All my life I wanted to go to West Virginia University, I love the big school atmosphere and sense of school pride everyone has.I chose to major in public health because I liked the health aspect without the need to be in the clinical setting.
What does public health mean to you?
To me, public health means so many things. When I think of public health I think of prevention, promotion, equity, education, sustainability, social justice and so much more. I love how public health encompasses so many aspects of health with the main goal of keeping people healthy.
Why did you choose to study public health at WVU?
All my life I wanted to go to West Virginia University, I love the big school atmosphere and sense of school pride everyone has. I was born in Morgantown and have family throughout West Virginia. My parents also went to WVU and spoke positively about their time here which made me want to study here even more. I chose to major in public health because I liked the health aspect without the need to be in the clinical setting. Prevention and education are very important yet so often overlooked.
Have any members of the faculty or staff influenced you in a unique way?
Every staff member in the School of Public Health is very dedicated to their career and is more than willing to help their students. The professors I have had for my public health coursework have always taught the subject material very thoroughly and clearly. If you ever want to talk to a professor after class, they are always happy to do so, regardless of if it's about public health material or not.
Tell us about your field placement experience.
I completed my field placement at Pantry Plus More (PPM). PPM is a nonprofit food pantry located here in Morgantown and serves all of Monongalia County. I created recipes that contain canned or packaged food items for the PPM cookbook that is given to clients to help decide what items go into the special menus for the elementary and middle schools in Monongalia County. The tailored menus included bags of food that are given to school children to take home who have food allergies and cannot have what is given in the regular menus.
I also helped pack the regular menu items into the bags and prepare them to be distributed to the schools. This work has taught me that it can sometimes be difficult to create healthy and tasty recipes with canned or packaged foods items, especially if the items being distributed are random. This experience has also opened my eyes to the number of individuals who are battling food insecurity. Just because an area may seem "better off" than others does not mean a significant portion of individuals in that area are not struggling.
What would you tell prospective students about WVU and the School of Public Health?
I would tell prospective students to get to know the professors and classmates, engage in class and apply themselves from through their time at WVU and after graduation.
What advice would you give to your freshman self?
I would tell myself to put myself out there and get out of my comfort zone as soon as possible. It helped me to open myself up to new opportunities and meet new people. Another thing I would tell myself would be that things will turn out okay, even if what you initially wanted or planned doesn't end up working out. Sometimes the unexpected can turn out better than what you initially thought was best for you.
How have your experiences in the School of Public Health helped prepare you for your future?
My experiences in the School of Public Health have prepared me professionally and academically. The coursework pertains to important topics that can be applied to the real world and with professors and staff that help guide you along the way I definitely feel confident about my time spent at WVU.
What do you plan to do upon completion of your degree?
After completing my degree, I plan on studying abroad in Spain, learn Spanish and about Spanish culture, and plan to travel throughout Europe as well. After spending time abroad, I plan on getting my master’s degree in either public health or a related field.
What’s your favorite book?
What’s your favorite TV series?
“That 70's Show.”
What’s your favorite music genre?
Oldies and rap.
What’s your favorite place you’ve visited?
My favorite places that I have been to so far are England and Scotland. I love how old the architecture is in the UK and all the history that is there.
What’s your favorite local hangout spot?
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not doing schoolwork?
Running, working out and traveling.