The following interview is part of a series the College of Science conducted with some of our alumni. While their experiences and career paths vary widely, their passion for science and love for the College and OSU tie them together.
Major: BioHealth Sciences (’19)
Additional Education: Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (’22)
Occupation: Epidemiologist and Research Coordinator at Comagine Health
Why did you choose to study at OSU?
I felt that the BioHealth Sciences major would best prepare me to continue to Physician Assistant school. OSU is also near and dear to my heart. I am a Corvallis native and grew up going to Beaver events, so staying closer to home and getting an excellent quality education help me solidify the choice.
How did the College of Science prepare you for your future career?
The College of Science taught me pretty much all the fundamental skills that my current career path requires. I learned how to apply critical thinking when reading scientific journals and considering complexities around health issues, introductions to data analysis and so on.
Describe your career? How are you making a difference?
Epidemiologists get to look at the possible origins and causes of disease, as well as examining how they are distributed among populations. There are also opportunities to understand, research and address health inequality and disparity. It’s very dynamic and obviously relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic as well.
What might people be surprised to learn about your profession?
I spend a lot of time doing coding and data analysis, and I love it!
How were you involved in the OSU community?
My involvement in the OSU community was limited in terms of clubs and research, unfortunately. I did work at Marketplace West for about 3 years. I met some wonderful people and made really meaningful connections.
What is one favorite College of Science memory?
I absolutely loved the microbiology laboratory class. There was something about being so hands-on with the experiments and the types of experiments that we did identifying mystery bacteria that I loved.
What did you do for fun to de-stress from schoolwork?
I joined a K-pop dance group in my second or third year. It really put me out of my comfort zone, but it was such a fun experience! I also did photography and spent time with friends.
If you could give a future College of Science student advice, what would it be?
I highly recommend forming small study groups! It’s a great way to get to know classmates, and I always did much better on exams and had a better understanding of the material in classes where I had this. Also, I suggest getting to know your instructors and TAs! I took two public health classes during my fourth year, and spending time talking with those professors during that school year and even after graduating is what convinced me that I should pursue my Master of Public Health degree and a career in public health.