In 2017, Jennifer earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology. During her doctoral program, Jennifer worked as a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant for EPIB 610: Foundations of Epidemiology.
In one sentence, what is public health to you?
Public health to me is social justice in action- all people deserve to live a healthy life.
What inspired you to study public health?
I have always been fascinated by the mechanisms that drive infectious disease transmission, so public health was a natural fit. Currently, with my advisor, Dr. Hongjie Liu, I am learning about the role that social networks play in STI and HIV transmission.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
Managing the ebola outbreak in West Africa is imperative. As a student in public health and epidemiology, there is much to learn from an outbreak of this magnitude.
Why did you choose public health at UMD?
I chose to study epidemiology at UMD because I think the faculty in our department are unmatched. They are always willing to help students and have diverse, but complementary expertise in the field.
How has your degree program at UMD’s School of Public Health shaped your career goals?
The School of Public Health at UMD has provided me the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors in both research and teaching to prepare for a successful career in academia. Through this mentorship I have learned a lot about epidemiologic methods, as well as different teaching techniques to keep students engaged.
What person or experience has had the greatest impact on you during your degree program?
This past summer I had the opportunity to work with a nonprofit organization in Peru to collect data on the prevalence of parasitosis in school-age kids. This experience reaffirmed my passion for global public health research and I hope to continue this type of work in my post-doctoral training and beyond.
Published Dec. 1, 2014