Ericelis Echeverria

Ericelis Echeverria

To me, public health means being present in the community and prioritizing equity over equality. Every person, regardless of race, background or origin, deserves proper health care.

Why did you choose to study public health at WVU?

I didn’t know about my major at first because I wanted to be a nurse, but then I learned about the Health Services, Management and Leadership program and was fascinated by it. I like the idea of what makes the American healthcare system unique.

I chose to study it at West Virginia University because I knew I wanted to help and serve people, and it was the perfect fit for me. I want to make a difference in our healthcare system because when I was growing up every hospital near me was crowded and disorganized, and you never had a one-on-one encounter with your doctor. I want to change that, and I’ll start with my community and see where I can go from there.

Are there any faculty members who have made an impact on you while at WVU?

Yes! Dr. Erik Carlton and Dr. Danielle M. Davidov have piqued my interest in the field of public health! They engage with the students and make learning fun while teaching serious topics, which amazes me. I had a great time in their class and would highly recommend taking one of their classes.

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

I would tell them that studying public health at WVU is a rewarding and informative experience. You get real-time data about what’s going on around you, and you see the injustice, inequality and real-world problems that our global society is dealing with.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

One piece of advice I would give to my freshman self is to get involved with the community by joining a public health group and doing more community service hours, as well as to get a feel for West Virginia by being hands-on.

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

The School of Public Health has been preparing me for my future by teaching me about important issues and problems in America and around the world. I enjoy my major and the classes I am taking because they are informing me about the state of the world and the need for more public health workers in the field.

What do you plan to do upon completion of your degree?

After finishing my bachelor’s degree in Health Services, Management and Leadership, I intend to pursue a master’s degree in the Master of Health Administration program.

What does it mean to you to be a first-generation college student?

It is a tremendous honor to be able to attend college and complete my education. Being a first-generation college student has taught me not to give up because I would be letting so many people in my life down if I did.

What programs are you involved with?

I’m in the Dean’s Ambassadors Program for Public Health, and it’s been a cool and welcoming experience so far.

What is your favorite book?

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

What is your favorite TV series?

“Bob’s Burgers.”

What is your favorite movie?

“The Notebook.”

What is a favorite place you’ve visited?

Panama, because of the people and the food.

What is your favorite local hangout spot?


What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not doing schoolwork?