Major: Community and Public Health in the College of Health Sciences and Professions
Year: Senior
Expected Graduation Date: May 2018
Hometown: Avon Lake, Ohio
Involvement on Campus: Students Supporting People with Down Syndrome, Pi Beta Phi, National Health Education Honorary: Eta Sigma Gamma

Can you talk a little bit about your leadership experience and how that has helped you grow?

I’m the president of Eta Sigma Gamma, which works to develop the professional skills of students with a health-related major. We have a lot of volunteer opportunities and promote health and wellness across campus. We partner with Power Gamma and volunteer a lot with Live Healthy Appalachia.

For Pi Beta Phi I’m on the policy and standards board, we kind of make sure that everyone is doing okay and isn’t getting into a lot of trouble. They can also come to us for help with academics or payments and basically help them be the best person they can be within the sorority.

I think these leadership experiences have made me more confident in my leadership skills because I think I have more than I thought I did. I feel like I’m better at talking to people because I used to be really shy but now that I have to talk to people all the time I have better communication skills. I also have to be more organized and manage my time.

You decided to switch your major, can you talk a little bit about how you came to that decision and who or what helped you along the way?

I was originally a biology major, but if I’m being honest, chemistry made me switch my major. I am so bad at chemistry, haha. So when I was in the process of switching my major, I took Intro to Public Health and the professor who taught that class, Heather Harmon, was the reason I switched to Community and Public Health. She saw that I was really interested in the class and was doing well in it and convinced me to switch my major.

What was it like working with the Centers for Families and Children in Cleveland last summer?

The organization is a non-profit and I worked on the mobile food pantry. Twice a week the greater Cleveland Food Bank would bring us food which we would then take to the seven locations around Cleveland that the Centers for Families and Children used. We would bag up the fresh produce and other healthy foods. We put out those foods on the table and people could come and take as much or as little food as they wanted.

Although I enjoyed working there this summer, it helped me figure out that I would like a little more diversity in my work. I also realized that I don’t want to work for a non-profit because although it’s amazing what they do, you always struggle to get help and funding. But overall it was a great experience, and I loved everyone I worked with and met through the program.

What are your plans post-graduation?

I’m trying to get an internship this summer with the Cleveland Clinic to fulfill the internship that is required by my major. After that, I am thinking about getting my masters in biostatistics, epidemiology, or health policy and management. I’ll probably try to go to Ohio State University or Kent State University if I decide to get my masters; I’m leaning toward Kent because it’s close to my house and I could commute and save money.

In terms of a career, I would like to go into something that is more on the science and math side of things. Possibly epidemiology, which tracks diseases and outbreaks, similar to what the Centers for Disease Control does.

What is your favorite thing about being a Bobcat?

My favorite thing is probably the people and how much pride they have in Ohio University. Anytime I meet someone when I’m at home or anywhere else that went here, there’s an immediate connection and I’ve never met a Bobcat that I didn’t like.

Interview conducted by CLDC Social Media Intern Kate Ansel

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