Kennedy Sawicki

Kennedy Sawicki, MPH

University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health
Public Health Genetics

What inspired you to study public health? 

My first passion has always been educating others on topics I am knowledgeable about, including genetics, so when I realized that I can do just that in public health, I was all in.

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

Getting to be the first public health genetics TIPH Ambassador has probably been my most rewarding experience so far. I had the chance to do what I love most, educate others on public health genetics, through this ambassador program. Doing a social media takeover was so fun and my project will be during Public Health Genetics & Genomics Week in May where I will be on a student panel answering questions about being a public health genetics student.

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

First, I did some work with Kids’ Health Connections in Detroit, MI doing work with children and their families to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. We had a community garden program in which we tended to the garden, planted in the garden, and learned about different aspects of healthy eating. I created a photobook of the participants in the program so they had something tangible afterwards to see their and the garden’s progress. I also worked with the Michigan Public Health Institute Center for Strategic Health Partnerships on a research project assessing genetics providers’ knowledge of and perceived barriers to implementing trauma-informed care in genetics clinics. I created a recruitment flyer for this study, attended monthly workgroup meetings, and helped in facilitating focus groups.

What do you hope to accomplish in your career? 

I hope to increase awareness about public health genetics screening programs (newborn screening, cancer screening, etc.) for both providers and patients and be a mentor for others wanting to do public health genetics education.


Try everything. Public health is such a broad field and there are so many different ways you can be a part of public health. Find something you truly love within public health by taking different courses or getting involved with various organizations.

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