Samantha Griffin

Samantha Griffin, MPH

University of Maryland School of Public Health
Physical Activity

In one sentence, what is public health to you?

Public health is about recognizing and breaking down barriers to give everyone a right to health.

What inspired you to study public health?

Experiences with my family have showed me first hand why health and access to health care and services should be basic human rights. Public health is so important because it looks at health holistically and encompasses so many social justice issues. I love that studying public health allows me to help others through a combination of all of my passions and interests.

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

The most rewarding experience of my career so far was working for three years with the Maryland Women’s basketball team. I was able to build so many great relationships and connections, while also getting to learn more about Division 1 Athletics from multiple different positions and roles within the program. My experiences with the team will help me continue to explore my passion for health equity and the role sports and physical activity play in the health of women.


When starting out in public health I wish that someone would have told me that it’s ok to not be an expert in everything. There are so many concentrations within public health as a field and it is ok if you don’t know everything about every single one.

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

I think that the biggest challenge the public health field should be focusing on is access to healthcare and health services. Increasing access to these resources can help prevent health disparities between communities and can help bring the focus away from treating conditions and towards promoting and maintaining health, and preventing disease.