PhD, Health Policy and Administration
San Diego, California
Why did you choose to attend UIC SPH?
I was looking for doctoral programs with 3 qualities: 1) a diverse student body and alumni – SPH is diverse and inspiringly supportive of health disparity research; 2) an interdisciplinary approach to public health policy – the PhD curriculum includes a balance of pharmaecon, biostats, theory development, measurement development, survey methods and of course - health services research; and 3) academic and professional development - I am thrilled with the numerous opportunities to receive funding and enlist in professional support.
What do you love about living and learning in Chicago?
I love living in a big city. The seasons are an adjustment (coming from San Diego), but it is conducive to studying hard. When I am free to take breaks from school – there are so many things to do in this city from art exhibits, to food tours and of course the festivals in the summertime. I love learning in Chicago because there are so many opportunities to work and learn from the organizations in public health that are all around our school. Being in the medical district, there are opportunities for students to intern with UIC, Rush, or even Children’s Hospital on a number of topics (cancer, diabetes, HIV, adherence) in the immediate SPH vicinity. In the greater city, many students intern at non-profit or other government agencies like the Department of Public Health, and I’ve helped out with the development and evolution of the Illinois State Health Implementation Plan. Overall, I have seen firsthand that UIC’s SPH faculty is well connected, and there are sincerely many opportunities to develop professionally.
What kinds of activities are you involved with on campus and/or in the community?
As the Vice President of Minority Students for the Advancement of Public Health, I am fortunate to be on the executive board for one of the two student run organizations at the SPH. We host events every month to provide academic, service and professional growth. For example, we send out weekly emails letting our members know about upcoming campus wide events, community service opportunities, scholarships available, we have peer mentoring opportunities for first and second years, mixers, and tutoring for biostats and epidemiology. One of the biggest highlights is helping to fund 20 students’ attendance via travel award stipend to the APHA annual conference in November. That is more students than we have ever supported! It’s a great organization and I love being able to connect with other students who have similar career interests.