The following interview is part of a series the College of Science conducted with some of our alumni. While their experiences and career paths vary widely, their passion for science and love for the College and OSU tie them together.
Major: Biology, minors in Anthropology and Chemistry (’09)
Additional Education: Master’s of Public Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Occupation: Injury Prevention Manager for the Vermont Department of Health
Why did you choose to study at OSU?
I love STEM. I felt that an undergrad degree in science would help me develop a strong foundation.
How did the College of Science prepare you for your future career?
A solid foundation in science has helped in my career as a healthcare clinician and a public health professional. It has allowed me to understand and communicate the biological components of my work.
Describe your career? How are you making a difference?
I am a volunteer Advanced EMT and Mental Health First Aid Instructor. I have been involved in EMS since 2013 at the national, state and local level. In my current role as the Injury Prevention Manager at the Vermont Department of Health, I actively collaborate with community partners and first responders around opioid overdose prevention efforts, suicide prevention, and a variety of provider wellness and safety initiatives including highway safety and pediatric safe transport. I am also a Bloomberg American Health Initiative Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the focus areas of addiction and overdose. I have been a part of several committees and boards working to improve injury prevention efforts and EMS’s integration into public health on both the state and national level.
What might people be surprised to learn about your profession?
Public health is often the most successful when we work across sectors and in interdisciplinary teams. Bringing together diverse backgrounds leads us to address wicked public health problems.
How were you involved in the OSU community?
I looked for many opportunities to be involved in the Oregon State community. That involvement became excellent talking points in future interviews. I played club rugby, was a Peer Health Advocate, did an international internship teaching high school health and science in Tanzania, had an on-campus work-study position in the Tanguay Zebrafish Lab, and was in the Anthropology Club.
If you could give a future College of Science student advice, what would it be?
Take time to discover your interests. I work in emergency medical services and public health now; I did not plan that when I was an undergraduate. Some of the best advice was to make a plan but be open to opportunities.