In one sentence, what is public health to you?

Public health is empowering individuals and communities to take charge of their own health and working together to attain a high quality of life.

What inspired you to study public health?  

I really like that public health focuses on prevention of disease, and that it impacts individual and communities on a larger scale than traditional medicine.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?

The biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on is the consequences of the systemic racism felt by so many minorities in the United States. A consistent theme in many of my classes is that minorities are more at risk for diseases that could be linked back to the constant stress they feel being a minority, or that they can’t live in a healthy environment because they can’t get a good paying job because of their race. If we can empower those minorities to be proactive in improving their health we can really help improve the public health of the United States.

Why did you choose public health at UMD?

I chose public health at UMD because UMD’s BCH program is very focused on giving students a hands-on experience in the field. From the HLTH391 semester-long community-based project to the HLTH491 semester long internship the BCH program really prepares students for the real world.

How has your degree program at UMD’s School of Public Health shaped your career goals?

The community health program has allowed me to explore various aspects of public health and gave use the tools to really make an impact. I have learned that I like health education/ health promotion and research, which is a career path that I can see myself going down.