September 19, 2012

Alumna Rebecca Rehr ('12, MPH in environmental health) joins nine other graduates of Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH)-member schools who began their training at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this month. Over the next 12 months, the fellows will train under the guidance of public health experts within EPA while contributing to efforts related to environmental health and environmental justice, two of the agency's top priorities. Rehr is working in the EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection in Washington, DC.

Over the past year, Rehr worked with Dr. Sacoby Wilson to help build the new Center on Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health through community outreach and curriculum development. Under Dr. Wilson's guidance, her research in environmental justice focused on the spatial distribution of polluting facilities, as well as health-promoting infrastructure, with emphasis on the appropriate level of analysis for these neighborhood features. For Rehr's MPH capstone project -- "Environmental Public Health Tracking in Prince George's County: An Analysis of Subcounty Level Data Presentation" - she worked closely with the Health Officer of Prince George's County and representatives from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. While at the University of Maryland, Rehr was also a teaching assistant (TA) for the Environmental Science and Policy program, based in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Rehr was appointed to serve on the Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities by Governor Martin O'Malley in 2011 and completed an internship with the Maryland Department of the Environment's Legislative Liaison and Environmental Justice Coordinator in 2009-10.

"After receiving my MPH at UMD, I feel well-prepared to start my work as an ASPH/EPA fellow and look forward to working in DC over the coming year," Rehr says. "This fellowship is the ideal stepping stone for a recent graduate beginning a public health career."