There is only so much you can learn sitting at a desk, so get out and get some hands-on experience and find what you are passionate about!
What is your hometown?
What did you do after graduation?
I am attending Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University to obtain my MD degree. I would eventually like to obtain my MPH as well. In the long run, I want to stay in West Virginia and use my knowledge as a physician and a public health official to help battle the health disparities in our state.
Medical school has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, and it’s both exciting and rewarding to see this dream become a reality.
As a future physician I believe my knowledge gained from the School of Public Health will help me to be an overall better physician.
What does public health mean to you?
Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of individuals and empowering communities. To me, public health is the opportunity to make impactful and sustainable health improvements in the lives of not only individuals but in communities as well.
When did you know that you wanted to study public health?
I knew that I wanted to study public health after returning from a study abroad trip to Nicaragua with Global Medical and Dental Brigades during my freshman year. On this trip, we engaged in three days of public health work, and I loved being able to get my hands dirty making a difference in the lives of the family we worked with. I was able to see the value of what we were doing and how these small steps would help make a huge impact in this specific family’s health. I chose to study public health at WVU following my trip because I knew I wanted to earn a degree in something that I was passionate about.
I was born and raised in West Virginia, so I was excited to be able to continue my education at WVU. I believe Public Health and WVU were the perfect fit for me because I know I am equipped with the skill sets to go out and impact the state of West Virginia for the better.
I hope to one day continue to work in rural Appalachia and help our beautiful state battle the opioid epidemic that is currently having such a negative impact on our communities around the state.
Who made an impact on you while studying at WVU?
Dr. Mann taught my “Social Determinants of Health” course, and it was probably the most impactful course I had ever taken. He was able to show me all the different factors that affect our health and how as a public health official we must look into all these areas to make sure we are getting the full picture. I believe that class helped shape me as a person and broaden my own world view.
What is your advice to future public health students?
I would advise any future public health students to get involved in organizations on campus, volunteer or study abroad if they have the opportunity. There is only so much you can learn sitting at a desk, so get out and get some hands-on experience and find what you are passionate about!
WVU will give students who want to study public health a wide variety of classes to expose them to all the different areas of public health, and they will be able to put what they are learning into practice as they help the University search for solutions to the health problems we are facing right here in West Virginia.
What advice would you give to your freshman self?
My advice would be to live in the moment more. Stop looking ahead and wishing for the next thing. Instead, enjoy what is right in front of you because before you know it, it’ll be gone.