What inspired you to study public health?
I was inspired by my program director to pursue a degree in public health. She was relentless in sharing how important it is to have young and determined individuals in the field. She shared with me several of her research findings, and one qualitative study really stuck with me. It was a study where they spoke with several individuals who were homeless in Philadelphia. They offered to buy the signs that individuals had created in the past and they gave them new cardboard and a marker to create a new sign. The purchased signs where displayed in an art show to bring greater awareness to homelessness in Philadelphia. It was this moment, where I realized she was on the ground doing incredibly important work, that I knew I wanted to be in this field so I could be hands on in what I care about the most – food access and food insecurity.
What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?
The most rewarding experience of my career was presenting my team’s qualitative research at the American Academy of Pediatrics conference. It was research that I had been working on for over a year that focused on a very relevant topic, police violence. Our study’s aim was to understand if parents and patients believed that pediatric providers should counsel patients on police violence. Having the opportunity to talk with health professionals about the topic was really rewarding.
Where did you do your practicum? What was it about?
Nemours Children’s Hospital. I was a research coordinator on a qualitative study focused on police violence and pediatric health care intervention.
What do you hope to accomplish in your career?
In my career, I want to create a relationship between the city of Philadelphia and local food systems and producers. The goal would be to create an environmentally sustainable food chain and to redirect produce that would become food waste to food insecure communities. Additionally, I want to lead a public health intervention that largely influences food insecurity and healthy food choices, one that promotes cooking with fresh ingredients. Most public health interventions only lead to a small change in cooking and healthy eating behaviors.
My advice is to get involved in as much as you can and connect with as many public health professionals as possible – the people you meet will be some of your greatest supporters.
Current Position June 2023:
Project Coordinator at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health
Connect on LinkedIn: