Why did you choose this field of study? Why did you choose the program at Montclair State University?
My decision to choose this field came from my passion as a public health professional. I have always been interested in the public health field and was looking to increase my knowledge and skills as a current professional. I chose the program at Montclair State University because it is an accredited program that happens to be close to work and to my home. Also, the program offered evening hours that fit perfectly with my schedule. I would just go straight to class right after work and continue my education.
What are/were the best parts of your program?
I think the best part of the program is that you can truly dive into your passion. Public Health has a myriad of branches and anyone from any profession can truly enjoy the program. My class had a variety of students from different fields but we all understood the importance of public health. Also, I love how the program allows you to embrace your passion and sort of allows you to choose your projects. Additionally, I like how the MPH program provides you with real-life experiences that increase your skills and knowledge. Lastly, I like how the program provides you with networking opportunities that can help you find job opportunities once you graduate.
What was your favorite class or experience in the program, and why was that so important to you?
It is difficult to pinpoint one favorite course or part in the program because I truly enjoyed them all. All the courses had passionate professors that made the learning extremely engaging. The courses were always filled with the most current and up to date information in our field. I particularly enjoyed the many public health professionals (guest speakers) invited to our classes that strengthened our learning experience and passion in the field.
How did the program prepare you for your profession?
Before I started the MPH program, I was already working in the field as a public health professional, but I feel the MPH program furthered my passion and allowed me to bring new and innovative ideas to the table. Thanks to the program, I was able to create a valuable partnership with MSU and my local health department. Additionally, I was able to adopt an equally innovative ordinance to help my community and help them improve their health and well-being.
What are your future plans?
Based on my studies and work in this program, I have created a guide book that encourages local health departments to adopt a Staple Foods Ordinance. The Staple Foods Ordinance requires all grocery store owners in a city to carry basic healthy foods such as milk, eggs, 100% juice, whole-wheat foods, protein or meats, and fresh fruits & vegetables. I will work with my colleagues and community partners to spread the word on this ordinance. I hope that in doing so, the Staple Foods Ordinance will be implemented in many cities in the U.S. and not just in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Passaic, New Jersey.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your program or the College of Education & Human Services?
I would just like to say that the MPH program at MSU really allowed me to grow as a professional and only further confirmed my passion as a public health professional. I would like to thank the professors in the program because they made the learning experience fun and relatable. To me, they are the true assets of the MPH program.