In our Alumni Career Spotlight series, you will meet some of our alumni and learn about the important work they are doing to create a healthier nation and world.
Employer: Marion County Public Health Department
Current position: STD Control Program Manager
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Degree(s): MPH, IUPUI, 2023
Why did you choose your major/program?
I chose the MPH Social and Behavioral Sciences pathway to expand my public health skill set related to behavior change in a health setting. My career of choice is in STD prevention, and behavior change is a key component of changing disease outcomes related to sexual activity. This pathway gave me a good foundation of program management as well, which enhanced my ability to act as an effective program manager with the county health department.
Briefly describe your career path.
I initially began as a disease intervention specialist in 2017 for the state health department after obtaining my bachelor’s in public health in 2014. After working as a DIS, I was promoted to program specialist in the same department. I worked for the state health department for five years before taking an administrator role at the county health department in Indianapolis in November 2021.
Describe what an average day for you might be like.
In an average day, I manage three sections of the STD control program for the Bell Flower Clinic. I oversee a disease investigation team, an outreach team, and an epidemiologist. I continuously work on grant reporting, funding management, and evaluation reports. I liaise with several other departments and external organizations to help deliver coordinated STD and HIV services in Indianapolis.
What advice would you give your college self about pursuing your current career path or industry?
Follow your gut instincts about what type of public service resonates and what doesn’t. Try the unconventional public health pathways to find those special niches where your personality shines.
What is a lesson learned at FSPH that you have been able to apply to your career?
Program management through a foundational public health approach. There are many facets I have been able to take to my job to make my evaluative assessments more potent and meaningful, and bring creative grant deliverables to the table.
What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
I got a promotion to the second highest position in my clinic shortly after graduation, and I am excited to embark on the journey because I always wanted to complete high level public health management. I have an opportunity now to expand my skills and make myself a valuable managerial asset for the future of public health, which is rapidly changing.
What’s next for you?
After I am finished or fulfilled with my time in STD prevention, I am again going to pursue an unconventional public health pathway and get into regulatory work. Alternatively, I envision myself completing consulting work for individual public health agencies to expand their STD prevention activities related to disease intervention investigation.
What is your favorite IUPUI/FSPH memory?
Being asked by professors I respect to participate in projects outside of our classes. This meant a lot as it indicates my professors respect my passion and my work.