Michael Gonzalez, Jr.

Michael Gonzalez, Jr., MPH

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health
Environmental Health Sciences

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

The single most rewarding experience of my career so far would be my internship at The City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance. This field experience/internship is required for my MPH. Within this internship, I will be working on three different projects. The first is collaborating to lead an LGBTQ+ Youth Substance Use Prevention Summit. Followed by a McKinley Park beach clean up to collect trash and cigarette butts, and post to social media platforms to bring awareness of this environmental health issue and install cigarette but receptacles. Finally, conducting 40 retail store assessment that collects data on tobacco advertising and inequities that contribute to disparities in tobacco use.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?

The biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on is climate change and dismantling racism. Climate change is here, our political system needs to stop neglecting the fact of this occurrence, and needs to be addressed immediately in order to secure the livelihood of future generations. Racism needs to be dismantled to no longer be a social construct that further marginalizes populations and generations.