I became interested in public health when I was finishing my undergraduate degree at UB. I was working towards a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and was also in the pre-health profession program. I knew I did not want to stop studying sociology. But I also loved health, wellness and the medical field. I came across public health, and specifically community health and health behavior, while researching graduate programs. Public Health really combined the two areas of study that were of interest to me in an engaging and exciting way.
I chose UB for two reasons: The first was that I have family members who went to UB and they have always had amazing stories to tell about their experiences as UB students and I wanted to have similar stories to tell. I also liked that UB is one of the largest academic institutions in the state. A lot of people don’t like large schools but I loved the diversity in the people I met, the friends I made, and the many different experiences and opportunities that I had through UB.
I completed my field training at the Child Advocacy Center in Niagara Falls working to create a resource map of local organizations that would be beneficial in aiding youth who have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked. A few of my favorite courses were Health Behavior Change and Introduction to Program Planning and Evaluation. These classes really exposed me to a variety of public health topics, which allowed me to get a glimpse into what a career in public health means and the numerous possibilities in the field.
There are a number of things that I enjoyed about this degree program, but one of them was that the classes were really tailored to what I was looking to study, whether that be obesity, health disparities, or refugee health. Another amazing thing about this program specifically was that the professors always have an open door. Their enthusiasm and dedication for the program, their specialties, and public health in general really made for a great learning environment and was really motivating to me as a student.
I believe that a degree from UB sets me apart because it prepared me to be successful in any public health area. I also believe that through the constant collaborations between the different specialties within the School of Public Health and Health Professions, I am able to foster long lasting connections with people in a variety of public health fields.