Back to Meet the Grads

Jeevan Murthy

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Health
School of Public Health
{"ItemType":0,"Id":6185,"Key":"757fc212-d772-4a16-9556-9b9604b65473","TemplateId":5711,"SortOrder":6,"Name":"Jeevan Murthy","DocumentTypeAlias":"studentProfilePage","DocumentTypeId":5688,"WriterName":"WVU HSC ITS","CreatorName":"ralintner","WriterId":0,"CreatorId":10,"Path":"-1,5726,6177,6185","CreateDate":"2019-08-08T15:09:26","UpdateDate":"2021-08-24T11:21:18","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","UrlName":"jeevan-murthy","Level":3,"IsDraft":false,"Url":"http://publichealth.wvu.edu/who-we-are/student-profiles/jeevan-murthy/","metaKeywords":"","pageTitle":"","navigationSettings":"","umbracoUrlName":"","metaDescription":"","navigationTitle":"","hideFromSearch":false,"umbracoNaviHideChildren":false,"seoSettings":"","umbracoRequireSSL":false,"umbracoNaviHide":true,"auditNotes":"","auditStatus":"","profileLastName":"Murthy","profileQuote":"I will always remember the opportunity I had to forge my own path and seek experiences that fit my personality and interests.","profileFirstName":"Jeevan","videoYouTubeURL":"","profileSuffix":"","profilePhoto":{"src":"/media/5882/image1.jpeg","focalPoint":{"left":0.55333333333333334,"top":0.7104166666666667},"crops":[{"alias":"Preview Image","width":200,"height":200,"coordinates":null},{"alias":"Profile Image","width":1200,"height":675,"coordinates":null}]},"featuredImage":"","featuredBlurb":"","isFeatured":false,"areaOfEmphasis":"Public Health Sciences","graduationDate":"2021-05-16T00:00:00","studentType":1236,"profileMinor":"American Politics and Policy","program":[{"ItemType":0,"Id":4706,"Key":"8392e9aa-a1ee-4414-8a10-6325cb9dd243","TemplateId":5704,"SortOrder":2,"Name":"Bachelor of Science in Public Health","DocumentTypeAlias":"SPHprogramPage","DocumentTypeId":4313,"WriterName":"jwilmot1","CreatorName":"WVU HSC ITS","WriterId":56,"CreatorId":0,"Path":"-1,1316,4615,6898,4706","CreateDate":"2018-04-27T14:14:33","UpdateDate":"2021-07-28T14:24:46","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","UrlName":"bachelor-of-science-in-public-health","Level":4,"IsDraft":false,"Url":"/students/undergraduate-programs/bachelor-of-science-in-public-health/","metaKeywords":"","pageTitle":"Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Health","navigationSettings":"","umbracoUrlName":"","metaDescription":"","navigationTitle":"","hideFromSearch":false,"umbracoNaviHideChildren":false,"seoSettings":"","umbracoRequireSSL":false,"umbracoNaviHide":false,"auditNotes":"","auditStatus":"","programOverviewVideoUrl":"","introContent":"<p>Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. Public health professionals engage in a variety of jobs working to prevent illness and injuries, promote wellness, encourage healthy behaviors, track disease outbreaks, and determine why some populations are more likely to suffer from poor health than others.</p>\r\n<p>Students who enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program want to make a difference in their communities and improve the health and well-being of the people around them.</p>","programOverview":"<p>The Bachelor of Science in Public Health program requires completing 120 credit hours, including coursework for WVU general education foundations, the public health major (including an area of emphasis) and a self-selected minor.</p>\r\n<p>Undergraduate students engage in the five core public health disciplines:</p>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li>Biostatistics</li>\r\n<li>Environmental health sciences</li>\r\n<li>Epidemiology</li>\r\n<li>Health policy and administration</li>\r\n<li>Social and behavioral sciences</li>\r\n</ul>\r\n<p>Early in the program, students build a strong foundation of knowledge in the natural and social sciences and become familiar with cultural and socioeconomic differences among populations. Further study provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to identify evidence-based techniques for disease prevention and promotion of health, both at home and from a global perspective.</p>\r\n<h3>Areas of Emphasis</h3>\r\n<p>In addition to the core requirements for the major, students also focus their education by selecting an area of emphasis.</p>\r\n<p>In the <strong>Public Health Sciences area of emphasis</strong>, students learn to recognize how environmental and occupational factors impact the health status of individuals and populations and to apply skills in biostatistical and epidemiologic methods in public health practice and research.</p>\r\n<p>In the <strong>Community and Population Health area of emphasis</strong>, students learn to recognize how social and behavioral factors impact the health status of individuals and populations and to identify appropriate theories, methods, strategies and policies to address the public health needs of communities and populations. This also prepares students to sit for the Community Health Education Certification (CHES) exam.</p>\r\n<p>The<strong class=\"u-wvu-blue\"> Patient Navigation area of emphasis</strong> p<span>repares students to become members of healthcare teams that help individuals overcome barriers to quality care, including access, literacy, transportation and more. Patient Navigators (PNs) assist individuals in reducing and eliminating barriers to health care access and in negotiating complex health delivery systems.</span></p>\r\n<h3><span>Field Placement and Community Service</span></h3>\r\n<p>All students complete <a data-udi=\"umb://document/c4208d37b5c747eebb4ac5c377104e8c\" href=\"/students/experiential-learning/\" title=\"Hands-On Learning\">field placement</a> and capstone experiences as their culminating coursework. During their senior year, every undergraduate student is required to complete 75 hours of applied field placement experience in a local or regional agency or institution where they can put their classroom lessons to work. Students in the Patient Navigation area of emphasis will work with health-related agencies experiencing care coordination with patients and providers. All students engage with community partners, gain experience in the workplace and demonstrate acquisition of competencies.</p>\r\n<p><span>In addition to the field placements, all undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum 25 hours of community service before the start of their senior year, documented through <a href=\"https://iserve.wvu.edu/\">iServe</a> in the WVU Office of Service and Learning. Getting involved in the <a href=\"http://publichealth.wvu.edu/saph/\">Student Association of Public Health</a> is also a great way to get connected to service opportunities.</span></p>","programSummary":"A Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree engages students in the five core public health disciplines – biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and administration, and social and behavioral sciences.","sidebarLinks":"[{\"name\":\"Student Resources\",\"udi\":\"umb://document/a28b56f737114b6fa9d21956ca677661\"}]","tuition":[{"ItemType":0,"Id":6415,"Key":"d0115178-ab1a-4aab-95ec-da00744afdde","TemplateId":6410,"SortOrder":0,"Name":"Undergraduate Programs","DocumentTypeAlias":"programTuition","DocumentTypeId":6411,"WriterName":"ralintner","CreatorName":"jnn0006","WriterId":10,"CreatorId":18,"Path":"-1,1316,4615,6413,6415","CreateDate":"2019-10-25T13:43:30","UpdateDate":"2021-04-05T14:01:58","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","UrlName":"undergraduate-programs","Level":4,"IsDraft":false,"Url":"/students/tuition/undergraduate-programs/","metaKeywords":"","pageTitle":"","navigationSettings":"","umbracoUrlName":"","metaDescription":"","navigationTitle":"","hideFromSearch":false,"umbracoNaviHideChildren":true,"seoSettings":"","umbracoRequireSSL":false,"umbracoNaviHide":false,"auditNotes":"","auditStatus":"","residentUniversityFees":660.0,"residentCollegeTuition":348.0,"nonResidentUniversityFees":660.0,"nonResidentUniversityTuition":12000.0,"allSemestersSame":false,"nonResident":"","nonResidentCollegeTuition":1044.0,"residentUniversityTuition":3828.0,"resident":"","additionalCosts":[{"Key":"d7585ab7-536e-43d4-ba89-115ced93fd76","Id":0,"Name":"Books & Supplies ($450/$450)","IsDraft":false,"ItemType":0,"DocumentTypeAlias":"tuitionAdditionalCosts","DocumentTypeId":6398,"TemplateId":0,"SortOrder":0,"UrlName":null,"WriterName":null,"CreatorName":null,"WriterId":0,"CreatorId":0,"Path":null,"CreateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","UpdateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","Level":0,"Url":"#","description":"Books & Supplies","residentAmount":450.0,"nonResidentAmount":450.0,"type":874},{"Key":"83dc94c4-75a3-4561-af58-90dc0d96553f","Id":0,"Name":"Room ($2915/$2915)","IsDraft":false,"ItemType":0,"DocumentTypeAlias":"tuitionAdditionalCosts","DocumentTypeId":6398,"TemplateId":0,"SortOrder":1,"UrlName":null,"WriterName":null,"CreatorName":null,"WriterId":0,"CreatorId":0,"Path":null,"CreateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","UpdateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","Level":0,"Url":"#","description":"Room","residentAmount":2915.0,"nonResidentAmount":2915.0,"type":874},{"Key":"22c9ccea-c1a4-4aa6-882b-f64d0f2286c9","Id":0,"Name":"Meals ($1375/$1375)","IsDraft":false,"ItemType":0,"DocumentTypeAlias":"tuitionAdditionalCosts","DocumentTypeId":6398,"TemplateId":0,"SortOrder":2,"UrlName":null,"WriterName":null,"CreatorName":null,"WriterId":0,"CreatorId":0,"Path":null,"CreateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","UpdateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","Level":0,"Url":"#","description":"Meals","residentAmount":1375.0,"nonResidentAmount":1375.0,"type":874},{"Key":"d88f1537-1151-4575-8d4b-59311015b694","Id":0,"Name":"Transportation Expense ($525/$775)","IsDraft":false,"ItemType":0,"DocumentTypeAlias":"tuitionAdditionalCosts","DocumentTypeId":6398,"TemplateId":0,"SortOrder":3,"UrlName":null,"WriterName":null,"CreatorName":null,"WriterId":0,"CreatorId":0,"Path":null,"CreateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","UpdateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","Level":0,"Url":"#","description":"Transportation Expense","residentAmount":525.0,"nonResidentAmount":775.0,"type":874},{"Key":"443a39a7-e1e5-438b-9eaf-34d0b8dcf674","Id":0,"Name":"Personal Expense ($850/$850)","IsDraft":false,"ItemType":0,"DocumentTypeAlias":"tuitionAdditionalCosts","DocumentTypeId":6398,"TemplateId":0,"SortOrder":4,"UrlName":null,"WriterName":null,"CreatorName":null,"WriterId":0,"CreatorId":0,"Path":null,"CreateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","UpdateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","Level":0,"Url":"#","description":"Personal Expense","residentAmount":850.0,"nonResidentAmount":850.0,"type":874}]}],"contactUsButton":"[]","possibleCareers":"Public health information officer\r\nHealth promotion specialist\r\nHealth research assistant\r\nEmergency preparedness specialist\r\nEnvironmental health technician\r\nPublic health program developer\r\nBehavioral health program coordinator\r\nHealth promotion social marketer\r\nHealth literacy specialist\r\nGlobal health worker\r\nPatient navigator\r\nCommunity health advocate\r\nPublic health grant coordinator\r\nCommunity engagement specialist\r\nConsumer safety officer\r\nHealth and wellness manager","showAUPHAWidget":false,"programContactsLabel":"","potentialEmployers":"Local and regional health departments\r\nState public health agencies\r\nHealthcare providers\r\nGlobal health organizations\r\nCorporate worksite wellness programs\r\nDisaster planning and response agencies\r\nDepartment of Health and Human Resources (DHHR)\r\nManaged care organizations\r\nEducational institutions\r\nSpecial population health programs\r\nWorld Health Organization (WHO)\r\nEnvironmental organizations\r\nHealthy living initiatives\r\nPublic and other health foundations\r\nCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)","applyLink":"[{\"name\":\"Apply Now\",\"udi\":\"umb://document/a92f295981694fcc8beae105241a4745\"}]","programContacts":[{"Key":"2df6e370-e76a-47a0-aa30-d3d952f6e1b4","Id":0,"Name":"65076 Hannah Meeks","IsDraft":false,"ItemType":0,"DocumentTypeAlias":"programContactsDirectoryIDPhoneToggle","DocumentTypeId":7540,"TemplateId":0,"SortOrder":0,"UrlName":null,"WriterName":null,"CreatorName":null,"WriterId":0,"CreatorId":0,"Path":null,"CreateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","UpdateDate":"0001-01-01T00:00:00","Version":"00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000","Level":0,"Url":"#","directoryID":"65076","hidePhoneNumber":false,"contactsName":"Hannah Meeks"}],"RCcatalogLink":"[{\"name\":\"View WVU Catalog for Required Courses\",\"url\":\"http://catalog.wvu.edu/undergraduate/schoolofpublichealth/publichealth/#majortext\"}]","RCText":"<p>Each student will have a Plan of Study (or course sequence) that he or she will develop with a faculty adviser, update every semester during the student’s advising appointment<span> </span>and follow to complete all degree requirements. It is important to follow this plan to graduate on time.</p>","AGcatalogLink":"[{\"name\":\"View WVU Catalog for Admissions Guidelines\",\"url\":\"http://catalog.wvu.edu/undergraduate/schoolofpublichealth/publichealth/#admissionstext\"}]","addAGLink":"[]","AGText":"<p>The WVU School of Public Health admits undergraduate students in both fall and spring semesters. Interested students must apply and be accepted to West Virginia University. The School offers first-time freshmen direct admission to the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program for those who meet the admission standards. Students who do not meet direct admit minimum standards, but are interested in pursuing a degree in Public Health, may elect to be admitted into the Pre-Public Health program, if qualified.</p>\r\n<p>WVU students who are undeclared or in other majors may apply to transfer into the Public Health program via a WVU Academic Status Update form once the student meets the transfer guidelines and <span>have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average</span>. External transfer students who have completed undergraduate coursework at another institution of higher education prior to applying to the Public Health major are eligible if they meet the minimum guidelines.</p>","LGcatalogLink":"[{\"name\":\"View WVU Catalog for Learning Goals\",\"url\":\"http://catalog.wvu.edu/undergraduate/schoolofpublichealth/publichealth/#learninggoalstext\"}]","LGText":"<ul>\r\n<li><span>Demonstrate a strong foundation of knowledge about the history, philosophy, core values, concepts and functions of public health in the US and globally. (<em>overview)</em></span></li>\r\n<li><span>Determine appropriate public health processes, approaches and interventions needed to address health-related needs and concerns of specific populations. <em>(population health)</em></span></li>\r\n<li><span>Illustrate how socio-economic, behavioral, biological and environmental factors impact human health, contribute to health disparities and can be affected by promotion and protection programs. (d<em>eterminants of health</em>)</span></li>\r\n<li><span>Communicate public health information to diverse audiences through a variety of mediums. <em>(communication)</em></span></li>\r\n<li><span>Apply evidence-based and ethical approaches to identifying, collecting, using, analyzing and disseminating public health data and information. <em>(information)</em></span></li>\r\n<li><span>Differentiate the basic concepts of legal, ethical, economic and regulatory dimensions of health and how they influence the US health system and public health policy. <em>(policy and US government)</em></span></li>\r\n</ul>","featuredProfile":[]}],"profileHometown":"Charleston, W.Va.","mainContent":"<h2>Why did you choose to study public health at WVU?</h2>\r\n<p>My first introduction to the field of public health happened when working on the public health merit badge while progressing to the rank of Eagle Scout. I didn’t know before that there was an entire field dedicated to addressing health problems that existed outside of the hospital and doctor’s office, and this intrigued me.</p>\r\n<p>When applying for college, I made sure to do my research and explore the options across the country. However, growing up in West Virginia, I learned to understand the bond that the University provides for our people. Morgantown is very different than Charleston, yet I still feel that I am home. I wanted a college experience where I could forge my own path and follow my interests, instead of merely jumping through hoops to get to medical school.</p>\r\n<h2>What does public health mean to you?</h2>\r\n<p>Public health is the study of the ways that society can become healthier, happier and safer. As a future physician, I have learned to view public health as a medium to understand all of the factors that play into health and wellness. I find it important to ask the “why?” questions when dealing with sickness, so as to fix the problem at its source. We have become so infatuated with healing sickness instead of fixing the root causes themselves.</p>\r\n<h2>What about the public health major interests you the most?</h2>\r\n<p>I was raised in a medical household. My dad is an anesthesiologist, and my mom is a registered nurse. They would always teach me about medicine, and I learned a lot about the subject over the years. When I got to WVU and began to learn more about public health, I was introduced to a whole different perspective on medicine. I now have a better understanding of how prevention comes into medicine and how public health and medicine go hand-in-hand.</p>\r\n<h2>Have you had any particular professors or faculty members who have made an impact on you while at WVU?</h2>\r\n<p>When I answered this question my first semester at WVU, I believe I said Dr. <a data-udi=\"umb://document/baffbf3f520946d9b3f0ce77c70148df\" href=\"http://publichealth.wvu.edu/who-we-are/faculty-and-staff-profiles/michael-mccawley/\" title=\"Michael McCawley\">McCawley</a>. At that time, I hadn’t met many people in the School of Public Health, yet he still tops the list of faculty I appreciated learning from. I also spent time researching with Dr. <a href=\"https://directory.hsc.wvu.edu/Profile/30123\">Dina Jones</a> and Dr. <a href=\"https://directory.hsc.wvu.edu/Profile/37837\">Ranjita Misra</a>, both of which displayed passion for the field and allowed me to gain research experience in topics that are close to my heart.</p>\r\n<h2>When was a moment you realized public health was the right fit for you?</h2>\r\n<p>At my freshman orientation, I was the only entering School of Public Health student. Because of this, my first introduction to the school was a one-on-one meeting between my family and former Dean Hunt. She was the first person I identified with the school, and became a mentor of mine over the years. The personal touch I received at the beginning of my time set the tone for my education. I always felt comfortable knocking on her office door to ask a question or catch up.</p>\r\n<h2>What are some unique or interesting experiences you’ve had during your time at WVU?</h2>\r\n<p>Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t like to reject an opportunity. While at WVU, I have taken part in numerous experiences including the <a data-udi=\"umb://document/9c710f362a66456e9305a63a8035bc7d\" href=\"http://publichealth.wvu.edu/saph/\" title=\"Student Association\">Student Association of Public Health</a>, the <a href=\"http://wvuphikappapsi.com\">Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity</a>, the <a href=\"http://publichealth.wvu.edu/news/story?headline=public-health-student-interns-atwhite-house\" data-anchor=\"?headline=public-health-student-interns-atwhite-house\">White House Internship Program</a>, two research projects, volunteering at Ruby Memorial Hospital, being a biology teacher’s assistant, and continuing in Boy Scouting. I will look back at my college experience as busy, yet never boring.</p>\r\n<h2>You’re ending your academic journey during a very unique time in our history. What has been the good and the bad about studying public health during a pandemic and completing your college experience during this time?</h2>\r\n<p>For four years, I have listened to lectures and read textbooks about disaster prevention, disease epidemiology and other topics in public health. The pandemic has caused great burden and loss in our society, which will never escape our minds. Yet it has also exemplified the necessity of having strong and efficient public health infrastructure and response. My peers and I have been granted the opportunity to apply our education and serve on the frontlines of the pandemic. My capstone project with the Monongalia County Health Department has allowed me to serve as a coronavirus tester and volunteer at the vaccination clinics. This service opened my eyes more to the important work that public health officials provide during times of need.</p>\r\n<h2>What do you want to do after graduation?</h2>\r\n<p>As mentioned before, I will be starting medical school at WVU <a href=\"https://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu\">School of Medicine</a>. At this point, I intend on entering the field of general surgery or gastroenterology. These fields are personal to me, as I have lived with Crohn’s Disease for almost eight years. I have witnessed what it means to be a patient, and plan on using that perspective and my medical background to help inform and craft health policy to make our society healthier, more equitable and safer in the future.</p>\r\n<h2>What will you always remember from your time at WVU?</h2>\r\n<p>I will always remember the opportunity I had to forge my own path and seek experiences that fit my personality and interests. My mentors and advisers always supported my decisions to push the bounds and write my own path. I was able to take a semester off and move to Washington, D.C., where I learned firsthand about how government plays a part in the creation and implementation of public health. I joined a fraternity and met some lifelong friends. I even continued in Scouting, teaching merit badges related to public health, medicine and emergency preparedness. Each one of these moments have made me who I am today.</p>\r\n<h2>What are you looking forward to most after graduation?</h2>\r\n<p>I am genuinely excited to start medical school this fall. Although it will be a stressful and complicated time, I look forward to learning how to become a thoughtful and intelligent caregiver for my patients. In the meantime, the next couple months will be spent traveling and spending time with friends and family.</p>\r\n<h2>What would you tell prospective students about WVU and the School of Public Health?</h2>\r\n<p>One thing I would tell prospective students is to consider public health, especially if you’re interested in medical school. Public health will allow you to fulfill that dream. With the program, you are able to not only get all the prerequisites for medical school, but also develop a different approach to treating patients. Public health will also allow you many different career opportunities if you decide medical school is not necessarily right for you. It still enables you to help individuals and communities as a whole.</p>"}

I will always remember the opportunity I had to forge my own path and seek experiences that fit my personality and interests.

Why did you choose to study public health at WVU?

My first introduction to the field of public health happened when working on the public health merit badge while progressing to the rank of Eagle Scout. I didn’t know before that there was an entire field dedicated to addressing health problems that existed outside of the hospital and doctor’s office, and this intrigued me.

When applying for college, I made sure to do my research and explore the options across the country. However, growing up in West Virginia, I learned to understand the bond that the University provides for our people. Morgantown is very different than Charleston, yet I still feel that I am home. I wanted a college experience where I could forge my own path and follow my interests, instead of merely jumping through hoops to get to medical school.

What does public health mean to you?

Public health is the study of the ways that society can become healthier, happier and safer. As a future physician, I have learned to view public health as a medium to understand all of the factors that play into health and wellness. I find it important to ask the “why?” questions when dealing with sickness, so as to fix the problem at its source. We have become so infatuated with healing sickness instead of fixing the root causes themselves.

What about the public health major interests you the most?

I was raised in a medical household. My dad is an anesthesiologist, and my mom is a registered nurse. They would always teach me about medicine, and I learned a lot about the subject over the years. When I got to WVU and began to learn more about public health, I was introduced to a whole different perspective on medicine. I now have a better understanding of how prevention comes into medicine and how public health and medicine go hand-in-hand.

Have you had any particular professors or faculty members who have made an impact on you while at WVU?

When I answered this question my first semester at WVU, I believe I said Dr. McCawley. At that time, I hadn’t met many people in the School of Public Health, yet he still tops the list of faculty I appreciated learning from. I also spent time researching with Dr. Dina Jones and Dr. Ranjita Misra, both of which displayed passion for the field and allowed me to gain research experience in topics that are close to my heart.

When was a moment you realized public health was the right fit for you?

At my freshman orientation, I was the only entering School of Public Health student. Because of this, my first introduction to the school was a one-on-one meeting between my family and former Dean Hunt. She was the first person I identified with the school, and became a mentor of mine over the years. The personal touch I received at the beginning of my time set the tone for my education. I always felt comfortable knocking on her office door to ask a question or catch up.

What are some unique or interesting experiences you’ve had during your time at WVU?

Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t like to reject an opportunity. While at WVU, I have taken part in numerous experiences including the Student Association of Public Health, the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, the White House Internship Program, two research projects, volunteering at Ruby Memorial Hospital, being a biology teacher’s assistant, and continuing in Boy Scouting. I will look back at my college experience as busy, yet never boring.

You’re ending your academic journey during a very unique time in our history. What has been the good and the bad about studying public health during a pandemic and completing your college experience during this time?

For four years, I have listened to lectures and read textbooks about disaster prevention, disease epidemiology and other topics in public health. The pandemic has caused great burden and loss in our society, which will never escape our minds. Yet it has also exemplified the necessity of having strong and efficient public health infrastructure and response. My peers and I have been granted the opportunity to apply our education and serve on the frontlines of the pandemic. My capstone project with the Monongalia County Health Department has allowed me to serve as a coronavirus tester and volunteer at the vaccination clinics. This service opened my eyes more to the important work that public health officials provide during times of need.

What do you want to do after graduation?

As mentioned before, I will be starting medical school at WVU School of Medicine. At this point, I intend on entering the field of general surgery or gastroenterology. These fields are personal to me, as I have lived with Crohn’s Disease for almost eight years. I have witnessed what it means to be a patient, and plan on using that perspective and my medical background to help inform and craft health policy to make our society healthier, more equitable and safer in the future.

What will you always remember from your time at WVU?

I will always remember the opportunity I had to forge my own path and seek experiences that fit my personality and interests. My mentors and advisers always supported my decisions to push the bounds and write my own path. I was able to take a semester off and move to Washington, D.C., where I learned firsthand about how government plays a part in the creation and implementation of public health. I joined a fraternity and met some lifelong friends. I even continued in Scouting, teaching merit badges related to public health, medicine and emergency preparedness. Each one of these moments have made me who I am today.

What are you looking forward to most after graduation?

I am genuinely excited to start medical school this fall. Although it will be a stressful and complicated time, I look forward to learning how to become a thoughtful and intelligent caregiver for my patients. In the meantime, the next couple months will be spent traveling and spending time with friends and family.

What would you tell prospective students about WVU and the School of Public Health?

One thing I would tell prospective students is to consider public health, especially if you’re interested in medical school. Public health will allow you to fulfill that dream. With the program, you are able to not only get all the prerequisites for medical school, but also develop a different approach to treating patients. Public health will also allow you many different career opportunities if you decide medical school is not necessarily right for you. It still enables you to help individuals and communities as a whole.

Let’s go.