Becca Fint-Clark

Becca Fint-Clark

To me, public health means service. Public health provides the opportunity to serve others and educate them on improving their health and caring for themselves and others.

Briefly describe your current role as a public health practitioner.

I have the great opportunity to serve Monongalia County and the state of West Virginia as a 4-H and Youth Development Extension Agent. Through this position, I determine and identify needs within the county and implement and evaluate programs to fill those needs. My goal is to improve the lives of those I work with- whether it be youth participants, adult volunteers, community partners or key stakeholders.

I am a faculty member at West Virginia University which enables me to focus on research, teaching and service as it relates to positive youth development. 4-H programming is conducted through clubs, afterschool programs, camps and community partner programs. I use what I learned while obtaining my Master of Public Health degree to provide quality, research-based programs to youth using the 4-H model of "learn by doing." I especially enjoy teaching youth how to live a healthy lifestyle, and I attribute a lot of my success in my position to the education I received at WVU and through the School of Public Health.  

Why did you choose WVU for your public health education?

Since I had such an amazing experience growing up in the 4-H program, I knew that I wanted a career as a 4-H Agent. I decided to obtain my bachelor's degree in Physical Education, as I had a strong interest in teaching youth how to live a healthy lifestyle. As I was finishing my degree, several of my undergraduate professors and role models (Dr. Ruth Kershner and Dr. Bill Reger-Nash) encouraged me to look into the Master of Public Health program. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I had such a wonderful graduate school experience. I was able to learn so many skills that I carry with me today. I have many 4-H'ers who reach out to me with an interest in becoming a 4-H Agent one day and I always tell them to look at the WVU School of Public Health. My education prepared me to enter my position with the knowledge and skills to be successful.

How did WVU and your experiences in the School of Public Health prepare you to be a public health professional?

As a graduate student in the WVU School of Public Health, I worked hard. I was encouraged by the professors within the program to be the best that I could be. I became very close with my fellow MPH students, and we had so much fun while also focusing on our schooling. Such a huge part of my current position is to assess the needs of my community and county and provide quality educational programming while evaluating its effectiveness. Through my experiences, I feel confident in the work that I do serving our state and county. I was challenged, but in a way that made me learn and ultimately prepared me for success.

Tell us about your field placement experience.

I had the great opportunity to serve as a graduate assistant for the WVU Medicine Wellness Program. Through this position, I had the opportunity to plan, implement and evaluate wellness programs for employees at the hospital. This was a wonderful experience in that it helped me prepare for exactly what I am doing now. Although the participants may not fit the same demographics, I was able to learn so much from that experience and I believe that served as a building block for my current position.

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

I would give the Public Health students the same advice I give to the 4-H youth that I teach— work hard and have fun. Transitioning from my bachelor’s degree courses into my master's degree courses was challenging, but I worked hard and am proud of what I learned through the degree. I also encourage students to get together and have fun. Our group was a tight-knit group that often got together outside of class. It is very important to have those experiences, as well. I take so much pride in seeing how much success my fellow students and friends have in their careers and think back fondly on the times we had at West Virginia University.