Caroline Arias, MPH

University of South Florida College of Public Health

What inspired you to study public health?

My undergraduate studies in neuroscience and psychology grew my knowledge of health at the individual level and inspired my interest to learn more about well-being and social determinants of health at the community and population levels. I was initially drawn to public health because it goes beyond clinical healthcare to address prevention and root causes, and I am committed to this field because is multidisciplinary, dynamic, and complex. It is an incredible space through which to practice social advocacy and pursue social justice at the intersection of many issues.

What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?

My time as a graduate student at USF COPH has been the most transformative, empowering experience in my development as a public health professional. From participating in the CLARION National Case Competition and completing a data management & analysis internship to supporting ASPPH climate change initiatives and gaining experience in secondary data analysis within an MCH Center of Excellence, I have been fortunate to find an abundance of involvement opportunities to develop my skills and strengthen my workforce preparation. I have learned so much from professors, mentors, peers, and countless others during this time that have each inspired in me genuine excitement to continue practicing my passion.

Where did you do your practicum? What was it about?

I completed a data management & analysis internship with Ybor Youth Clinic in Tampa, FL. Through this experience, I developed a database in Microsoft Access, cleaned and managed clinical research data, and collaborated with staff to update various administrative tools.


Don’t wait to get involved and be creative in shaping your public health journey! Every opportunity is a chance to learn something new, even if there is no formal title attached to it. Be intentional in getting to know your peers and professors, and enjoy becoming a part of something much bigger than yourself.

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