In one sentence, what is public health to you?

Public health is partnering with communities and creating interventions that work to decrease the incidence of disease and injury.

What inspired you to study public health?  

Public health allows me to work in the health field without practicing medicine, which is what I always wanted to do.

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

I think that the biggest public health issue right now is the opioid epidemic. In my Principles of Community Health class we focused on the heroin addiction crisis in Anne Arundel County. This opened my eyes to the issue in other parts of the state and nation. I think combating the rising rates of opioid addiction is going to be a huge public health issue for our generation to confront and conquer.

Why did you choose public health at UMD?

The University of Maryland was always in the back of my mind while I was deciding on a school. I kept blowing it off until I finally visited campus and realized UMD was the campus I had been looking for. I explored many major options at UMD. I started with kinesiology, moved to public health science, and finally settled on community health. Community health gave me the science courses that I wanted combined with real-world opportunities in the health field. It was a perfect fit.

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

The Community Health degree has allowed me to tailor my electives to the health path of my choosing. Through this and the opportunity to have internships for credit, I found my passion for health policy, which I hope to pursue in graduate school in the fall.

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

My experience in the BCH honors program has completely changed my experience in the major. The opportunity to conduct a research project of my choosing and to create such a close relationship with a mentor is an integral part of my college experience. The skills I have gained from that experience are both applicable to my interests in graduate school and my career goals.