Emily Oppenheimer

Tell us about your current job.
Currently, I am a Program Coordinator at Bronx Health REACH, a program of the Institute for Family Health. In this role, I wear many hats, but it's a large mix of program development, management, evaluation, communications and outreach. I organize and lead community-level efforts to promote healthy living and reduce chronic disease among Bronx residents, especially in underserved areas. In collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier NYC and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, I work with community and faith-based organizations, schools, residents, and community leaders from across the borough to increase opportunities for active living and healthy eating. My favorite part of the job is Active Design projects to transform spaces for health!

What did you study as an undergraduate?
As an undergraduate I studied Politics, and minored in Health, Science, Society & Policy (essentially public health) and Religious Studies.

How did you decide to get a degree in Health Communication?
As an undergraduate, I was excited by public health, and was dedicated to improving health. Given my personality, I also wanted a pursue an aspect of public health which would allow me to think creatively. With a bit of research and helpful conversations with professionals, I discovered Health Communication, which seemed, to me, the perfect fit.

How did you learn about the Tufts program, and what made you choose it?
Well, it was a combination of Boston, where I had studied as an undergraduate, and the program, which was a very unique blend of public health studies with a strong application in the field and expertise in communications.

Did you work as a grad student, and how feasible was your approach to the program?
Yes, I worked part-time throughout graduate school. It was nice to work part-time, as it provided practical real world applications of school courses. Plus, work helped me determine my plan for ALE and focus my public health interests.

Tell us about your ALE - where did you do it, and what are some of the most valuable skills that you gained?
My ALE, "Improving Self-Efficacy to Manage Stress for MIT Students" was a great experience. One of the most valuable skills I gained was developing an ambitious, yet realistic, work plan. In addition, the ALE class gave me great experience sharing work with a collaborative group.

If different than your current position, what was your first job after graduation?
My first job after graduation was more health communication specific than my current position. This first job gave me a chance to get to explore NYC professionally, and I was drawn to apply my health communication skills to community-driven solutions for health equity.

What are some ways in which your Tufts degree has equipped you to work in the field?
As many people have said, good communication is the back bone of any work. The small learning environment at Tufts gave me the opportunity to learn in expanse and pursue specific interests. For me, being immersed in the medical setting was helpful, as medicine and public health are intrinsically linked.

Do you have any advice for current students, or prospective students considering the Tufts MS in Health Communication program?
For prospective students, know that the Tufts public health program is very special. It's small and intimate, and you have so many opportunities to guide your own projects and learning. I am so grateful I studied at Tufts (and I promise no one asked me to say this!). For current students, I have some ALE advice. First, to select your site, take time to research and identify the problem you want to work on, and then identify organizations that would be benefit from new methods to make that happen. Second, once you've almost finished, don't be nervous to present your ALE; you're the expert, and people will be excited to learn about all the great work that you have done!

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