Christine Thinn is a Master of Public Health student in Public Health Practice and Policy and a Graduate Assistant for the Public Health Science bachelor of science program. She also edits the Public Health Connection newsletter for the Universities at Shady Grove, the campus where the MPH in Public Health Practice and Policy is based.
What inspired you to study public health?
I grew up in a third world country [Burma, aka Myanmar] where health and social disparities were everywhere. At the time, UNICEF served as an emblem of positivity and hope to the country. I felt inspired and I wanted to live my life helping others and doing what I love to combat public health issues.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
In the US, I feel that we need to start focusing on the chronic diseases caused by our lifestyles. Regulations supporting behavior change will decrease the healthcare burden our country is facing right now.
Why did you choose public health at UMD?
I earned my undergraduate degree from UMD and I loved it. Through my research, I learned that UMD has been climbing up the rankings among Schools of Public Health.
How has your degree program at UMD’s School of Public Health shaped your career goals?
My degree has confirmed my interests in certain fields of public health such as global health, environmental health, and program planning and management. I was able to tailor my internship and capstone research paper to my interests as well. This will enable me to build my work experience so that I can be better prepared for full time positions in the public health field once I have graduated.
What person or experience had the greatest impact on you during your degree program?
Being able to intern for places such as UNESCO Center for Peace, RTI International, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and Hepatitis Foundation International (HFI) has been truly an honor. I am so inspired to finally be in a field I want to be in and doing what I love. I have such great mentors as well, who have guided me along this path.