Rachel Hoopsick, PhD

Rachel Hoopsick.

Rachel is a PhD Alumni in community health and health behavior.

How did you become interested in community health and health behavior as your field of study?

I have always been interested in human health. An undergraduate elective course in epidemiology sparked my interest in public health and disease prevention. A graduate research opportunity working with opioid-dependent pregnant women helped me to develop a more specific interest in substance use behaviors, eventually leading me to the PhD program in CHHB.

Why did you choose UB?

Prior to starting in this program, I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in natural science from Daemen College, a Master of Science degree in epidemiology from UB, and a Master of Public Health degree from UB. As a lifelong Western New York native, it was important to me to be able to pursue a quality higher education while remaining active in my local community.

Tell us more about your experience in the community health and health behavior PhD program.

I previously worked as a Graduate Research Assistant with Operation: SAFETY, an ongoing study examining the health and wellness of US Army Reserve/National Guard soldiers and their partners. My research interests are on substance use and mental health outcomes.

What did you enjoy the most about the community health and health behavior PhD program?

I enjoyed the diverse backgrounds and interests of CHHB faculty. With varying areas of expertise and disciplines, PhD students in CHHB receive holistic training with respect to community health.

How does receiving a degree from UB SPHHP set you apart?

UB is one of the top public universities in the nation and SPHHP is CEPH-accredited, so I feel strongly that receiving a PhD from UB SPHHP will set me apart from other candidates in public health.