Adeline Hill

Adeline Hill

If you’re not sure what exactly public health is or what you want to study, be sure to check it out. There are so many different career avenues this major can take you to!

What does public health mean to you?

Public health means using interdisciplinary knowledge to protect health from all angles. Public health uses creative and innovative means to examine, protect and promote the health of communities resulting in safer, happier and healthier lives of individuals. The interconnectedness and interdisciplinary nature of public health research continuously sparks new interests and doesn’t confine practitioners and researchers to a single topic area.

Why did you choose to study public health at WVU?

I initially started my academic journey with the intention of going into a clinical profession. To gain some experience, I began working as an emergency medical technician. During my time in the field, I witnessed countless different forms of health disparities and the lack of evidence-based intervention for managing population health. I was able to gain a more comprehensive perspective on the root factors that impact health outcomes and the importance of public health and prevention. Through my work with the local population both here in Morgantown and in northern Virginia, I’ve gained an interest in substance use disorders and the intersection between substance use and infectious disease transmission as well as harm reduction and domestic violence prevention. These experiences motivated me to find more comprehensive solutions, ultimately sparked my interest in public health, and led me to WVU’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health program.

Have members of the faculty or staff influenced your experience?

Absolutely! Dr. Danielle Davidov, Dr. Ruchi Bhandari and Dr. Tyler Quinn have made an enormous impact on my growth in research and guided me to solidify a career direction. Each one introduced me to a variety of research fields, from qualitative gender-based violence research to endocarditis research to occupational health research, and helped me gain new indispensable skills and knowledge that I will carry with me through my research career going forward. Their mentorship and investment in me ultimately helped foster my drive to pursue a career in research.

Tell us about your field placement.

For my field placement experience, I was able to work with Dr. Erin Winstanley’s research team to combine my knowledge and experiences in EMS, research experiences, public health knowledge and knowledge from my addiction studies minor to gain experience working in substance use research. I was able to get valuable insights into the processes of conducting research, the opportunity to contribute to projects and gain new skills to help prepare me for graduate school and a career in research.

What would you tell prospective students about WVU and the School of Public Health?

I would emphasize the small school feel within a large school. It feels like family! Faculty and staff are all committed to your success and always willing to provide mentorship. No matter what your end goal is, the resources and support are here to guide you to achieving objectives.

What advice would give to your freshman self?

Just reach out! The faculty have always been willing to share their knowledge and research. I started out knowing I wanted to get involved in research but was hesitant to ask at first. I ended up reaching out to a couple professors whose work matched my interests and they were all extremely willing to help get me involved in their work and mentor me. Everybody at the school is always there if you need anything, so just don’t ever be afraid to ask.

How have your experiences in the School of Public Health helped prepare you for your future?

The School of Public Health has allowed me to pursue a large variety of interests to help me figure out "what I want to be when I grow up." I loved the connections I was able to make between what I saw in the EMS field and concepts in public health to inform my research. The amount of hands-on opportunities really let me explore different curiosities and find a career direction.

What are your plans following graduation?

I just decided on the University of Pittsburgh’s MPH in Epidemiology program! I’m excited to be able to continue growing as a researcher. My goal is to eventually earn a Ph.D. in epidemiology to ultimately contribute to the field of substance use research to advance surveillance methods and evidence-based approaches to addressing substance use disorders.

Additional Comments

It’s definitely worth it! If you’re not sure what exactly public health is or what you want to study, be sure to check it out. There are so many different career avenues this major can take you to!

Your favorites...

  • Book: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
  • Tv series and/or movie: The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are my comfort movies.
  • Music genre and/or artist: Glass Animals
  • Places you’ve visited: Amsterdam – I love the atmosphere.
  • Local restaurant: Stone Tower Brews
  • Things to do when you’re not doing schoolwork: Read, knit or kayak