Christina Memmott was among the first group of graduates from the College Park Public Health Science program. Since graduating in December 2016, she has been hired as a paid intern for Population Services International. There she will be working on HIV prevention, maternal health, family planning and gender violence in Latin America. Memmott, who also earned a minor in Spanish, was accepted into four MPH programs for the upcoming fall semester.
“Christina is an outstanding student. She beautifully balanced her passion for public health with academic excellence during her time at the university,” Kristin Cipriani, assistant director in the Public Health Science program, says. “Christina has long stated an interest in global health, but Christina did not just state this interest, she actually practiced public health while still in school,” Cipriani says.
At UMD, Memmott helped create awareness about sexual assault on campus through her work with CARE to Stop Violence, through which she gave presentations and workshops for student groups and classes.
She interned and studied abroad, crafting public health workshops tailored to different global communities. These experiences transformed her perspective on public health and instilled a cross-cultural appreciation for health approaches in other countries.
She recalls shadowing a public health worker when she was interning at a local clinic in Costa Rica. The health worker went on house calls, riding a moped to secluded villages tucked in between mountains and administered vaccines that he kept in a cooler.
“It was really interesting to see that hands-on approach,” Memmott says. “He was really close to the families too. They knew his name and they would just talk to him about their lives. It was really different from what I was seeing in the U.S.”
Memmott was a project leader for Public Health Without Borders when the student group went on a public health mission to Sierra Leone after the Ebola epidemic. In collaboration with other students and co-leaders, Memmott designed hygiene, first-aid and malaria prevention workshops.
She conducted interviews with members of communities affected by Ebola and a nurse from Doctors Without Borders and compiled the data from the interviews. Along with her research partners, Memmott will present this data about Public Health Without Borders work in Sierra Leone at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in April.
“I learned a lot about the community and the people, what they went through during the Ebola outbreak, and how resilient they were,” Memmott says.