Naol Tessema
Naol Tessema

This student profile is one of several originally published by the Universities at Shady Grove. You can read this and more stories, told by the students themselves, on their Student Stories page

Hi! My name is Naol Tessema and I am a student at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Public Health Science program at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). My journey to USG began after graduating from nearby Thomas S. Wootton High School. After graduation, I attended Montgomery College (MC), where I took different courses with the goal of figuring out what I wanted to study. After changing majors a couple of times, I met with a Public Health Science recruitment coordinator at MC who told me about USG.

Soon after, I attended an Open House at USG, where I was able to learn more about what the Public Health Science program at USG had to offer.  I always had a passion for science and health, but it was great to learn that there was a program that allowed me to look at health beyond the individual level. I was excited by the possibility of implementing programs and interventions that can influence health on the community, national, and global scale.

My time in the Public Health Science program has been great mostly because of the great people around me. I am able to make connections with classmates who each have diverse goals and motivations for their careers. I am also able to learn from amazing professors who all have real-world experience in the public health field. As a member of Student’s Engaged in Public Health (SEIPH), I am able to apply my teachings in the classroom into events that make a difference in the community. Finally, I was fortunate to land an internship with Westat, which has been an amazing experience for me to learn more about the world of research.

Some more reasons USG is great:

  • It’s affordability and close distance to home
  • The faculty and staff, who are very kind and helpful
  • The many events on campus to network and have fun, including International Night and the Etiquette Dinner
  • Student Services, including the Office of Student Services (OSS), where I was a student worker helping students with scholarships, financial aid, and getting involved in student life.

My biggest takeaway at USG is realizing that the classroom is only the beginning of learning. After graduating, I plan to get my Master’s degree in Epidemiology and apply my skills and lessons learned into my future public health profession.