Lauren Gerchufsky

part-time MPH candidate in Social and Behavioral Sciences
Lauren Gerchufsky

Public Health centers around community which is why I love this field. As public health professionals, we are concerned with protecting the health of entire populations.

What is your hometown, state/province and country?

New Tripoli, PA.

Undergraduate degree in what subject? From where? Other degrees?

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition and Foods from WVU in 2013.

What does Public Health mean to you?

Public Health centers around community which is why I love this field. As public health professionals, we are concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.

Why did you choose to study public health?

I knew that I always wanted to work in healthcare field and benefit my community. To fully address a health problem, you must be able to adopt a public health approach and that means looking at the bigger picture. In public health, you are exposed to an array of health-related fields that present themselves as prospective professional paths.

What made you choose your specific Department?

Although I feel all disciplines of public health are important, I chose Social and Behavioral Sciences because I was particularly interested in the way individual behaviors impact health outcomes.

Why did you choose WVU?

Prior to starting my master of Public Health, I was working full time. I needed a program that was going to enhance my professional experience and be flexible enough to accommodate someone working in the field. WVU was the perfect fit for that!

What would you tell prospective students about your experience at WVU and the School of Public Health?

My advice is to get involved with the school and on campus. Let your education facilitate your learning outside the classroom. The best part about being a student is learning from your peers and professors.

It was those experiences that made my education meaningful.

Have you had any particular professors or faculty members who have made an impact on you while at WVU? If so, how?

Everyone in WVU has something new and different to bring to the table. You are exposed to all these different teaching styles and professors who are masters in their fields.

What are your plans upon completion of your degree?

My plan after I graduate is to pursue working in medicine as I am applying for Physician Assistant programs. The Master of Public Health program has helped me to see how medicine and public health overlap, albeit they often seem on two separate pages. I hope to apply a public health approach to practicing medicine as a physician assistant.

Have you participated in any clubs, student organizations or other groups in the School of Public Health? If so, do you have any special experiences to share?

I recently joined the Student Association of Public Health (SAPH). Rural health interest groups have really great meetings where you can learn a lot about other fields and disciplines.

Tell me something unique or interesting about you that others may not know?

I am a certified lactation counselor.