Student/Alumni Profiles

Katheryne Downes
Ph.D. Candidate – Maternal and Child Health

In July 2007 the University of Maryland approved the development of a program in Maternal and Child Health (MCH) within the Department of Family Science in the (University of) Maryland School of Public Health. The MCH program within the Department of Family Science is unique among such programs and is unique in Schools of Public Health. 

The Maternal and Child Health program in the School of Public Health provides interdisciplinary training in research, theory, policy and practice relevant to health and well-being as well as services for women, children, and their families.  Graduate students learn about health disparities, the life course perspective, mental health, obesity, childhood injury, family and health policy, adoption, domestic and child abuse, family support, epidemiology, and research methods.  Students graduate with the skills and knowledge for professional work in educational, governmental, and clinical settings. 

The Ph.D. program in Family Science provides a research-oriented approach to the discovery and application of knowledge about families, family theory, research methodology, family policy, family programs, and ethnic families.  The MCH program complements this interdisciplinary approach by adding a broadly defined public health perspective.  Within this perspective there is a focus on how individuals’ health status can be influenced throughout the life course by early social, biologic and physical conditions.  The health of infants and children is examined within the context of the health and behavior of mothers, fathers, and other family and community members. 

The Maryland School of Public Health is located in a metropolitan area just 8 miles from the nation’s capital and close to the state capitol in Annapolis.  Students, their families, and residents in the surrounding area hail from diverse cultural/ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and geographic backgrounds. Our program offers a small student-to-faculty ratio, award-winning faculty with active research programs, mentors with diverse research expertise, and culturally sensitive learning.  Students have benefited from research internships at the National Institutes of Health, the National Center for Health Statistics, and other federal agencies and private firms.  The Maryland Family Policy Impact Seminar and the National Preparing Future Faculty program are part of student training. 

Application to the program is made through http://www.sophas.org/. The Department of Family Science admits students in the fall semester only. The deadline for submitting the Graduate School Application is December 15. Students are strongly encouraged to apply before the deadline date. See also http://sph.umd.edu/department/fmsc/phd-admissions. See also http://sph.umd.edu/department/fmsc/phd-admissions-maternal-and-child-health-mch.

For more information contact Dr. Sandra C. Quinn, Program Director.