concentration is Epidemiology and I'm interested in utilizing data analytics to streamline screening and surveillance systems, specifically for vulnerable and underserved populations.

Ally Siegler

My time as a VISTA solidified my interest in community work and environmental/population health, especially when it comes to food access.

Liang Man-fang

Alyssa Na

I hope that in my future role as an health administrator, I can help develop and implement initiatives and interventions that promote better practices on a patient- and community-level.

Thanh Nguyen

I have many interests in public health, however the main two interests I’d have to pinpoint is in oral health and hospital associated infections.

Samraat Sexena

I have a passion for working in local communities and am striving towards being a better health educator.

Haley Delgado

I think that as the medical field approaches a personalized perspective, public health approaches and interventions should consider this as well.

Micaela Sandoval

One issue that's very important to me is diversity in public health.

Ashlee Nelson

I believe that if we focus on housing/quality of living conditions at a global level, many other issues would start to self-correct a bit or, at the very least, help to narrow the scope of what the next steps could be.

Lisa Strauss

My passion and interests relating to what I believe is one of the biggest public health threats facing the world today is that of vaccine hesitancy and antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance.

Michael Gonzalez, Jr.

One of the biggest challenges facing public health is fully achieving and maintaining social and environmental justice.

Abdullah Shihipar

I am in the generalist concentration, with a focus on overdose prevention and harm reduction.

Lindsey Tolman

My hope is to remedy these beliefs and work toward a more educated (and vaccinated) general population.

Steven Burton

Being able to work together in a setting that utilized teamwork and allowed me to significantly impact patients lives while I worked in a pediatric Emergency Department was the most rewarding experience of my career so far.

Tyler Walsh

The biggest public health threat that we face moving forward is the increase in vaccine preventable diseases and addressing the anti-vaccination movement.

Jasdeep Kler

I’m equally interested in public health research and translating those findings into public health policy.

Laurel Gumpert

The problem of vaccine hesitancy globally reduces herd immunity.

Kyera Suggs

I work for a local non-profit organization in Memphis with preschoolers.

Elizabeth Stephenson

Lauren Silverwood

It is our job as health professionals to constructively correct the misinformation that exists and innovatively reach communities that do not have adequate access to vaccinations.

Joanna McClain

I am interested in program evaluation, employee health, and family planning.

Abigail Lee

I believe the effect of societal stigma is an incredible issue in public health.

Sonia Sampson

So much of what influences our health occurs outside our interactions with medical professionals.

Keegan Krause

The public health issue that I see as most pressing right now is that im/migration is not explicitly viewed nor treated by our government as a public health issue, but rather as a "national security threat".

Kyanna Williams-Pate

I aspire to be a physician but want to learn more than how to prescribe medicine and treat individuals. I want to make a larger impact, so learning social determinants of health is important to me, so that I can ensure that I can provide the best care for all patients. Public health provides the foundation for practicing preventative medicine, which is crucial for overall wellness in a community.

Juan Gudino

My interest in public health was initially sparked by the various racial inequities that are found throughout the United States.

Zaena Tessema

My research interests primarily revolve around infectious diseases and emergency preparedness, which kind of tie into what I believe to be one of the biggest public health threats.

Kaela Edwards

I was fortunate enough to study both biology and Spanish during my undergraduate career. The intersection of health and culture has always been of interest to me. Public health was the perfect field to study acculturation and all the other factors that influence health.

Rachel Ford

I read "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston in high school and realized that I was fascinated by epidemiology and how researchers work to track down the sources of disease and how they use that knowledge to implement future prevention strategies.

Tuyetson Nguyen

Alextia Armstrong

Growing up on Chicago’s Southside (a heavily industrialized area) and obtaining my BA in Environmental Studies from DePaul gave me a lot of exposure to the detrimental effects of anthropogenic pollutants and climate change. I felt that I needed to further prepare myself to tackle these issues by attending one of the best schools in this nation that address and dedicate their time to protecting the public’s health--this is what inspired me to study public health.

Anna-Michelle McSorley

The most rewarding experience in my public health career thus far has been my role in community organizing on behalf of a non-profit policy advocacy organization in Los Angeles focused on advancing federal and state policies that promote reproductive justice within the Latina/x community. Truly, working in partnership with the community and cultivating grassroots support for policies that promote health within the Latina/x community has been thrilling.

Elliott Bosco

The most rewarding experience is being able to meet so many passionate students with a variety of interests and work with them on a daily basis.

Zuleyma Ruiz

As a Latina I discovered how important public health is to my community and wish to work towards increasing the health of undeserved and minority populations.

Ross Ogden

The most rewarding experience has been becoming aware of a different view of medicine regarding our entire country and world. And learning how health disparities and inequities continue the cycle of sickness, poverty, and mortality.

Laura Jones

Laboratory research is my first love but I wanted to do more with people and not just with cells and DNA, and epidemiology wound up being an excellent fit.

Seamus Taylor

I was inspired by a professor who explained upstream and downstream determinants of health to me. When I realized that I could make a much greater impact by focusing on population health as opposed to individual health, I chose public health and haven't looked back since.

Alessandra Pratt

A professor at my undergrad institution explained to me the upstream versus downstream approach to solving problems. Public health has the ability to be upstream and thereby preventing problems in the first place which is why I fell in love with it. I am helping people before they even know they need it.

Kamrie Sarnosky

I was inspired to go into public health during a microbiology conference- outbreak investigations and the relationship between bench science and population health is fascinating and rewarding.

Noble K. Salwan

By helping with changing a policy or coming up with a way to prevent a specific disease, not only am I able to improve the quality of health for the public but I am able to affect far more people than ever imaginable because of the population health aspect that public health brings to the table.

Jennie Toner-Algin

I was inspired by the dysfunctional US system and my experience working in other countries' systems.

Alexandra Michel

Morgan Drexler

I have always loved health and when I discovered what public health was, I was sold because of the widespread impact I can have on community’s health.

Mam Jarra Gai

I was inspired by the ability to be able to reach a wider audience, one health problem at a time.

Azka Khawaja

Growing up in a vulnerable population with many health disparities pushed me to take action at the forefront and help create opportunities at the population level through public health improvement.

Shanaika Grandoit

I was inspired by my time working with adolescent survivors of human trafficking before attending Rollins School of Public health.

Mawyah Bashatah

I was inspired by HIV/AIDS knowledge and how it is stigmatized in my country. This made me want to change the concept.

Melissa Otterbein

Public health is the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual empowerment of individuals and communities.

Ashiye Aator

My most rewarding experience is being taught by so many professors who are experts in the field of Public Health.

Karina Goicochea

I was inspired by my passion for outreach and health education, which was originally rooted in community nutrition back when I was in high school.

Adrianna Tirloni

I was inspired after working in the hospital and wanted to focus my career on preventing diseases that affect the community.

Aishwarya Nagar

Public health was the perfect intersection between my social justice interests and my passion for STEM (specifically medicine and human health), and offered the opportunity to target grave health equity issues on a population-health level.

Meredith Morrison

I was inspired by my study abroad trip exploring what sexual health care and health systems look like in Europe.

Allante Moon

Understanding and positively impacting issues of equity regarding access, healthy behaviors and preventative care, and the correlation to health disparities fuels my interest and passion for the elimination of these disparities.

Sarah Andrea

My interest in public health, and epidemiologic research in particular, began in my first research role after just graduating with my undergraduate degree. Formative projects focused on understanding the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among children and incarcerated women and demonstrating the utility of minimally invasive and highly sensitive diagnostic methods in these vulnerable populations.

Sabera Saleh

After visiting a small, under privileged community in Honduras I understood that Public Health is the most important area of study that I could use to one day help another human being.

Antonio Foles

The single most rewarding experience of my studies so far has been seeing how the work I'm doing is actually impacting lives, and that individuals are disseminating this information to others.

Meredith Yinger

I worked clinically in healthcare during my year off, and was often frustrated by the things I could not help my patients with during that time. I decided to go into public health to try to change the system of healthcare more broadly, instead of impacting the patient experience one patient at a time.

Kurayi Mahachi

The single most rewarding experience of my studies so far was helping a doctor provide care and education to orphanages in Togo. Just witnessing the relief on the child care giver's face as the doctor worked with patients was heart warming.

Vanessa Freire

Going to Costa Rica and aiding those in poverty was the most rewarding experience of my studies so far.

Vanessa Vassall

Public health is an art and a science. It focuses on trends in health issues which can be addressed through creative means. Public health places people, families and communities at the center of solutions. And I believe in people.

Clarisa Medina

Jessica Sexton

The biggest challenge that the public health field faces is strengthening health systems throughout the world.

Ans Irfan

The Interdisciplinary Student Community-Oriented Prevention Enhancement Service (ISCOPES) is perhaps one of the most rewarding experience thus far. It is experiential learning, public health practice experience where one works with interdisciplinary teams of graduate students from different academic areas to serve marginalized and underserved communities in Washington, D.C.

Junaed Siddiqui

Knowing that there's an opportunity to harness rapidly evolving technologies to solve public health problems that have plagued the world for decades inspired me to study public health.

Reece Lyerly

I am especially proud of the time I spent prior to graduate school when I developed a network and resource center for community gardens in Greenville, SC; it has been my most rewarding public health experience so far.

Katie Overbey

I had always been interested in health and medicine, but wasn't interested in becoming a doctor. Public health was the perfect fit for me and the interdisciplinary nature of the field is really what motivated me to study public health. Public health encompasses so many things and I love being able to work on diverse projects with people from a whole range of backgrounds.

Yoshira Ornelas

The single most rewarding experience of my studies so far is being able to work on Environmental Justice Issues.

Diana Cassar-Uhl

When I became a mother, I found myself in a perpetual information-gathering mode, and feeling like I needed to advocate for myself and my children in order to ensure our best health outcomes. The system wasn’t serving us, rather it was serving its own interests. I became passionate about supporting other mothers, which led to educating healthcare providers, which illuminated a need for more researchers and policymakers. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding spurred me to leave my previous career and pursue my MPH. I wanted to contribute meaningfully to an initiative like that.

Megan Whetzel

My inspiration to study public health was driven by my love of healthcare, and helping my peers. When I did not get accepted to physical therapy school, my heart was broken. I knew I loved every aspect of healthcare, and I thought that physical therapy was the only option I had to make a difference in others’ lives. I stumbled upon an acquaintance who was studying public health, and he encouraged me to seek more information on schools and what public health was all about. I did some research, contacted some faculty members, fell in love, and immediately knew that everything had worked out like it was supposed to.

Molly Phares

I’ve always enjoyed helping people at the individual level whether it’s feeding the homeless or being a reading buddy at an after-school reading program. Public health encompasses so many of these things, but on a greater scale. I was really inspired by my husband to pursue my public health degree. As a dental student, he explained to me the many health disparities associated with oral health and the devastating impacts poor oral health can have on an individual’s life. This has inspired me to pursue a career in this unique field.

Stuart Portman

My desire to make meaningful changes by challenging misinformed perceptions of health is fostered by the way that public health enables people to see how individuals are impacted by systems. I wanted to focus on an interdisciplinary field of study, and public health engages both the biologist and political scientist in me.

Sharon Qin

While I was on the pre-med track in college, I was not quite sure if medicine is something I would like to do for the rest of my life. One day, I was chatting with a friend from Stanford University, and as I was telling him about my concerns, he asked me, “Do you want to save one person at a time, or a million people at the same time?” And my answer was: “A million people.” This is what inspired me to study public health.

Esther Robbins

Maya Robinson

The thought of seeing people suffering pains me, because I know I would not want to live that life. My passion involves helping the underserved and providing them with tools to live healthier lives. I became interested as a child, after seeing many of my family being diagnosed with and die from chronic diseases, and from shadowing my mother in the hospital. Each encounter with ailing patients piqued my curiosity in discovering what I could contribute to their healing. As a result, I felt that public health would enable me to address determinants leading to the top causes of death today.

Elizabeth Lucy Seaman

Oreoluwa Otubanjo

I became interested in public health while I was doing my internship at the Medical Center of Plano during my undergraduate studies. Being able to serve others while performing daily wellness screenings at schools, hospitals, and health fairs made me develop a passion for the field.

Marysel Pagán Santana

I watched my parents struggle with unfair policies concerning their workload, payment, and retirement. I also watched my sister work for a temp job company and suffer from the stress of low pay and unstable hours. Watching this, and understanding how every factor related to their job and environments affected their life, and health, made me wonder "how can I help fix this?" This is how I ended up pursuing a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, and eventually my doctoral degree in public health.

Antegoni Kyros

I was first inspired by public health when I was in dental hygiene school. I rotated through various dental mobile vans and health department dental clinics and was exposed to a population of patients whom needed my services more than those I had seen in a private practice office. These experiences inspired me to study the field of public health and pursue a career in dental public health. It is in this field that I find my work to be most appreciated and, in turn, most rewarding.

Marjorie Larson

I pursued a global health minor in my undergraduate studies, but it was really the three years that I spent in the health sector with the Peace Corps that solidified my interest in making this my career. I worked in Mali and Burkina Faso, two West African countries struggling with very serious burdens of maternal and child mortality. I lived in isolated rural communities working to support the primary health structures, first as a health education specialist and later as a nutrition specialist and trainer. This period of my life, and the sense of energy and purpose I derived from this sort of work, pointed me in the direction of health and development, and I haven't looked back.

Melissa Leon

I was inspired to study public health by mentoring elementary students in a disadvantaged area in New Jersey. Through the personal relationship I built with those students, I realized the effect we as individuals can have on others. I knew that I wanted to make a bigger impact in the lives of others.

Chelsea Lutz

I am extremely passionate about the biological and social aspects of disease, especially among underprivileged and displaced populations. The human impact on disease, and in turn the impact diseases have on both individuals and global populations, has always been of great interest to me. Since taking a course entitled “History and Evolution of Infectious Diseases” as an undergraduate, I have wanted to further study these interactions, as well as their social, economic, and political implications. As a physical anthropologist, I thought I wanted to apply this knowledge to historical populations and study diseases present in archaeological remains, but my time as an intern at the Florida Museum of Natural History proved otherwise. Working with remains all day and having no interaction with a living population was extremely unsatisfying; after several meetings with advisors I realized that in order to enjoy what I was studying, I needed to be involved with a contemporary population that could still experience growth and change. Working towards an integration of anthropology and microbiological sciences is one of my ultimate goals, something I knew the interdisciplinary approach of public health would facilitate.

Rianna Murray

In public health the focus is placed on helping populations, and not at the level of the individual. The ability to help improve the health of entire communities or populations is what inspired me to study public health. It isn’t just the interaction between a physician and their patient but an entire system of policies and practices that influence the health of nations. I was also intrigued to learn about the extremely wide range of environmental factors which can influence disease or adversely affect human health, and how these overlap and intertwine with other aspects of public health.

Anastasia Offordile

Frédérique Jean-Baptiste

I grew up in a country where preventable diseases were the top causes of disability and death. I understood early on how education, health seeking patterns and access to care could impact people’s health. I was inspired to pursue public health to have a professional grasp of the factors affecting population health and well-being.

Paula Kamara

My motivation for a career in public health started with witnessing my mother care for war traumatized women and children in my village. Growing up in a war torn country - Sierra Leone, I was plagued by sickness, hunger, and distress. There was a wide-spread epidemic of diseases, such as malaria, Lassa fever, and typhoid fever. I watched many children suffer and die from disease and poverty. The memories of blood, open wounds and cries still linger in my mind. Consequently, that experience motivated me to embark on a career to help protect the health and well-being of people.

Katie Kuhns

“What” is really more of a “who” for me. During my senior year of college, my undergraduate research friends and I were discussing what we wanted to do after graduation. A dear friend named Mattie discussed how she wanted to pursue a MPH. Although I knew that “MPH” stood for master of public health, I never really had a grasp as to what public health stood for. As Mattie described the essence of public health, that light bulb moment happened and everything just clicked and I knew that public health was the field for me.

Eileen Dolan

During my undergraduate career I volunteered in the communities of Trujillo and Agallpampa, Peru and fell in love with the experiences I had helping people through parasite prevention, education and establishing free weekend health clinics.

Kristely Bastien

Global health is a combined effort that involves people from all walks of life; from nurses and tribal healers to translators and farmers. I want to be a part of their integrated efforts to support public health. Additionally, my volunteer work with a Special Olympics team showed me the importance of inclusivity and the power of compromise.

Brooke Farrenkopf

One of my favorite and most rewarding public health memories was planning an on-campus panel on the Affordable Care Act that many students from a variety of disciplines attended. I was thrilled to see so many of my peers take a proactive approach to their health, and I was proud of my group for being able to understand the interests of our audience to effectively create an event that had such positive outcomes. Everyone left the event more educated and with an increased interest in benefitting the nations’ health, rather than simply their own health. I was happy to share that core message of public health with my peers.

Dan Finn

I was inspired to study public health after volunteering with a medical clinic for the homeless in New Mexico. Working with disadvantaged populations who visited the clinic, I realized that as a public health professional, I could directly affect whole communities as well as individuals. The notion that as a public health professional we can grapple with and conquer large health issues, and change not only our lives but the lives of entire populations, is what inspired me to study public health.

Katelyn Hurley

Mariam Irshad

Growing up in a family of physicians, I always had a firm interest in the field of medicine. However, within the medical field, I was looking for a discipline that tested creativity, imagination, innovation, and leadership. I was first inspired by public health when I committed to pursuing it as a major during my undergraduate career. I still remember the first group advising session, when the Dean of the program introduced the idea of preventative medicine. The focus was shifted from finding a cure to preventing the problem, which was fresh and exciting. Over time, through various leadership roles, public health became my passion, and led me to my purpose and long-term goal of improving quality of life and making a difference on both the micro and macro level; even if it’s one patient, one community, and one nation at a time.

Leah Iverson

Brenda Bustillos

The profound nutrition related health crises and disparities in the United States and around the world inspired me to study public health.

Abby Cabrera

I aspire to improve the overall health and well-being of populations through public health practice. Previously as a pre-med student, I dreamed of navigating patients through their ailments and health issues. However, I came to realize I wanted to use my skills and talents to create an impact and positive change in groups instead of individuals, and be able to empower individuals and populations so that they can be their own health navigators.

Nancy Cardona

There are two important things that inspired me to engage in public health. The first was the dramatic increase in asthma among Puerto Rican children - including my niece, who has an asthma attack every time a Saharan dust event impacts the Island. Secondly, as an island resident, I became concerned about climate change, how it has a big impact among different populations, and how children and elderly are affected the most. These encouraged me to complete a master’s degree in environmental health and pursue a doctorate program in public health.

Tara Chico

While I was working with a tribal community for Child Protective Services in Arizona, I observed that families were often in a perpetual cycle of violence, and drug and alcohol abuse. I worked with them to recover and heal from this cycle of abuse and reunite their families. While in this position, I realized the need for a call to action; many times I felt I was putting a Band-Aid over deep rooted issues with an emphasis on downstream approaches, however I felt myself looking for more upstream approaches to help these families recover.

Thomas Cordon

What inspired me to study public health is the multifaceted approach involved in solving health problems in a community. As an undergraduate I studied environmental science and had a strong interest in promoting healthy living environments for the underprivileged. As a student in public health I am learning the potential of environmental health to help the most vulnerable; this is what motivates me every step of the way.

Angela Ryck

Public health is about creating an environment that encourages people to make the healthy choice.

Juhi Goswamy

Public health is my passion. It is the ability to systematically identify and prevent disease through collaboration between interdisciplinary teams, communities, and populations.

Audrey Jacobsen

The biggest challenge in public health is finding novel ways to address health disparities in our communities.

Isabel Griffin

My passion for public health stems from my belief that we are to treat others how we would like to be treated and I wouldn’t want to be hungry, drinking contaminated water or dying of a preventable disease.

Joshua Sznol

I was inspired to study public health because of the emphasis on understanding an individual’s environment in determining disease.

Aly Jaffer

Public health is an ecosystem that is always changing—with different communities, cultures, and stakeholders—all of which have a vested interest in making a population healthy from the start.

Jennifer Clair

I was involved in a group project which entailed novel vaccine delivery in Nigeria. We settled on using decommissioned military drones for delivery of vaccines ... It was a really challenging project but I learned so much.

Charles Chen

I realized that there was a whole other aspect of addressing health and wellness that doesn’t focus purely on medicine.

Chase Knickerbocker

I got hooked on the idea that there was more to healing than just the one on one interaction of a physician and a patient.

Daniella Orihuela

As a young Hispanic woman, I identified myself with many of my patients and before I knew it I was being part of programs that focused on prevention and treatment of chronic diseases for minorities.

Daphney Dorcius

I grew up in a country where access to adequate health care is a luxury. Too many times, I have witnessed the loss of life in Haiti due to the lack of proper medical care and limited access to medical facilities.

Henry Olano

I am inspired to find solutions to decrease the burden of disease within local communities, as well as in communities around the globe.

Jeffrey Lin

Having worked for many years in graphic design and advertising, I understand the power of branding when it comes to moving public opinion, and I wanted to apply that knowledge to medicine and public health.

Maryann Koussa

It is easy to get intimidated thinking about the magnitude of the scale and scope of a community-based project, but you must persist.

Catarina Castruccio-Prince

Public health is a field that combines all my interests, including anthropology, nutrition, active living, and helping others to live well.

Olivia Lawson

Volunteering or working with a variety of organizations, within the different concentrations of public health, will be the most beneficial experience one can have.

Meghan Rosenkranz

Public health is the overall protection of population health by implementing comprehensive and multidisciplinary approaches that focus on prevention.

Christopher Kim

Public health is an extremely complex field and deals with issues that will require not only hard work, but passion and patience as well.

Johanna Segovia

Prior to starting my public health program, I worked with underserved communities of the Washington, DC metropolitan region. It was during this time that I became increasingly aware of the disparities populations face, these ranging from poverty to harrowing experiences of human trafficking. Being among people who have lived through these experiences is what inspired me to become a public health leader. Their voices are what instilled the passion to craft effective, empowering, and culturally competent solutions to attenuate the health disparities among vulnerable populations.

Lisa Acuff

A passion for understanding the experiences of people living with chronic illnesses inspired me to study public health. Diabetes is a special area of interest for me. It impacts the well-being of individuals and populations and thus is a significant public health concern.

Erin Andrews