Rachel Baker

B.S. in Public Health
Graduated in December 2019 Rachel Baker

This career path has endless possibilities, and it's exciting to know that no matter what my interests are, I can find a way to incorporate that into my career in public health.

What is your current job?

Program Coordinator, WVU Center for Resilient Communities

Why did you choose WVU?

WVU is where I always knew I wanted to go to school. From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew this is where I wanted to call home. I initially started in the nursing program, but quickly became frustrated that we're not taught how to prevent people from becoming sick. That's when I found public health.

How did WVU prepare you to be a public health professional?

The field of public health is so broad, and there are so many different routes you can take as a public health professional. I think the faculty at WVU does a fantastic job at showing students all the different ways they can use their degree and how to open those doors for themselves.

Describe your current role as a public health practitioner.

Currently, I am working two jobs. I am working for the State of West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in the Office of Nutrition Services as an intern and special projects liaison for the WIC program. I also am working with Megan Govindan through the WVU Center of Resilient Communities as a program coordinator. During my last semester in the public health program I found my love of food access growing, and I'm really fortunate to be able to work with two very different positions to help see food access increase not only in Morgantown, but throughout the state of West Virginia. Food is a right for every single person, and if I can help the people and families of West Virginia gain access to healthy, fresh foods, then I know I'm really fulfilling my calling of helping others.

What advice would you give today’s Public Health students?

I would tell Public Health students to explore ALL areas of the world of public health. Do research, take a class on a new topic, do an internship in an area you may or may not have considered. All of this will help to guide you to the area you love most where you can serve your community in the best way possible.

What does public health mean to you?

Public health really helped to shape the way I see the world, and the way I see my future. This career path has endless possibilities, and it's exciting to know that no matter what my interests are, I can find a way to incorporate that into my career in public health.