Amber Brown is passionate about public health, women’s wellness, football and theater. As a graduate student in the WVU School of Public Health (SPH) and a resident of Morgantown, Brown is able to pursue all of her interests.
While busy earning her Master of Public Health degree in social and behavioral science, Brown is also receiving a Women’s Health Certificate, working as a graduate assistant, serving as a recruitment ambassador and acting in musicals and plays.
Over the summer, she completed an internship at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, working on a multi-institute research study to identify if video education during pre-natal visits would entice at-risk women to breastfeed.
“I piloted a program targeting inner-city, pregnant teens in Richmond City, Virginia,” Brown explained, noting the community outreach breastfeeding program was in collaboration with the Richmond City Health District. “I had a lesson plan that was an hour and a half long, and it included different forms of learning – visual, video, hands on. I had one portion of the lesson where they were holding baby dolls, and with the baby dolls, they were practicing different positions such as the cradle and cross cradle. I had a quiz called ‘Myth Busters.’ I gave them 20 typical myths about breastfeeding, and they had to say if they were true or false.”
Brown worked with teens who reported in post-surveys that they planned to breastfeed after delivery.
“The lady who I worked with said that she was going to let me know if they actually breastfed,” Brown said. “She also wanted to adopt my program, so I had to show her how to do the hour-and-a-half presentation.”
Brown is the president of the WVU Black Graduate Student Association, and she works as a graduate assistant in the WVU School of Public Health.
“I help to better promote the program,” she said. “Currently, I work with the Department of Biostatistics, and I run the Mediasite. We’re using this new technology, so students who are at home doing a class online can actually view the lectures live and ask questions. The questions come to my email, and I will ask the questions for them as if they are in class. It’s kind of like a live feed.”
Brown enjoys her work, both as a student and as a graduate assistant, so much that she promotes the MPH program as a School of Public Health ambassador. She traveled to the National Institutes of Health Graduate and Professional School Fair in July and assists with SPH events.
“The faculty really wants you to succeed, so they’re readily available,” she noted. “You can email them, and they respond quickly. I think you can only promote what you enjoy.”
Since the day she visited WVU as a prospective student, Brown noticed the friendly faculty and staff. She was impressed by how personable everyone was and liked the possibility of attending a school with a well-known football team.
Now, the Gary, Indiana, native is a part of the welcoming WVU atmosphere. She serves as a blue and gold ambassador on home WVU football game days, greeting fans who park in the Coliseum lot and ride a bus to the stadium.
“I welcome the different fans and point out when we’re passing the Alumni Center – ‘Do we have any alumni on the bus?’” Brown shared. “We’re their entertainment, gearing them up for when they get to the actual stadium.”
A first generation scholar with a humble upbringing, Brown has worked hard during her academic career. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, but she has always been active in the community, sharing her many talents and striving to make a difference.
Upon graduation in May, Brown’s goal is to work as a program coordinator or manager at a government or non-profit agency. She is sure her MPH degree will help her with any job because “public health is everywhere.”
“It’s the doorknob you touch, it’s the money you’re passing, it’s the way that people are preparing your food when you go to a restaurant,” she said. “It’s recycling so plastic bottles don’t end up on the edge of the water. All this stuff that I’ve been learning is coming into play in this program. You can walk instead of trying to get that close parking spot, and that’s public health.
“There are so many different directions you can go with this degree.”http://publichealth.hsc.wvu.edu/pages/News/Student-News/Eager-Ambassador-for-Public-Health