Marianna Molina, BS Candidate

Marianna is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Community Health and is expected to graudate in May 2018. 

In one sentence, what is public health to you?

Public health aims to prevent disease, and promote and protect the health of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, through education, research, advocacy, and community outreach.

What inspired you to study public health?  

Public health promotes and protects the health of all people which is something that I always wanted to do. It is rooted in so many aspects of our individual lives and in so many different aspects in communities, which inspires me pursue a career in public health.

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

I think that the biggest challenge the public health field should be focusing on is health equity. There are so many communities that are experiencing barriers in getting access to care and receiving high quality care. I believe that the field falls short in addressing these barriers, in turn causing communities to continue to turn away from the public health system.

Why did you choose public health at UMD?

I have never heard of public health prior to coming into college and once I found the Behavioral and Community Health major, I fell in love with it. I was drawn to the supportive faculty, the courses, and the hands-on experiences that I would be able to obtain throughout the years.

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

The Behavioral and Community Health degree program has allowed me to continuously think about pressing health issues and how to address these issues to work towards solving them. Through the courses, the coursework and outstanding faculty, I have been able to gain the knowledge and skills to engage in practice-based and evidence-based frameworks to address health issues, which has given me a passion to pursue a career in health promotion or health education.

What person or experience had the greatest impact on you during your degree program?

I am grateful that the Behavioral and Community Health major has so many opportunities to allow you to develop and grow into a Public Health professional. The degree program has allowed me to engage in the honors experience, which has had the greatest impact in my undergraduate career. I am able to work on a research project based on my interests and work one-on-one with a faculty member in the department.  I have acquired new skills from this experience which will be applicable to my future endeavors in graduate school and in my career.