Eva Cicci

Eva Cicci

After some academic and personal challenges, I expressed interest in psychology, social work and public health. I felt a strong calling to public health and have never wanted to turn back.

How would you describe public health?

Public health is a broad field full of people who care about people. It is a world that is constantly changing as science develops further (as most fields are) and more discoveries are made. As of late, it is becoming more and more common for the public to understand and utilize public health language, facilities and resources. Public health is a necessary field to keep populations and communities safe, healthy, content and thriving to the best of their abilities.

When did you know that you wanted to study public health?

My academic journey did not begin with public health. I started in the pre-nursing field, determined to become a nurse like my mom. After some academic and personal challenges, I decided to research more into other fields of interest. I expressed interest in psychology, social work and public health. I was aware of the first two degrees but had never heard of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program. After meeting with appropriate representatives of each school and discussing what each program is like, I felt a strong calling to public health and have never wanted to turn back.

Who at WVU has had the biggest impact on your college experience? How has that person helped you succeed?

Dr. Steve Davis has influenced my career and the careers of my peers more than he is aware. His classes were always ones that I would look forward to each day. The atmosphere of the classroom during his lectures was like none other; everybody was more interactive as he was so interactive with us.

He created a safe learning environment where there was such an air of support and care that it was hard not to succeed in his classes. He can make even the most subjectively “boring” subjects more interesting than you could believe!

Along with this, he never takes anything too seriously (unless he has to, of course.) He is always safe to talk to, and he makes it very clear that we can talk to him at any time about anything, and that he supports us.

What are some unique or interesting experiences you’ve had during your time at WVU?

The Poverty Simulation hosted by the Office of Interprofessional Education was definitely a unique experience I had at WVU. The event was much larger than I had anticipated, and I used that time to network with faculty and other students, as well as experience the simulation.

What did you learn from your field placement experience?

My field placement experience was at the West Virginia Prevention Research Center (WVPRC). I was taken on as one of two paid student workers for the semester working on one of their many projects: Project AWARE. This project works with six counties in West Virginia (Wirt, Cabell, Clay, Harrison, Logan and Fayette) and coordinates with local education agencies (LEAs) to collect data from participating schools in each county regarding mental health of students.

My job within the Prevention Research Center is primarily with data: data cleaning, data organizing, data retrieving, as well as academic literature reviews and creating PowerPoints. I have learned to become more comfortable with asking questions and working with my higher-ups, how to manage my work-life balance more adequately and how to use particular databases and other resources in order to complete tasks.

What advice would you give to your freshman self?

Grades and GPAs will change! You are not stuck with the letters and numbers that will “follow” you from freshman year. Take a breath, relax, and learn how you learn. Figuring out how you work academically will help you occupationally.

What are you looking forward to most after graduation? And what will you miss the most about WVU?

I am looking forward to only having to balance work and life instead of work, life and school. I am ready to live my life a little more authentically and get a taste for what it is like to work full-time. I am excited to feel so rewarded after a long day’s work and to come home to NO HOMEWORK.

Learn More About Eva's Experience