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Public Health (MPH) Spotlight

Posted in: Public Health, Spotlights

There has never been a more important time to launch a career in public health. On the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, Montclair State’s Public Health graduate students and alumni have been playing a critical role in the public health emergency. More broadly, with the goal of advancing health equity and social justice, our Master of Public Health students are working to design, implement, and evaluate programs, improve health systems, and change health policies.

Our entire program is committed to an “upstream” focus that seeks to improve the structural factors that influence health and wellbeing — through the development of our public health professionals, through our community engagement, and through our faculty scholarship. Together, these work toward advancing the collective strength of populations and promoting fundamental changes that foster both healthy settings and healthy people.

MPH student, Kat DeMarco, who currently serves as the Northern NJ Covid-19 contact tracing supervisor, reflects, “The MPH truly feels like home due to its intimate classes, and the emphasis placed on opportunities for peer engagement. As soon as I enrolled in the program, I was met with an overwhelmingly supportive cohort and faculty that work together to foster an inclusive learning environment centered on social justice principles and advocacy.”

The MPH can be completed either full- or part-time, and welcomes students with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Classes are offered in the evenings to meet the needs of our many working professionals. Both students and alumni reflect on our close-knit community that continues even beyond graduation. Sarah Bonilla, MPH ‘14, is the program manager for the Center of Excellence for Latino Health at Clara Maass Medical Center. Currently an adjunct instructor in our program, she shared that the MPH program “opened up my world to different things…the diversity and the community they established, that’s what I love about this place.”

Department Chair Lisa Lieberman notes that “The current pandemic has shined a glaring spotlight on the importance of public health, but we have been preparing professionals for more than a decade to help build the systems and remove the barriers that enable us all to live in a healthier and more just society.”

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