Activities: Honors Program (mentor & ambassador); Rutgers University Community Cares (Blood Drive & Bone Marrow Drive Coordinator); Rutgers Hall Association (Co-president of programming); New Student Orientation (Orientation leader); Research Assistant for Medical Decision Making Lab
What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
I was attracted to Rutgers because of its diversity, research opportunities, and social activities. I heard that RU had a lot of pride and energy (which is definitely true!). From a practical perspective, it was cost-effective with a scholarship and being in-state. Within the large university, I still wanted a smaller niche and liked that the honors program offered smaller classes and intellectual/self-growth opportunities!
Why did you choose your major and minor?
I chose to major in Public Health because of my passion for population health and systems change. I was also fascinated by social determinants of health i.e. understanding why communities only miles apart vary in health status like obesity. My minors were in Biology and Psychology (which were originally my majors as pre-medicine). The intersection of these areas are pretty interesting!
Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where do you live?
After graduating Rutgers, I went the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School to get my Masters in Public Health. I currently live in Central New Jersey and am a Program Manager at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation (non-profit) National Headquarters in NY and love the work. I manage education programs for gastroenterology focused providers which entails collaborating with partners, submitting grants, managing budgets, and planning/implementing/evaluating programs. I'm also the Executive Board Secretary of the Public Health Association of New York City (PHANYC). I balance work with yoga, happy hours, movies, parks, and friends/family!
What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated Rutgers?
My greatest personal accomplishment was running my first 5K! And then I ran a few more after that. Professionally, it was a great experience to be accepted to and complete a 6-month Behavioral Health Leadership Development Program, which was sponsored by the federal government. I had the opportunity to learn leadership skills, and work with a great mentor & teammates.
Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
The Introduction to Public Health Class piqued my interest but the internship requirement in the major really helped me to understand what the field was all about. I interned at the local Edison Health Department where I assisted with evaluation work and then reported my experience at the internship seminar. I was grateful Rutgers even had the Public Health major since many universities at the time didn't. This made it easier to decide to get my Masters degree right after college and my Honors dean at the time was very helpful during this entire process.
What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program?
Stimulating, Engaging, Fun
How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
Networking for business/fun is a huge benefit since Rutgers has a lot of pride and it's easy to make new and keep old connections. I still participate in the Rutgers Club of NYC alumni activities and served on my five year reunion committee. The honors program also seeks to engage honors alumni so I took the opportunity to be a Founding member of the Rutgers Honors Alumni Association and serve as the programming chair for a time period. The smaller honors class sizes also enabled me to understand topics on a deeper level which I was able to apply.
What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
My advice on a professional level is to stay consistent and active in setting up informational interviews with those in the field. You can find names through alumni contacts. This will not only help you to learn about your interested field but it will also set-up connections long-term. They usually remember you! Personally, my advice is to make sure you balance work with enjoyable activities.
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